Student Perspective: Women’s History Month

 Women’s History Month is celebrated in the United States in March every year. The observance is to show women around the country that they are appreciated – past and present.

 Women play a big part of history as much as a man is because they are strong, independent, hard-working women just like a man. 

 So many women have contributed to history, for example, Harriet Tubman helped free the slaves  or Rebecca Lee Crumpler became the first black woman to receive an M.D. degree. It even goes back to Cleopatra, who was the back Egyptian queen.

 Two significant factors contributed to the emergency of Women’s History Month. The women’s movement of the 1960s caused women to question their invisibility in traditional American history texts. The movement raised the aspirations as well as the opportunities of women, and produced a growing number of female historians. 

 Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, on of the early women’s historians, acknowledged that their initial motivations were political, but that led to questioning women’s “second-class status.” Women were to stay home, cook, and take care of the kids, while the men will go out and work.

Well, women got tired of depending on men and went to work themselves.

 The roots of national Women’s History Month started when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions on March 8, 1857. International Women’s Day was first observed in 1090-, but it wasn’t until 1981 that Congress established National Women’s History Week, which was to be commemorated during the second week of March. 

 In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. Every year since, Congress has passed a resolution for Women’s History Month and the president has issued a proclamation. 

 The public celebration of women’s history in the United States began in 1978 as Women’s History Week in Sonoma County in California during March. March 8 was selected as International Women’s Day. 

 As Maya Angelou, the famous African American woman poet, said in her poem Phenomenal Woman: 

 ”Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. 

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size, 

But when I start to tell them, they think I’m telling lies. 

I say, It’s in the reach of my arms, 

The span of my hip,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I’m a woman, phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman, that’s me.”

 She wrote the poem to women who felt insecure about themselves.

I learned about Women’s History Month from my grandmother, who was the first African American to become a librarian in Claiborne Parish. She told me what she went through is not just for black woman, but every woman had to fight to get the respect they have today.

 It wasn’t Jeannette Rankin who began the fight for women’s suffrage in the United States when she became the first woman elected to Congress. Her election  grew out of a larger women’s rights movement.  

 That reform effort evolved during the 19th century and led to the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.

 Women’s History Month should be celebrated because not only does a woman take care of her mate, children and herself, she is the anchor for the family when times are hard. She makes sure her family is taken care of.

 Whether she is a grandmother, mother, employee, etc., she is first a woman.



Kristin Coopers a freshman mass communication major from Homer.