Women’s History Month was recognized in 1987 by presidential proclamation and commemorates and encourages the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. Each year the National Women’s History Alliance designates a theme for Women’s History Month. The theme for 2022 is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” This theme is “both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.” This recognition is also a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women. Why celebrate? It is important to recognize how the accomplishments of the women of previous generations have paved the way for those who are currently taking positive steps forward, in doing so we continue to encourage the next generation of women to do amazing things.
The sky is truly the limit when it comes to the many incredible contributions women have made in the world. Think about Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female justice on the Supreme Court or Bela Abzug, a women’s rights leader and the first Jewish woman to be elected to Congress. We can’t forget about Billie Jean King, a leading tennis player, or Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”. I could go on, as there are many women to mention, however, think about the women in your life. The hugs and guidance your grandmother may have provided or the friend that you have watched be a champion for herself. Not every woman has made the front page, but we know that celebrating those for the small contributions they have made is important too.
The little girls we see today have an opportunity to stand on the shoulders of amazing woman who have come before them. Whether it be watching their mom conquer the school drop-off line every morning before she rushes to work or reading about Ruth Bader Ginsburg in “Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls,” it is the exposure that makes the difference. Celebrating Women’s History Month every year is just one more opportunity for us to teach young women and girls about the power that they have. It serves as a reminder that they must take their seat at the table when discussions relating to legislative actions, equal pay and inclusion occur and continue to grow in careers in the fields of space, engineering, IT, construction, etc. that were typically male dominated. Women continue to strive for equity and equality and we all should listen, learn, and live to help to improve the lives of women and their families in our communities.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I believe that every day is women’s day. Our parents, grandparents and our own stories should be told and shared so that our children, grandchildren, nieces, etc. can become conscious thinkers. We must always know the importance of having a voice and using it. I wonder how my granddaughter will someday make her voice heard.
Take a moment to thank and think about the woman in your life during the month of March and we all should take a minute to look in the mirror to say, “My voice is loud, I’m doing an incredible job and we are all on the road to continued change.”
Written by Pam Bailey, Operations Manager for The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties