Happy Women’s History Month! “She believed she could, so she did”. This short quote holds so much power and meaning. Nothing is too big or too small, for women. Women can truly do anything if they just believe. This is why the month of March is dedicated to us (women). Women’s History Month (WHM) was created to highlight the often-overlooked contributions of women in United States history, culture, and society. The month has been observed in the United States since 1987.
The 2022 theme for WHM is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope”. This theme is "both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history”, according to history.com.
While we celebrate women’s history for the entire month of March, remember, we also celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) on the eighth day of March annually. According to the University of London, “IWD was created to recognize the social, cultural, economic, and political achievements of women; to raise awareness of discrimination and bias, and to inspire and empower us all to take action for equality. This year’s timely theme is “Break the Bias”. Breaking bias is everyone’s responsibility because we all have our thoughts and actions that we are responsible for every single day. We can empower and break the bias in our communities, workplaces, schools, colleges, and universities. I look forward to the day when the world is free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world where there is true women’s equality.
Now, what would this blog be if I didn’t acknowledge icons in history who have fought for equality and paved the way for me and all women? The following women are true trailblazers and helped shape the United States:
Sojourner Truth: African-American abolitionist who fearlessly fought for gender and racial equality. In the 1860s, she often rode streetcars in Washington D.C. to promote desegregation and publicly protest racism.
Susan B. Anthony was a social activist and icon in the early women's rights movement. She believed and stated that no more men should be allowed to vote until women and men, of all races, could also vote. She was arrested in an attempt to vote. This arrest and trial led to the 19th Amendment.
Ida B. Wells was a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). After being born into slavery, Wells spent most of her life teaching and was also an investigative reporter, documenting lynching and racial violence in the US during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Frida Kahlo, an artist, was born in Coyoacán, Mexico in 1907. She used her art to express taboo subjects surrounding women such as abortion, miscarriage, birth, and breastfeeding, among other things; opening up the conversation.
Simone de Beauvoir paved the way for modern feminism. In 1970, Beauvoir helped launch the French Women's Liberation Movement by signing the Manifesto of the 343, which argued for abortion rights.
Yuri Kochiyama fought a lifelong fight against racism and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.
Dolores Huerta is a Mexican-American labor leader and civil rights activist who fights for the rights of many, especially farmers and agricultural workers. She is the founder of the United Farm Workers of America and still fights for workers' rights, immigrants' rights, and women's rights.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg used her Supreme Court seat to change the course of history. She served on the US Supreme Court and was lead counsel for the ACLU Women's Rights Project. She was known for being the voice of all women.
Sally Ride (1951-2012) was the first American woman in space. She started Sally Ride Science which helps to tackle misconceptions about women in STEM and "inspire young people in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and to promote STEM literacy."
Vice President Kamala Harris is the first woman to serve as vice president of the United States. She built her career for the people and has broken barriers and continues to fight for working families.
This list is not inclusive of all the women who have paved the way, however, I encourage you to do your research and find those women leaders who continue to fight the good fight and make good trouble for women’s rights. To commemorate International Women’s Day many people wear the official color of purple to stand in solidarity. Let us all do our part by breaking bias and helping fight for gender equality. As always, wishing you all continued peace, love, happiness, and blessings.