Women’s history month has been around for over 100 years. The notion first started in 1911 as we saw the rise of the incredible Suffragettes who fought for women’s right to vote. Despite living in a patriarchal society, something needed to change, and our voices needed to be heard. Of course, it didn’t all come at once, because now, over 100 years on, we are still fighting for equal pay and treatment to women internationally.
Women’s History month gave the world a platform to elevate women. And rightly so, which is why we put a lot of focus on this month to make sure we remind ourselves of women’s accomplishments throughout the years to our culture and society. Women have paved the way in business, politics, science and we are finally given the chance to revel in our achievements.
Of course, Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day are not just aimed at “women”. Everybody is welcomed and encouraged to celebrate the amazing things women in history have done for not only us, but our future dependents too. I love the prospect of International Women’s Day and having an entire month of the calendar year dedicated to the prosperous rise of women makes me beam with joy! However, often in my conversations around the topic I hear “but it doesn’t mean anything to me”. I do find this level of ignorance quite disturbing because how could it not mean anything to you? No matter who you are, somewhere along the way, you will have reaped the benefits of a woman speaking up.
There are women around the globe right now who are relying on us to use our voice on our platform. Still to this day there are girls, internationally, who are still made to marry in their early teens, and countries such as Malta where “a man can reportedly be exempt from punishment for kidnapping a woman if he marries her”. Or the women who never got given the opportunity to have an education. Yes, we are celebrating how far we have come, but also reflecting and raising awareness on still how far we have to go.
Women’s History month allows us to celebrate Women such as Rosa Parks, Emmeline Pankhurst, Amelia Earhart and Princess Diana who have worked hard throughout history for change and equality. As well as this, we have witnessed incredible and inspiring women such as Maya Angelou, Emma Watson, Malala Yousafzai and Kamala Harris who have stood up and fought against racism, equality and demanded a change, no matter the consequences they might face. These are the women we should be teaching our daughters about. These are the women who have shown bravery, resilience, and a desire beyond belief to change social problems, and these are the women who we celebrate during Women’s Month.
International Women’s Day this year is celebrated on the 8th March. The colours representing the occasion are purple, green and white. Purple is a symbol for justice and dignity, green for hope and white signifies purity, despite being a controversial concept within itself.
By Hollie Warwick