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Important Women in History

  • March 21, 2023

CM220067 Women’s History Month Graphic

It is Women's History Month! So what is it? Moreover, why dedicate a whole month to women's history? Women's History Month has been observed in the United States annually in March since 1987. The main objective is to highlight women's constantly overlooked contributions to the United States' history, culture, and society. It started as a weeklong celebration in the school district of Sonoma, California, in 1978 and then became a national week of March 8 celebration. Six years later, it was extended to a dedicated month of March due to a petition by the National Women's History Project. So, in honor of Women's History Month, this article will cover a few women and their impacts on the history of the United States. 

On May 15, 1860, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National Woman Suffrage Association, which coordinated the national suffrage movement. Later, in 1890 the movement cooperated with the American Woman Suffrage Associate to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

African American seamstress and civil rights activist Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Ala, going against the law of segregation at that time, and was arrested; in December 1955. This move helped launch the civil rights movement; the United States Congress later honored her as "the first lady of civil rights."

On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space, flying on the Space Shuttle Challenger. She was part of the first group of astronaut trainees, which included women; before that, women were not accepted for astronaut training. Ride was an astronaut sent on a space shuttle mission, and her job was to work the robotic arm, using the arm to assist in putting satellites into space. 

Sonia Sotomayor, Hispanic American, was the first woman of color to serve on the Supreme Court, formerly a U.S. District Court Judge. She was born in the Bronx, New York, to Puerto Rinca-born parents; unfortunately, her father passed away at nine. Nominated by President Barack Obama on May 26, 2009, Sotomayor has served since August 8, 2009, by a vote of 68-39. 

Patsy Mink was a Japanese American who became the first woman of color elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1964. Mink was a critical author of Title IX. This law advanced gender equity within federal funding policies for education, which was later renamed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act to honor her role.

Matilda Black Bear became the first Native American woman to advocate for battered Indian women nationally in 1978. She was known as "Tillie" and widely recognized as the Grandmother of the Battered Women's Movement for her leading for almost four decades before her passing in 2014. 
Countless women have made and continue to make a difference in the advancement of the world. The above are just a few women who aided in advancing the United States and are vital parts of its history. Lastly, Women's History Month's objective is to raise awareness of the diversity of women's lived experiences and bring light to the work that still needs to be done in society.

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