Women’s History Month: Champions of Peace

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As the month of February shifts out of focus, March brings in a new celebration spotlighting Women’s History. An integral part of this month is to show the traits of perseverance, resilience and bravery women have within them.

As with any special attention, there is speculation and people wondering why the attention is on another group of people and not them. For example, questions might arise such as: Why is there a month dedicated to women and not a month dedicated to men? Bible Faculty Fellow Garrett Adams said, “It goes along with the argument about Black History Month. It makes sense that something that has been neglected in the past is something we want people not to neglect in the future.”

Annually, the National Women’s History Alliance picks a theme for Women’s History Month. For 2019, they have selected a theme titled, “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” According to Susan Scanlan and the National Women’s History Alliance the theme honors “women who have led efforts to end war, violence, injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society,” (womenshistory.org).  A theme that recognizes the peace women bring to the society, which is something not easily obtained in today’s culture.

English teacher Monica Taramani said, “I strongly believe in educating and empowering women, especially young women, through education and nonviolent forms of protest which advocate for equal rights.”

Along with the annual theme for Women’s History Month comes a list of honorees—women who are examples of the current theme. For 2019 the list includes Kathy Kelly, a peace activist who is notably recognized for working in combat zones during the early days of US-Iraq wars to help spread peace. Other peace activists include Zainab Salbi, Graciela Sanchez, Deborah Tucker, Dr. E. Faye Williams and Sister Alice Zachmann.

Senior Patterson Beaman said, “It is important to have a month dedicated to women because celebrating the history of a group of people that would otherwise be unappreciated is important to continue that history today.”

Some notable moments highlighting women throughout history in the United States include: gaining the right to hold property in their own name, women gain the right to vote in Aug. 18, 1920, during World War ll millions of women enter the workforce, Dec. 1, 1955 Rosa Parks is arrested in Montgomery, AL. which helped start the Civil Rights Movement and a multitude of sparks in the political field involving the uprising of women and Sally Ride became the first American women in space in June 18, 1983.

Although the nation as a whole has not fully achieved equality within the realm of women’s rights, it is currently at its most progressed form. Outside of the United States, in other nations, such as Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabian women no longer need the permission of a male to travel, study or drive.

Women’s History Month is a way for people to better understand the history of women and the progression of women’s rights. Society is still progressing, but the future looks bright.

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