By: Julia Gagulska
As the hol3 team of women aims to empower women daily, it is important that we raise awareness and celebrate the month of March, or as it should be more recognized, Women’s History Month. As indicated by the name, Women’s History Month is meant to “commemorate and encourage the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in American history” (The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records, et al.). Here at hol3health, our goal this Women’s History month is to celebrate women’s innumerable past accomplishments, raise awareness to problems women face today, and help out in any way we can.
Damn, where to begin with female successes? Obviously, there are tons, but I’d like to highlight some within a few categories. Beginning with 2021’s Women’s History month theme, “Valiant Women of the Vote.” The women’s suffrage movement was a long one dedicated to pushing for a woman’s right to vote. Starting in 1840, influential female leaders such as Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony met, discussed, and publicly fought for women’s right to vote. It wasn’t until 1920 that Congress passed the 19th amendment which granted women’s suffrage. In between 1840 and 1920, other female leaders such as Sojourner Truth, Abigail Adams, and Harriet Beecher all publicly advocated for women’s suffrage through the form of profoundly memorable writings (National Women’s History Museum).
Although entire textbooks could be written just on the topic of women’s history (and they have), I will leave you with a couple more notable characters. In STEM, Marie Curie, a chemist and physicist, is the only woman to ever be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize two times (Nobel Lectures, 2021)! Regarding political power, Kamala Harris is the first woman, the first Black woman, and the first South Asian woman elected to the American vice president seat in history (Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, 2019).
While celebrating women’s unforgettable moments in history is important to the month of March, I would also like to raise awareness of the issues women still face today, the wage gap for one. Although pay discrimination is illegal in the United States, and has been for many years, “women working full time in the U.S are paid 82 cents to every dollar earned by men” (American Association of University Women, 2020). Women fight for abortion rights across the states to this day, and face sexual harassment in and out of the workplace. I must remind everyone of the People v. Brock Turner court case in which Brock Turner walked away after just 3 months in jail for raping an unconscious girl, Chanel Miller. Open discussion of these issues is difficult and can sometimes be uncomfortable, but I would argue it is the most important aspect of Women’s History month. Although it isn’t positive history, it is still history. Discussions like these can not only educate those who may not be aware of these problems, but it could also facilitate the spread of information and encourage action to help these causes.
With this, I encourage you to take action in the matter. Public group or individual discussions can educate and encourage others to partake in the fight for women’s rights. If you’re comfortable, sign a petition, participate in a protest/march, or donate to organizations that aim to amend the issues women face (after careful research of the organization). The women previously mentioned have left legacies in the fight for women’s rights, and it is critical that we all continue their legacies and continue to move towards women’s equality.
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, et al. Women’s history Month. Retrieved from https://womenshistorymonth.gov/
National Women’s History Museum. Women’s suffrage timeline. Retrieved from https://www.womenshistory.org/resources/timeline/womans-suffrage-timeline
Nobel Lectures. (2021). Marie Curie Biographical. Retrieved from https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/1903/marie-curie/biographical/
Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers. (2019). Milestones for Women in American Politics. Retrieved from https://cawp.rutgers.edu/facts/milestones-for-women American Association of University Women. (2020, December 08). The Simple Truth About the Pay Gap. Retrieved from https://www.aauw.org/resources/research/simple-truth/