Women’s History Month- it’s a necessity

Adrianne Richardson, Contributing Writer

Whether you who know that March is Women’s History Month, or if you just don’t care to reverence it, it is important to recognize the importance of this month, established only 26 years ago.

Women are the mothers of all the people that walk this planet but before they were treated with admiration they suffered tremendously.

In the United States during the late 1800s and early to mid 1900s the term “all men are created equal” did not mean the whole population. Women, and other minority groups, were excluded from education, certain jobs and being treated as equals.

But throughout history women were seen as inferior to men and evil temptresses, most popularly in the biblical story of Adam and Eve.

In Greek mythology there is a story about a woman named Pandora, who opened the forbidden box and forever plagued mankind with unhappiness.

Early Romans viewed women as children – forever inferior to men.

In the U.S. in 1866 two women set out to revolutionize gender equality.

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton created the American Equal Rights Association in an efforts to gain attention to their cause which was women gaining the right to vote.

Anthony was arrested in 1872 because she casted a vote which was then deemed “illegal.” Stanton was known for her gift as a writer and used it to gain support for women’s rights.

Anthony and Stanton also worked together on a newspaper called Revolution which was solely based on the unfairness women experienced because they were seen as the weaker sex. Stanton’s life influenced her daughter to continue within her mother’s struggles because women still were not seen as equal in the 1900s.

In 1915 Carrie Chapman Catt was the director of National American Woman Suffrage Association. She also fought for women’s suffrage on state and federal levels.

Her efforts, and those before her, finally brought about the 19th Amendment, which prohibits any U.S. citizen be denied the right to vote based on their sex.

In May 1919 Congress received a vote of two-thirds and thus women had the right to vote.

These movements towards female equality many others, big and small, have all been a force in the right direction to help women get, maintain, and practice their natural born rights.

Women, and others that supported their cause, also had to fight for equal education.

 The first college in the United States to admit women was Franklin College in Lancaster, Pa., established in 1787. The first enrollment class consisted of 78 male and 36 female students.

At this point, women could finally receive an education, but the stereotype that they were inferior was still heavily recognized and difficult for them to escape from.

I could only imagine how some women must have felt during those difficult times. If they weren’t respected in society, they probably weren’t respected at home by their husbands either.

Today the law has helped women to receive equal education, the right to vote and the right to work, but society is still trying to find the balance of gender equality.

 

According to Women’s History Month’s website, in 1987 Women’s History Week was turned into Women’s History Month, and since 1995 presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have a series of proclamations designating March as the celebration of women’s history.

Women’s History Month is just as important as Black History Month because it is important to never forget what women in the past went through so that we as mothers, sisters, daughters and grandmothers don’t have to suffer today.

Women’s History Month should be respected by everyone with common sense. You don’t have to agree with it but you must respect it.

You must.

The University has taken a few steps of its own to recognize the contributions of women and to also bring awareness to the gender divides we still see today.

FIU’s Global Water for Sustainability Program (GLOWS) and the Women’s Studies Center will host “Women and Water The Role of Gender Equality in Defining Sustainability of Water Resources Management” at 3 p.m. Thursday March 21 in the Rafael Diaz-Balart Hall in the College of Law at Modesto A. Maidique Campus.

This event will celebrate women as well as World Water Day.

I highly recommend anyone with doubts towards Women’s History Month and its importance, and those who support it, to come out and be a part of this event. It is open to all FIU students.

Women are important to society. They always have been and always will be.

Maya Angelou said it best, “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”