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Chamberlain Hrdlicka Celebrates Women’s History Month

March 1, 2021

Women's History Month celebrated at Chamberlain Hrdlicka

By Kisshia Simmons and Alissa Gipson

Happy Women's History Month! It’s that time of year again where we celebrate women who have contributed to our society.  Now’s the time to celebrate all the women in your life.

Although the past year has been quite challenging, it does not lessen the importance of this illustrious month.  Despite the interruption of the pandemic, let’s find time to celebrate women’s historic achievements. Over more than 100 years, women have trail-blazed historic milestones and we commemorate the political and social justice achievements this month and beyond. The sights and sounds throughout the years are almost audible. The excitement - almost palpable.

International Women’s Day

Women’s History Month began as International Women’s Day, a day in 1909 commemorating socialists and suffragists in Manhattan.  On March 8, 1911, the first International Women's Day was celebrated in Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark, though the holiday was not widely celebrated in the United States until the United Nations began sponsoring it in 1975.[1]

Turn up your radios and listen to the announcement. Adjust your antennas on your black and white screen televisions for the latest press release -- The United Nations has sponsored International Women’s Day since 1975. When adopting its resolution on the observance of International Women’s Day, the United Nations General Assembly stated this reason:

To recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.

Women’s History Month

As you paid your 75 cents for your newspaper, can you see the headlines?

Women’s History Month had its origins in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week".  The President proclaimed the week stating:

American women of every race, creed and ethnic background helped found and build our Nation in countless recorded and unrecorded ways ... As leaders in public affairs, American women not only worked to secure their own rights of suffrage and equal opportunity but also were principal advocates in the abolitionist, temperance, mental health reform, industrial labor and social reform movements, as well as the modern civil rights movement.

In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Since 1995, Presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as Women’s History Month.  These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history.[2]

Can you hear it? It’s the chanting in the streets. Do you see it? It’s the letters and petitions. Women who have long passed paved the way for the Equal Rights Amendment and Title IX. The strength of women cannot be denied.

[1] https://www.womenshistory.org/womens-history/womens-history-month

[2] https://www.loc.gov/law/help/commemorative-observations/women_history.php