It’s all in the genes: the estro-genes

Why we celebrate Women's History Month

Together, the women in this image have accomplished great things that have changed history for the better.

Together, the women in this image have accomplished great things that have changed history for the better.

Throughout history, women have always been treated as lessers. Where men could own their own businesses, work in any field they wanted and vote, women had to fight for these rights. It wasn’t until Aug. 26, 1920, in the United States that the 19th Amendment was passed which allowed women to vote and slowly women then gained other rights. Although nowadays females in the United States have more rights, it’s important to remember the females that helped us get to where we are today as a country. It’s also important to remember that many females in other countries are still fighting to be seen as equals.

 

Why March?

In an attempt to honor past female role models the Women’s History Week was created in 1981 when Congress passed legislation that the week would begin on March 7, 1982. Years after, multiple presidents issued a series of proclamations that determined that March would be designated as Women’s History Month in 1995. 

 

Votes for Women

The 19th Amendment was passed into law on Aug. 26, 1920. This law granted women the right to vote. Prior to the law being put in place, women had been protesting to the government for almost a century. 1848 marked the year that the women’s rights movement started to grow to a national level. During July 1848, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Scranton organized the first-ever women’s rights convention located in Seneca Falls, N.Y., where they wrote the Declaration of Sentiments, which was modeled after the Declaration of Independence and addressed the rights that women should have to be treated as equals. Many mocked the ideas brought up at the convention, which only resulted in more females coming and supporting the Declaration of Sentiments and women suffrage. Some of these advocates include Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul. Nearly 72 years later, women in America were finally able to vote. 

 

Women We Must Praise

In the mid-15th century, one very important Frenchwoman became well known during the Hundred Years War. Jeanne d’Arc, better known as Joan of Arc, led the French Army and pushed back the English during their attempt to conquer France. While most women at the time were at home caring for their families, Jeanne d’Arc fought for her people. 

A century after Jeanne d’Arc fought for France, another important woman emerged. Mary Tudor, the first-born daughter of King Henry VIII, was never supposed to be crowned. But after her brother King Edward VI died, she became the first woman to be crowned Queen of England. Although there was Lady Jane Grey who succeeded to the throne after King Edward passed, her rule is controversial and Queen Mary I is considered to be Edward’s true successor. 

Nearly three hundred years after Queen Mary I was crowned, Harriet Tubman was fleeing to Philadelphia. After she reached Philadelphia, she started to help African Americans escape the South after she led her sister and two children to freedom. Before long, Tubman helped hundreds of people escape the South. During the Civil War, she worked for Union forces in South Carolina as a scout, nurse and laundress. She even spied on Confederate territory. 

Around the same time, Florence Nightingale was in Turkey, nursing British and allied soldiers while the Crimean War raged on. Later, a few years after she was in Turkey, Nightingale established the first scientifically based nursing school. In 1907, Nightingale became the first woman to be awarded the Order of Merit.  

Similar to Nightingale, Clara Barton was changing the future of nursing and medicine during the Civil War. In 1864, she was appointed the superintendent of nurses for the Army of the James. A year later after President Lincoln’s request, she set up a bureau of records to aid the search for lost men. In 1881, Barton established the American Association of the Red Cross, which eventually renamed itself to the American Red Cross. Barton was the president until 1904.

Twelve years after Barton established the American Association of the Red Cross, Marie Curie began her astonishing scientific career. In 1893, she came first in the license of physical sciences and just a year later, she placed second in the license of mathematical sciences. In 1898, she discovered polonium and radium within a few months of each other. Two years after her discoveries, she was appointed lecturer in physics at the Ecole Normale Superieure for girls. In 1903, she received her doctorate of science and received the Nobel Prize for Physics with Becquerel and her husband Pierre Curie after the discovery of radioactivity. In 1911, she received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. 

In the 1930s, Amelia Earhart became the first woman aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean by herself. 

Nearly twenty years after Earhart, Rosa Parks started the Montgomery bus boycott. Later on in her life, she co-founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development. She even received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. 

In the 80s, Oprah Winfrey became the host of the Oprah Winfrey Show. While hosting her own show might not be as impressive, she also is the first African American woman to own a production company. 

“They told me I was the wrong color, the wrong size, and that I showed too much emotion,” said Winfrey. 

More recently in 2012, Malala Yousafrzai became well known for her campaign to get education for girls in Pakistan. Her efforts for education led to her getting shot by the Taliban and surviving. 

Just two years ago, Greta Thunberg started to protest climate change. She is now one of the strongest voices against climate change today. 

While most of these women have led very different lives, they all had one thing in common. Their passion/determination for what they did changed history for women. They made it possible for women today to accomplish anything they want. Women, historically, have had to undergo trials that pushed them but while similar problems still exist, nothing would be the same thanks to women everywhere.