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  • Writer's pictureMatilda Butler

Women’s History Month: 7 Questions and Answers

In What Way is Women’s History Month Important?


Yes, I’m back and still thinking about Women’s History Month. There are so many topics about women to reflect on…and yet I keep bringing up the theme of Women’s History Month. Sorry, but it just isn’t possible to write a few paragraphs about this important month and consider the topic is signed, sealed, and delivered.



Women's History Month will always be an important time to reflect on the contributions and achievements of women throughout history. It is a time to recognize the sacrifices and struggles that women have gone through to achieve the rights and freedoms that we have today. In this blog, we want to focus on just a few of the ways that Women's History Month is important and why it is essential to continue to celebrate it. Besides, celebrating is always great!


Let me frame today's blog by asking 7 Questions (Along with providing answers, of course)


Question 1. What is Women's History Month, and why is it important?

Women's History Month is a month-long celebration of the contributions of women throughout history. It is an opportunity to honor the achievements of women and to acknowledge their impact on society. Women have made significant contributions to science, politics, literature, art, business, as well as other fields -- well actually all fields. But their stories are often overlooked or forgotten. Women's History Month is a time to celebrate these stories and ensure that they are remembered.


Have female family members who are ignored or whose stories may disappear in the future? Then use this month to write about her/them. Save these stories and share them with your family.


Question 2. What is the significance of Women's History Month in the United States?

Women's History Month, as we know it in the US, is particularly significant because of the country's history of gender inequality. The United States has a long history of denying women the right to vote, to own property, and to hold certain jobs. Women have fought tirelessly to gain the rights and freedoms they enjoy today. Even now, 24 years into the 21st century, many women have to continue to fight for their rights. Women’s History Month provides us a focused time to study and to celebrate past achievements and to recognize the continued struggles that women face in achieving equality in all areas of their lives.


Question 3. There’s so much to learn across many fields…so why is it important to study women's history?

Studying women's history is essential because it provides a more complete picture of our collective past. Without learning about women’s history we paint an incomplete picture that will tell only half the story. Women have played a critical role in shaping society, and yet their stories and contributions are often overlooked. By studying women's history, we can gain a greater understanding of the struggles that women have faced and the progress that has been made. We can also learn from the accomplishments of women and consider how their stories can influence our own aspirations. Their stories may also inspire us to work towards a more equitable future for others. 


Question 4. Who are a few notable women in history, and why are they important?

Until now, I’ve been talking in generalities. Let’s get specific and put a focus on a few of the many notable women in history. Let me also note their contributions that have been essential to shaping our world.


Here are four women you'll want to know about:


  • Malala Yousafzai - a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.

  • Ada Lovelace - You may have heard of this mathematician and computer programmer. Ada (1815–1852) is widely considered the first person to write a computer program. A programming language, still in wide use, has been named for her.  Do you know that most early “computers” as they were called, were women? This is a notion that is rarely acknowledged today. And by the 1930s, many women studied mathematics. Yet, they primarily went into teaching. But during WW2, women were often hired as “computers” and were responsible for hand-solving equations as well as creating programs for the primitive computer-type machines as the day.  Women in this all-important field of computer science continue to be discriminated again. But wait — you may think — aren’t there many opportunities for women in tech companies that rely on computers? Take a look at this statistic as I think you’ll see that women are not well treated in the field: The number of female coders has decreased from about 35% in 1990 to 26% in 2013. (Data from the American Association of University Women.)


I could go on and on about this topic. But for today, I’ll close this discussion. However, I intend to return to it in a future blog.


  • Harriet Tubman - an American abolitionist who helped free slaves through the Underground Railroad. (NOTE: We have a wonderful original drawing of Harriet that is based on the only known photograph taken when she was a young woman. We have turned it into a handmade ornament. If you are interested, you’ll find a link at the bottom of this blog.)

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg - an American Supreme Court Justice and feminist icon who worked tirelessly to advance women's rights.


These four women, along with hundreds of thousands of others, have made significant contributions to their fields and have inspired countless people to fight for justice and equality.


Question 5: What are some challenges that women have faced throughout history?

Women have faced numerous challenges throughout history, including gender discrimination, unequal pay, limited access to education, and political marginalization. These challenges have made it difficult for women to achieve equality and have often forced them to work twice as hard to prove their worth. This, unfortunately, is true in 2024 as it has been throughout tie.


Question 6: How has women's history impacted society today?

I’m sorry to keep repeating the point, but women’s history has had a significant impact on society today. The struggles and achievements of women have helped pave the way for gender equality and have inspired countless people to fight for justice and equal rights. Women have made significant contributions to fields such as science, politics, literature, education, and art. Their impact is still felt today and it is wonderful to celebrate contributions during Women’s History Month.


Question 7: How can we continue to celebrate Women's History Month in the future?

There are many ways to continue celebrating Women's History Month in the future. Some of these include:

  • Organizing events that highlight the achievements of women and the challenges they have faced.

  • Sharing stories of inspirational women on social media and other platforms.

  • Creating lesson plans and educational materials that focus on women's history.

  • Encouraging young women to pursue their dreams and pursue careers in fields where they are under-represented.

  • Talking with your children and grandchildren about the contributions of women to their world.


 



 

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