By Erin Bloodgood
Elm Staff Writer
Women have always been important to the history of human kind, whether they were acknowledged for it or not. Women have been at the forefront of numerous civil rights movements, as well as advancements and reforms in science and health. They have been the authors of enduring works of literature; they have captivated us as actresses on the silver screen, and they have been scholars, nurses, doctors, teachers, politicians, and scientists. Women have been advocates for causes spanning from the suffrage movement to the feminist movements, to contemporary issues like childhood obesity and defending human rights across the globe. Women have come a long way in terms of recognition and notoriety. As far back as 1911, the United States took the time to set aside specific days to talk about the important contributions of women throughout history. In today’s world, Women’s History Month is celebrated in March, with March 8 being International Women’s Day.
It is important, during this time especially, to remember and celebrate all that women have done for the world. It is easy to look back and remember the great women of the past like Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Clara Barton, Anne Frank, Marie Curie, Mother Theresa, Rosa Parks, the list goes on and on. However, it is just as important to recognize the women who are making history today, such as Mala Yousafzai, Michelle Obama, Emma Watson, and Laverne Cox. Not only is it a time to celebrate famous women, but it is also a time to appreciate the women in your own life that make a difference to you every day. Women’s History Month is to celebrate and thank all women who have had an impact in your life. This could be your mother, aunt, grandmother, niece, friend or even your boss. It is important to stop and appreciate these women for all that they do, famous or otherwise, because sometimes in our society, women’s achievements were (and are) not always acknowledged as fully as they should be.
For women in today’s society, it is easy to feel unappreciated. Many, many women today face unfair and unequal treatment, harassment, violence, prejudice, and discrimination in the US and around the world. Women fight effortlessly for the right to be able to decide what to do with their bodies; they face constant criticism from the media on what to look like, dress like, and behave like. Sometimes women are not taken seriously in certain professions, not even today in 2015. Women still face domestic violence, rape, assault, and, in some countries (including the US), women are forced into marriages, prostitution, and slaveryv. For all of the world’s advancements and knowledge, these are things that still occur today, here in the US and on a global level. Women face some of these obstacles each and every day.
Overall, it is important to remember to take time this month and the rest of the year, to remember the important and valuable contributions women have made throughout history and in your own life, from the contributions of women in science and politics, to the women in your own lives that make such a difference. It is important to take a step back and recognize that there are still many problems that women face in their daily lives around the world that we need to address and change. This month is for women to be recognized, celebrated, acknowledged and respected. Hopefully one day our society won’t need a specific month to celebrate the work and lives of women. Someday, sooner rather than later, I hope, women will be celebrated for their achievements and contributions the same way men are praised for theirs.