President Barack Obama once again proclaimed this March to be Women’s History Month over the weekend, and he called on Americans to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. This month is vital because it provides a moment to stop and appreciate the many women throughout history whose impacts we take for granted.
Similar to Black History Month, Women’s History Month commemorates a marginalized group of people. With this in mind, this month not only celebrates the female gender, but also the progression of our society as equals.
This year is shaping up to be a big year for women in positions of power. Females are taking places as leaders of General Motors and Honda. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges also took office in January.
While progression is happening at a rapid pace, women are still experiencing new firsts: Minneapolis’ first female police chief, the first chairwoman of the Federal Reserve and the first female Formula One driver in 22 years.
Women are also making a big move in politics. Texas lawmaker Wendy Davis came onto the national scene last year with her abortion bill filibuster and is running for governor this year. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., and Mary Burke of Wisconsin join Davis in running in the 2014 gubernatorial races. There is a woman in the White House — first African-American first lady Michelle Obama — but rumors point to a handful of potential female 2016 presidential candidates, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
On our own campus, student groups like Women’s Student Activist Collective and Black Motivated Women are holding events throughout the month to not only commemorate past achievements, but also to build up young women striving for greatness in a society that is still pushing for equality.
Don’t let this month be clichÃ©. Take the time to recognize our success and continual progression as a country, and don’t be shy to reach out to our local student groups that strive to educate as well as celebrate this important observation.