By: Lyndon Waite
March is a month to celebrate all of the achievements of women. Women should be appreciated every day of the year, but the 31 days in March are meant to really show love to our women. In 1981 Congress passed a law that made the beginning week of March 7 “Women’s History Month.” Throughout the next 5 years there were many petitions to make the whole month of March “Women’s History Month,” so in 1987 it became official. So let’s take a look back at all the achievements, movements, and progress made by women.
The most common was the women’s suffrage which is the right for women to vote in elections. This was a fight that lasted over 100 years but in 1920 women finally got the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony, women’s rights activist, led the suffrage campaign. Women’s Suffrage was a pivotal part in women’s history and led to great strides towards women equality. Activist Alice Paul proposed the Equal Rights Amendment for the first time, 1923. This stated that, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” This led to many great “first” by women.
Here are some great “first” by women:
- In 1928, Amelia Earhart was the first woman to cross the Atlantic in an airplane
- In 1933, Frances Perkins became the first female member of a Presidential cabinet
- In 1943, the first professional sports league for women was founded (The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League)
- In 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O’Connor to be the first woman on the Supreme Court
- In 1997, Madeleine Albright became the first female Secretary of State
- In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director
- In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first female presidential nominee of a major party
Our country’s history is filled with fantastic women pioneers. Women fought for their rights, worked hard to be treated equally and made great strides in fields like science, politics, sports, literature and art. These were just a few of the large amount of successes. Women are still working to shrink the gender wage gap, stop violence against women, work on maternal and infant healthcare, and bodily autonomy rights.