March is Women's History Month! We encourage you to read the following article, "Women’s History Month: An intersectional approach" by Kelly Luc.
“March is Women’s History Month in the United States. It’s a month intended to celebrate the often-overlooked contributions women have made to United States history, culture, and society. However, it can also evoke skepticism, criticism, and even controversy.
Kimberly A. Hamlin, historian and scholar, writes, “Women’s History Month unintentionally reinforces the prevailing idea that when women do something, it is called ‘women’s history,’ and when men do something, it is called ‘history.’” History shapes every facet of our everyday life, so why do we continue to omit women – who make up half of the United States population – from the main narrative?
It’s a rhetorical question, as women have been intentionally excluded from the official history of many countries and cultures. When the Founding Fathers wrote the U.S. Constitution in 1887, women’s rights were not a strong consideration. Throughout U.S. history, women have had to fight for the right to vote (1920), to own property (1700s ~ 1970s), for bodily autonomy (1973 ~ today), to access equal education (1700s ~ 1980s), and much more. Although progress has undoubtedly been made, the United States still has a long way to go before achieving true gender equality.
This is especially apparent when we look at the cumulative disadvantages and erasure faced by – for example – women of color, undocumented women, women with disabilities, women with children, queer and transwomen, and women who live at the intersections of multiple identities. For example, the 19th amendment (1920) granted women (i.e., White women) the right to vote, but most Black women would remain disenfranchised for another five decades due to state laws requiring poll taxes and literacy tests.
These compounding disparities remain in play today, which is why an intersectional lens is essential for meaningfully recognizing and honoring all women and their contributions throughout history. Moreover, true progress requires a future-focused and sustained commitment to taking action on gender equity and inclusion – not just a month-long celebration that frames the fight for women’s rights as a fragment of the past.”
Read more here.