Before women had the whole month of March, they had March 8: International Women’s Day. The day began in 1911 and aimed to celebrate the economic, political and social accomplishments of women, according to History.com.
Several years later, the idea spread throughout the country, eventually reaching President Jimmy Carter in 1980, when he declared the week of March 8 National Women’s History Week.
As time progressed, so did the movement. The National Women’s History Project petitioned Congress to expand the week into the whole month of March in 1986.
In the last year, women have had no shortage of time in the spotlight — under both good and bad circumstances. In 2016, we had the chance to vote for a female president. In 2017, the #METOO movement picked up pace and bloomed throughout society. This year, it is projected more women than ever will run for Congress, NPR reports. All facets of society are seeing the power of females.
Throughout the ups and downs, each and every occurrence has served as a learning opportunity for women and all members of the public when it comes to fighting for women’s rights and protection.
Social media is a tool that has been utilized by many groups and many movements. As stories and messages of empowerment rolled through social media. Twitter quickly became a tool for story sharing and organizing movements to garner further national attention.
As a society, we learned how to speak up and speak out as one entity on behalf of women everywhere.
Students on the University of Idaho campus have plenty of resources available for guidance and counseling. The Women’s Center located in Memorial Gym Suite 109 is a great place to start, but not the only place to open conversation.
The UI community, especially students, can utilize the resources around them to educate communicate and participate in a space that encourages discussion and learning.
With everything that has occurred within the last year, it is important to use this month for reflection. How can we include everyone in conversations that surround female rights? How can we lift female voices? How can we promote inclusion in all areas of life?
It is now more important than ever to speak up for women’s rights and all that women have been fighting for in society. Let’s set the tone for generations to come and help create a more gender equal environment. Gender equality has been and remains a constant issue, and it is critical we do something about it. Speak up. Speak out. Don’t be afraid to be heard.