National Women’s History Month, what does it mean to you?
It began in Europe on March 8, 1911 and was celebrated as International Women’s Day. During the 1970’s, people recognized the needs of many women to incorporate the historical impact women have had on shaping this country in grade schools.
Universities began to include classes on women’s history and the broader field of women’s studies. In 1978, The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women began a “Women’s History Week” celebration in California. In 1987, The U.S. expanded women’s history to include the whole month of March.
There has been tremendous advancement for women in this country ever since the 19th amendment was passed in 1920, which outlawed discrimination based on sex.
Today, we see women taking on roles that were traditionally held by men. Figures such as Judge Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic in history to serve on the Supreme Court; Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to take the post of Speaker of the House; and Ruth J. Simmons, the first black woman that currently serves as the 18th president of Brown University, are taking on positions that people never thought were accessible to women.
Florida A&M invited Susan Taylor, editor-in-chief emeritus of Essence magazine to speak at the Student Summit held in Gaither Gym. With Taylor’s various accomplishments and her profound impact on women, it was an honor and a privilege to hear this phenomenal woman share her words of wisdom for all the young impressionable women in the audience.
FAMU has had its own share of remarkable alumnae. Women such as Senator Arthenia Joyner, House Representative Carrie Meeks, Disney’s Anika Noni Rose and T’Keyah “Crystal” Keymah are all products of FAMU that have made significant advancements for not only black women, but for all women.
While women have made major progress, there are still barriers that prevent us from being equal to men, such as equal pay in the workforce. There is also the “glass ceiling” concept, the idea that women can only go so far in a corporation. There are many women that have broken the glass ceiling and brought their sisters and others right along with them.
As I walk among my peers every day, I see potential in all women to become great in their future endeavors. We as students have access to such rich history and remarkable women figures, it is mind numbing. The opportunities for women are better than they have ever been in these exciting and historic times. Dreams are coming true. Hopefully, we all can capitalize on the opportunities that lie before us.