MARCH IS NATIONAL WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH

In 1987, what started over 100 years ago with a March 8th “International Women’s Day” and was later expanded into “National Women’s Week,” finally became “National Women’s History Month” by Congressional decree. Also observed every March in the UK and Australia, National Women’s History Month is an annual opportunity to reflect on the impact women have always had on society as well as an annual reminder that women’s voices and experiences are still largely underrepresented. How can you participate, and maybe even contribute to this month-long celebration? Here are a few ideas.

It is always a good idea to start with some gratitude.

A little reflection is called for. How did you get to where you are today? Did you have help along the way? Maybe it was a relative, a teacher, a mentor or a co-worker who took a special interest in making sure you excelled. Chances are many of them were women, so why not call or write one of your female benefactors this month and thank them? Remind them of how much their input and attention helped you at a critical time and how you’ve hopefully followed their example and paid that kindness forward. 

Learn more about some history-making women. 

Follow the hashtag #WomenOfScience and you’ll learn about STEM-powered rock stars like Margaret Hamilton, who wrote much of the computer code that got us to the moon in 1969, Katherine Johnson, whose calculations of orbital mechanics were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights,  and their modern-day counterpart, Katie Bouman, whose algorithm for imaging black holes was crucial in capturing the first image of one just last year. Don’t forget to share and retweet those stories when you see them; there is no telling who else might get inspired.

Without much effort, you can also track down some amazing documentaries about audacious women such as “Maiden” the story of how, in 1989, Tracy Edwards organized and led the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race, the longest, toughest and of course, traditionally male-dominated, yachting competition in the world, and “Poker Queens,” an upcoming documentary about another group of adventurous women who made their marks in the similarly male-dominated realm of professional poker.

If podcasts are your thing, a quick google search of “woman-oriented podcasts” will present you with hundreds to choose from, covering everything from science and tech to society and culture. Likewise for TED talks; make even the slightest effort to seek out stories by and about inspiring women and there are countless treasures to be found.

One Last Thing About National Women’s History Month.

This year, the National Women’s History Alliance has chosen the timely theme of “Valiant Women of the Vote,” honoring “the brave women who fought to win suffrage rights for women, and for the women who continue to fight for the voting rights of others.” Even if you’re not a candidate or a political activist, always remember that not so long ago, many brave women had to fight hard for the right to have their voices heard at the ballot box. The best thing any American can do to honor those early Suffragettes is to remember these women and spread the word about them, as you go out and vote this and every election day.



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