By Juan Villanueva | Big Stick Editor |
Every year, women, men and children gather around the world to celebrate Women’s History during March. The celebration dates back to 1911, during the time when women first began fighting for their rights.
A landmark year was 1920, the year that women finally gained the right to vote with the passing of the 19th Amendment, which declared that no individual should be denied the right to vote based on account of sex.
Through the later Great Depression; however, women continued to struggle, and to many, gaining the right to vote meant very little. Besides this, many families often found themselves in economic struggles such as poverty, unemployment and lack of nutrition. Progress for women grew very little during this time.
Then erupted World War II in Europe in 1939. The United States joined in 1941 with the attacks on Pearl Harbor and quickly, men left to fight for their country.
Women on the other hand, took advantage of men leaving overseas and spent time working in factories as well as nurses overseas. Being encouraged to do more than what they had experienced during the war, after men returned from the war, a new era for women began.
“Women protested to vote for a long time and that was the main thing. But really, the bigger change came out of World War II,” social studies teacher Michael Mullen said. “After that, they found that they liked money and having jobs outside of home.”
Women spent a big part of their time fighting for their reproductive rights as well as gender and racial equality during much of the 1960s and 70s.
Since then, women have continued to have their voice heard to gain more rights. Most recently was the world-wide Woman’s March held on Jan. 21-22. The marches, in hundreds of cities in the U.S. and abroad, featured estimates of nearly 3 million people, and were primarily aimed at the policies of the Trump administration affecting women and minorities.
Women hope to continue making history today by celebrating International Women’s Day by taking part of A Day Without a Woman, where all women around the world are encouraged to take the day off from paid and unpaid labor, avoid shopping for today (unless necessary), and wear red for solidarity.
Highsmith, C. M., photographer. (2012) Close-up of Rosie the Riveter mural on an abandoned building in Sacramento, California. California Sacramento United States, 2012. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2013633915/.