“A wise woman predicts the future because she creates it.”
March is a very woman-centric month. The entire month is dedicated to Women’s History, we celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8th and recognized Equal Pay Day on March 14th. Women have made great strides over the last century and continue to break barriers and make their mark on the world.
The actual celebration of Women’s History Month grew out of a weeklong celebration of women’s contributions to culture, history and society organized by the school district of Sonoma, CA in 1978. Presentations were given at dozens of schools, hundreds of students participated in a “Real Woman” essay contest and a parade was held in downtown Santa Rosa.
A few years later, the idea caught on within communities, school districts and organizations across the country. In 1980, President Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week. The U.S. Congress followed suit the next year, passing a resolution establishing a national celebration. Six years later, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand the event to the entire month of March.
This year’s theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories,” recognizing women, past and present, who have been active in media and storytelling in print, radio, TV, stage, screen, social and news.
It’s hard to believe that women were once forbidden to vote, file for divorce, wear pants, keep their maiden name, own property, work fair hours, serve on a jury, go to college, compete in sports, or even shop without an escort. We have come so far, and as a female surgeon, I am so grateful to the women in the past who have paved the path for me and others. We still have a way to go. There continues to be a struggle for equal pay and gender equality in the workforce and women have to work harder to be seen and heard. Across the globe, women still have many constraints.
We must continue to join forces and make our mark in history. In the end, we will all pay it forward.