By Kaleigh Grace
March 1 began the start of Women’s History Month, a time in the United States in which we commemorate the vital role women have played in shaping our nation’s history. What began in 1978, in Sonoma, California, as a week-long recognition of women’s contribution to culture, history, and society has now morphed into the month-long celebration as we know it. Further, since the year 1995, our President has issued a series of proclamations delegating this time to reflect on the milestones that have been reached by women.
Today we look to both past and present, reflecting on women such as Sojourner Truth, who challenged the notions of racial and gender inequality, to Margret Sanger a lifelong advocate for reproductive rights, and ultimately leaders like Kamala Harris, who, as of Jan. 2021, is our nation’s first-ever female vice president.
The path to today’s success has been extremely difficult, and there have been many obstacles. For as recently as 50 years ago, a single woman couldn’t obtain a credit card or was not even allowed entrance into Ivy League institutions like Harvard or Brown; despite those many challenges that have been overcome, women still have a long journey ahead. The gender pay gap has not been closed, issues like domestic violence and sexual assault disproportionately affect females and women are severely underrepresented in the internal workings of our government.
The presence of the issues we still face further reinforces the importance of Women’s History Month. In our past and present failures as a nation, we can still recognize how far we have come without losing sight of what still needs to be accomplished. Women’s History Month in 2021 is still relevant and will continue to be, as women and girls deserve to be celebrated and commended for their bravery and accomplishments.