Every year, when Women’s History Month rolls around, I am reminded of the iconic women who have inspired generations. The legacies of influential women like Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo and Susan B. Anthony (just to name a few) have changed the world.
Beginning in 1982, Women’s History Month provides us with an opportunity every March to commemorate the women who have made history and those who continue to do so. While March is one of my favorite months of the year for this exact reason, it can also highlight the fact that, even in 2018, women from all walks of life still experience discrimination simply because they are female.
Since the election of 1920, when women were first allowed to exercise their right to vote, we have made great strides in the area of gender equality. However, we have much left to do.
According to the U.N. Foundation, 62 million girls around the world are denied an education. MAKERS reports that women with full-time jobs earn only about 77 percent as much as their male coworkers. Global Citizen states that every minute, on average there are 28 girls who are married off to an older man, while their brothers are sent off to get an education. When election season is in full swing, our male politicians still speak out with strong opinions about women’s health regulations on the behalf of millions of females across the nation who are not given such a big platform.
These facts should remind us that the fight for equality is far from over. But in a month that celebrates the women who have contributed so much to the conversation, we must remember that we cannot and will not be silenced. We do have a voice and the ability to make a change.
In the very first Presidential remark about Women’s History Month, President Ronald Reagan applauded women for their exceptional roles as wives and mothers and congratulated them for holding down the household.
“All Americans can be truly grateful for the role of women as the heart of the family and for their every accomplishment today and throughout our history,” Reagan said. However, he failed to commemorate any notable woman by name.
This month and all year long, we should challenge ourselves to call out our female peers by name if we feel inspired by them. Call out the female authors who wrote something that spoke to you. Call out the female politicians who proudly represent us in politics. Call out the young girl who dreams of one day being the first female president. By lifting each other up, we can continue the theme of celebrating powerful women all year long.
The women who rallied for our right to vote over 100 years ago and the women who marched in the historic women’s marches of 2016 can both be attributed with the qualities of strength, determination and perseverance. This Women’s History Month, women everywhere must remember that we are the women that our children will read about in their history books.
While we are celebrating the 36th annual Women’s History Month, we must remember to celebrate the women who inspire us all year long, not just in March.
Samantha Moffett is a sophomore majoring in advertising.