Women’s History Month is a reminder of the progress that needs to be made

Isabelle Kitay, Staff Writer

Since 1987, we have spent March celebrating the wonderful women who have initiated change and impact to the world as we know it.  From well-known figures such as Abigail Adams and Rosa Parks to less popular innovators, there are many achievements to celebrate this month.

Each year, a new theme for the month is chosen by the National Women’s History Alliance.  The 2021 theme is a continuation of 2020’s: “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.”  This topic recognizes and honors women’s suffrage, which was a battle fought by women for decades to earn their right to vote.  Although the 19th Amendment granted women voting rights a century ago, we must continue to honor those who made this possible.

“I am so proud to grow up in a lifetime where I never have to worry about getting the chance to vote, and my predecessors deserve a lot of credit for being able to eliminate this restriction,” said junior Sadie Mandel. 

These influential women, especially Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, argued that women should have just as much power in the United States government as men should.  They ultimately altered social norms and persevered through their differences to work toward this final goal.  

Not only is this entire month recognized by Congress as Women’s History Month, but March 8 is known as International Women’s Day.   International Women’s Day also has a theme, and this year’s was: “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World.”  

“I love that this year’s theme is modernized, and despite the pandemic, we are still able to honor the influential female figures of the world,” said junior Leah Schachter. 

Sadly, last September, we suffered the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a legendary Supreme Court Justice.  She made many positive impacts during her time in the Supreme Court, such as being the co-founder of the Women’s Rights Law Reporter, the first law journal in the U.S. to focus exclusively on women’s rights.  This year especially, we must honor her and all she did for the women of our country.

While we can reflect on the inspirational women of the United States’ past and celebrate our rights, we must also realize that gender discrimination still exists.  This is one of the main goals of Women’s History Month, to recognize the achievements, but also acknowledge the progress that must be made for a truly equitable society.

The United States, which has only just now elected its first female Vice President, still must overcome centuries of gender based discrimination.  There is still a significant pay gap between men and women, and many women have faced extreme hardship during the pandemic.  During Women’s History Month, we must recognize that, but also celebrate recent steps to ameliorate those problems.  Direct aid to families and working mothers is one such accomplishment.  

Additionally, global women’s rights are of the utmost importance.  Across the globe, many countries have discriminatory  laws that prevent women from getting an education, voting, wearing what they want in public, or owning property.  In Saudi Arabia, one of the trading partners of the United States, women cannot leave the country without the permission of their husband or father.  The economic importance of the United States gives it leverage over its trading partners.  With its first female Vice President, the United States should use its economic power to work for women’s rights in foreign countries like Saudi Arabia. 

All in all, Women’s History Month is a time for reflection on the progress that has been and has yet to be made in support of women’s rights. The United States must continue to work at home and abroad in support of these rights and goals.