By Amber Antinora
March is International Women’s History Month with March 8 being International Women’s Day. It was declared by President Jimmy Carter in 1980. Before then there was virtually no women’s history teachings in textbooks- only 3% of content was about it.
Carter quoted, “women’s history is women’s right.”
National Women’s History Project (NWHP) says their work is so important because women’s history is a huge part of history. In the past, women have fought for equal rights and are still fighting. In America, women have fought for many freedoms (white) males have always had such as voting, working in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and for equal pay for equal work.
As of 2014, women still make 79¢ for every dollar a man makes. Historically, the wage gap has been 15¢ for every $1 a man makes in the 1890s and 47¢ for every $1 in the 1970s.
Some pioneers of gender equality are Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojouner Truth, Alice Paul, Harriet Tubman and Lucretia Mott. These women worked hard for equal rights between the sexes and their struggle should not be forgotten.
After a survey was conducted on 10 SHS boys and 10 SHS girls, only two boys and two girls were able to identify Susan B. Anthony. None recognized Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In a national poll, one percent of people asked could connect Stanton to women’s rights.
Co-Founder of the NWHP Molly Murphy MacGregor says, “To ignore the vital role that women’s dreams and accomplishments play in our own lives would be a great mistake.”
The NHWP says that teachers lack the materials and time in curriculum to go in depth on women’s history. Illinois, Florida and Louisiana are the only states to have made women’s history teaching mandatory. It is important for students to learn about great women.
Myra Pollack Sadker says, “Each time a girl opens a book and reads a womanless history, she learns she is worth less.” NWHP wants March to focus on positive and diverse role models.
This March, encourage others to learn about the rich history of women.