There is an International Women’s Day, and in the eighties in the U.S., there was a Women’s Week, and now, since 1988, there is a whole month designated as Women’s Month, or Women’s History Month. We can’t wait till there is a Women’s History Year every year, but for now, the Month of March will have to do. At the end of February, President Obama released the annual proclamation naming March as Women’s History Month, and throughout March, a variety of organizations and groups have set up events and initiatives to celebrate women’s achievements, and support a future generation of women to achieve even more. Not only is this an American holiday; Australia, the UK, and Canada also celebrate Women’s History Month, although Canada has theirs in October, corresponding to Persons Day on October 18
This year was focused on equal pay initiatives and women in the workplace. This seems to be one of the last ceilings to break, but one of the hardest, as money means real-world power. If you give women the money they deserve, who knows where they’ll be able to take themselves? In an excerpt from Obama’s February 27th Women’s History Month Proclamation, he called for “increased workplace flexibility and access to paid leave — including paid sick leave — so that hardworking Americans do not have to choose between being productive employees and responsible family members,” as well as “a plan that would make quality child care available to every middle-class and low-income family in America with young children.” He said that “These are not only women’s issues — they are family issues and national economic priorities.”
As we look forward towards what we want to achieve for women, it’s always good to remember the struggles that have taken us this far. At one point in history, it was ridiculous to think that women would be allowed to vote, but thanks to the suffragettes, who many thought were crazy for doing what they did, women have much more political power than we once did. It’s not crazy to think women will one day earn on the level that men do, and hold an equal number of leadership positions.
For more information on Women’s History Month, look through this collection of articles and facts about women throughout history. Also check out some events going on in NYC in honor of Women’s History Month:
Poe Park, The Bronx
Saturday, March 14, 1 p.m-3 p.m: Women in Comics Panel: Justice Women Screening. Poe Park Visitor Center in Poe Park, the Bronx. Regine Sawyer of Lockett Down Productions talks with a panel about women’s contribution to comics, film, animation, cosplay and publishing. Free.
Thursday, March 12, 2 p.m: Gallery Tour: Unconventional Women. Tour the women in the collections. Free with musume admission. 7 p.m.: Panel Discussion: “I Will Resist with Every Inch and Every Breath: Punk and the Art of Feminism.” Moderated by Leah DeVun, the panel will discuss the relationship between punk rock and feminism. Free with museum admission.
New York Public Library
Mondays, March 9, 16, 23, 30, 7 p.m.: Women’s Jazz Festival at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Langston Hughes Auditorium. 515 Malcolm X Boulevard. Admission free.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Saturdays and Sundays, March 7-March 29, between 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m.: Tour Guide Talk: Rosie the Riveter. An interactive talk dedicated to the World War II-era Rosie the Riveter and how she changed the attitudes of women in the workplace. 1 p.m.: Tour Guide Talk: Intrepid Women: Extraordinary Stories of Women in Sea, Air and Space. Free with the price of admission.
Saturday, March 14, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.: Girls in Science and Engineering Day. Various organizations will engage visitors in hands-on experiences, demonstrations and interactives; Operation Slumber: Girls Only. This “Operation Slumber” overnight visit for kids is for girls only.
Hard Rock Cafe
Friday, March 27: Women’s History Month Networking Breakfast and Awards Presentation. The Greater New York Chamber of Commerce will honor women who have supported their communities and workplaces.