Women’s History Month


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March commemorates Women’s History Month to celebrate how female figures have changed the world.

Anita Tun, Photojournalist

The month of March commemorates Women’s History Month across the globe; the period is dedicated to celebrating female figures and their achievements that changed society. This year’s Women’s History Month theme is “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced” to celebrate women’s suffrage, and this theme was extended from 2020’s theme due to many events being canceled last year. 


The Education Task Force of Sonoma County California Commission on the Status of Women planned “Women’s History Week” in 1978. The national celebration originated in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-98, which requested that the President dedicated the week of March 8, 1982, to be “Women’s History Week.” The week of March 8 was chosen due to International Women’s Day being on March 8 (National Women’s History Month).


Originally, Women’s History Month began as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California. Between 1988 and 1994, Congress requested the President to dedicate March as Women’s History Month (Women’s History Month).


There are countless women that shaped society, but one particularly significant female figure is Jane Austen. Austen is a world-renowned author of witty classics such as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, written when she was only in her teens. Her stories questioned women’s role in society and consequently empowered female readers (Marie Claire Australia). 


For Natalie Neal (10), it is difficult for her to choose only one woman that inspires her, but she mentions that her cousin Ella is an inspiration to her because “she inspired me to love who I am, to stand up for myself, and to get my life together.” 


Maya Angelou is a poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist that wrote the memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. This memoir was the first nonfiction best-seller by an African American woman. Her memoir is about her growing up in Arkansas, where she faced racism and discrimination that prompted her discussion of identity and literacy (Marie Claire Australia).


Marie Curie is a physicist and scientist who discovered two elements and the portable x-ray machine. According to a BBC poll on women who changed the world, Marie Curies placed first as the most influential woman of all time (The Telegraph). Curie was the first person to win two separate Nobel prizes: chemistry and another for physics. 


Women’s History Month is a significant time to acknowledge women’s impact worldwide and across generations. Women have significantly reformed society. Whether they were acts of equality such as suffragist Alice Paul or leading women empowerment movements like Gloria Steinem, referred to as the “Mother of Feminism,” all of these acts by women should not be forgotten.