Women’s History Month turns 30 years old

Eleanor Marshall

Contributing Writer

Thirty years have passed since Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9, the law that states that March is national Women’s History Month.

Women’s History Month was created to educate students about women’s history.  However, some students at WGHS, believe that we still aren’t learning enough about women’s achievements throughout history.

Sophomore Molly Nash said, “In AP (world history) women are hardly mentioned in our textbooks.”

Sophomore Rosie Ryan added, “Most of our history teachers are male. This isn’t a bad thing and I’m not saying we need to hire more women, but we could bring in women to talk to us or go on field trips to hear people speak.”

WGHS students march to support Planned Parenthood. Photo by Ashli Wagner.

This is why the Women’s History month was started. Before the 1970’s women were scarcely mentioned in history classes, according to Molly Murphy MacGregor, Executive Director and co-founder of the National Women’s History Project.

So, in 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation, making the week of March 8, Women’s History Week. It was this week in March because it centered around International Women’s Day, which began in 1911.

International Women’s Day celebrates the women’s achievements across the globe.

Although supporters of the movement appreciated a week, they wanted a whole month of educating people, on the achievements of women. Feminists around the country agreed, and by 1986, 14 states celebrated Women’s History Month.

With states rapidly joining the movement Congress felt it was necessary to pass a law stating that March is National Women’s History Month.

Ruth Rosen, an award-winning journalist, historian of gender and society, and Professor Emerita at University of California Davis, thinks this month is still important.

Rosen writes, “…is Women’s History Month still necessary? Didn’t we transform the curriculum in all the disciplines, change laws and customs, legalize abortion, force everyone to call us Ms. instead of Mrs. and Miss, and teach students not to faint when a female professor entered the room? Unfortunately, it is still necessary to have a token month devoted to women’s lives. Every generation of little girls and women need to learn their past so that they can imagine a future in which gender equality is the norm and not the exception.”

“Women’s history is still important. Even if there aren’t as many inequalities and injustices against women in America, women in other counties are still very oppressed.” Nash said. 

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