Celebrating Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month, where we celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of women throughout our history.
After declaring the week of March 8, 1980 as National Women’s History week, United States President Jimmy Carter said this: “too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength, and love of the women who built America were as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”
The National Women’s History Project worked to get Congress to recognize March as “Women’s History Month,” petitioning until it was passed in 1987. Ever since then, at the beginning of every March, presidents will give proclamations acknowledging and celebrating Women’s History Month.
Women have been leaders and catalysts for change in the United States for hundreds of years. Even in the face of gender inequality and intersectional obstacles (like racism and homophobia), women have lifted their voices to demand change. From Rosa Parks to Ruth Bader Ginsberg to those outside of the U.S., let us celebrate the women who helped shape the world we live in today.
In 1955, Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, becoming one of the first people to initiate the civil rights movement. After bus boycotts from many black activists, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled bus segregation unconstitutional. Today, she is seen as a symbol of dignity and strength in the face of racial injustice.
“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” – Rosa Parks
Susan B. Anthony was a leader in the women’s suffrage movement, where she fought for women’s right to vote in the United States. She was the president of the National Woman Suffrage Association and has been recognized for her efforts as a women’s rights activist in the 1800’s and even into the early 1900’s.
“Wherever women gather together, failure is impossible.” – Susan B. Anthony
Polish-French chemist and physicist, Marie Sklodowska Curie, was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize with her trail-blazing research on radioactivity (and the first person to win twice–in 1903 and 1911). She went on to open the Curie Institute, in both Warsaw and Paris, both of which are, to this day, major medical centers.
“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” – Marie Curie
In 1963, Valentina Tereshcova became the first woman in space. Three years later, she was elected to the World Peace Council. Tereshkova is still active in the space community and has mentioned wanting to travel to Mars.
“One cannot deny the great role women have played in the world community. My flight was yet another impetus to continue this female contribution.” – Valentina Tereshkova
In 1996, Madeleine Albright was nominated and unanimously elected secretary of state, making her the first woman to hold the office. Albright fought for human rights and the upholding of democracy, and in 2012, was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“It took me a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.” – Madeleine Albright
Ruth Bader Ginsburg served as an associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her passing in 2020. She was the second female justice to be appointed, and the first Jewish female elected. RBG’s work was aimed toward women’s rights and gender equality. She is remembered for her tenacity, grace, and activism.
“As women achieve power, the barriers will fall. As society sees what women can do, as women see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we’ll all be better off for it.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Take some time this month to teach your little ones about these trail-blazing women, as well as the strong and powerful women in their own lives. If you are homeschooling or doing online preschool, add a lesson on inspirational women to celebrate this month. Teach your little one about some influential women and talk about how their work shows up in our world today.
As we navigate this ever-changing world, encourage your little one to be an ally, to stand up for what they believe is right, and to stand with those who need support.
Happy Women’s History Month!
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Hi, I'm Miss Julia!
Miss Julia has been an early childhood educator for 5 years, with over 10 years of experience working in childcare. She has been teaching at Playgarden Prep since 2017, and is happy to share ideas on some of her favorite early education topics with you! Miss Julia has a BA from UC Irvine, and uses her experience in performing arts to inspire little ones every day in her enrichment classes at Playgarden. In her free time, Miss Julia loves enjoying nature, cooking, and creating with friends.