By Zachary Boetto
CI participated in celebrating March as Women’s History Month with the Women’s Recognition Brunch, the Women Veterans Conference, the Celebration of Women’s Empowerment, the 16th annual Women’s Recognition Luncheon Award, the Women’s Empowerment Panel and the “Empowering Women in History” display in the Student Union.
Women’s History Month originated as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Public Law 97-28, which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning on March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week,” according to womenshistorymonth.gov.
During the following five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week,” and in 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Public Law 100-9, which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month,” according to womenshistorymonth.gov.
Nwhp.org states that these achievements were the result of the original victory of the women’s suffrage movement and the ratification of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution in 1920, which declares: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
According to dictionary.com, the definition of women’s movement is “A movement to secure legal, economic, and social equality for women, also called the feminist movement.”
According to Martha Rampton, a professor of history and director of the Center for Gender Equity at Pacific University, “Feminism is now moving from the academy and back into the realm of public discourse.”
The women’s rights and feminist movements are still popular today and men and women come together to contribute to these current activist movements every day, especially in March.
“Issues that were central to the earliest phases of the women’s movement are receiving national and international attention by mainstream press and politicians: problems like sexual abuse, rape, violence against women, unequal pay, slut-shaming, the pressure on women to conform to a single and unrealistic body-type and the realization that gains in female representation in politics and business, for example, are very slight,” Rampton said. “It is no longer considered ‘extreme,’ nor is it considered the purview of rarified intellectuals to talk about societal abuse of women, rape in college campus, Title IX, homo and transphobia, unfair pay and work conditions, and the fact that the U.S. has one of the worst records for legally-mandated parental leave and maternity benefits in the world.”
CI actively celebrates Women’s History Month, encourages students to participate in activities around campus and provides students with information on current sexual discriminatory documents like Title IX on the CI website.