Women's History Month: Celebrating Female Empowerment - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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March 19, 2020

Women's History Month: Celebrating Female Empowerment

There's a lot to celebrate during the month of March, but if you've yet to acknowledge the contributions of women all over the world, you are missing out on one of the month's most important occasions.

Women's History Month encourages us to provide the recognition that accomplished women have deserved throughout the ages—and that they still deserve today. Keep reading to learn more about this important time of year.

What Is Women's History Month? How Did it Originate?

Women's History Month originated over three decades ago, and yet many people still don't know it exists or aren't aware just how important it is. However, this month represents the culmination of years of hard work and passion, as well as ongoing efforts to maintain the recognition it has imparted thus far.

As its name suggests, Women's History Month calls attention to the inspiring and complicated history of females in the United States and all around the world. This important month also aims to shine a light on the work of contemporary women, including their efforts to secure justice.

The origins of this national celebration involve the passing of Pub. L. 97-28 in Congress. Initially, just one week was to be dedicated to celebrating women's history. However, following extended petitioning from the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9, designating the entirety of March as Women's History Month. Since 1987, every U.S. president has continued to issue annual proclamations in recognition of this important month.

Outside of the federal government, Women's History Month is recognized with a variety of events and educational efforts. These include everything from seminars to special television broadcasting and even parades. Many teachers now use this month as an opportunity to highlight key moments from the voting rights movement, as well as other important milestones in women's history.

Why Is it Important to Celebrate Women's History Month?

We already celebrate International Women's Day on March 8, so why extend the effort to an entire month? This month represents far more than most people realize. It's an opportunity to learn, reflect, and, most importantly, act. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”

Still not convinced of the necessity for dedicating a full month to women's history? Several top reasons for paying homage to the world's most influential females are highlighted below:

Honoring the Contributions of History's Forgotten Females

Until recently, history textbooks often neglected to honor influential women. When they did, these overviews only briefly covered a few notable figures without truly shining light on their accomplishments or the notable challenges they faced along the way.

The result? A notable gap in knowledge, in which we're more aware of the achievements of males. Far too often, we assume that men stood alone behind history's most notable moments, never realizing the critical role played by talented and hardworking females.

By celebrating Women's History Month, we aim to bridge a problematic knowledge gap and ensure that people of all ages and backgrounds understand how women have also contributed to society. This garners a greater appreciation for the past and exposes the current talents of women who deserve to be celebrated.

Making Amends for the Past

While it's impossible to truly account for the suffering and lack of recognition many of history's most notable women endured, we can at least attempt to make amends in the present.

During Women's History Month, we make every effort to ensure that these women did not fight in vain. We tell their stories and recognize their achievements so that they will be more than just names in history books. These women may not have fought for personal recognition, but they deserve it nonetheless.

Calling Attention to Ongoing Efforts for Equality

The fight for women's rights is far from over. Women continue to face a variety of issues in the workplace and in their everyday lives, as evidenced by a continuing pay gap of anywhere from 80 cents to 98 cents per dollar and the impact of the #MeToo movement. While Women's History Month reveals how far we've come, this special time also seeks to inspire a new generation of activists.

Throughout history, women have accomplished great things despite facing seemingly insurmountable odds. Yes, we have a long way to go, but progress is far from impossible to achieve. The more we hear the stories of history's remarkable women, the more empowered we can feel to take on today's top challenges.

Women's History Month provides much-needed recognition and encouragement, as well as the opportunity to remember how far we've come. This year, make an effort to recognize women throughout the month, but don't stop there: This cause is worth pursuing throughout the year to ensure that we have even more to appreciate during future Women's History celebrations.

At Geneva College, we are committed to providing powerful opportunities for a variety of students. For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your most ambitious academic or career goals, contact us at 855-979-5563 or via the web@geneva.edu.