Women’s History Month, as its name suggests, is the time of year dedicated to commemorating the contributions of women across America, and the world. It is also a time, however, to reflect back on the darker moments, to the struggles and sacrifices that were necessary to advance the causes of equality.
The evolution of society has been so rapid over the course of the past century and a half that those of us reading this in 2021 may feel rather detached from the events and inequalities that this month is meant, in part, to remind us of. In a time when millions of women enroll in college and join workforce each year, it’s not very surprising that the time of suffragettes protesting for the right to vote seems so removed from the present. Women fought for, and ultimately won that right in August of 1920- almost (exactly) 100 years prior to the election of America’s first female Vice-President.
In those years, our world has changed tremendously; we’ve flown past the frontier of space; we’ve advanced the study of medicine to a point unrecognizable to someone from 1920, and the world is more interconnected than ever with the advent of the digital age. So many of those societal and technological achievements that make the world of today look so different were only made possible through the struggles and achievements of women throughout the world.
Indeed, this month isn’t only to celebrate those who advanced the equality of women, but what those advances have resulted in. From Marie Curie’s contributions to nuclear medicine to Sally Ride’s flight to space as America’s first female astronaut, our modern existence owes itself to the achievements of countless women. In spite of these numerous feats of accomplishment, we must persevere to continue these trends. Continuing to enable women to succeed, be it in school, the military, or the general workforce, is essential for our society. The struggles and achievements of past trailblazers should stand as inspiration to the young women of the future, inspiring them overcome barriers to success, and make their mark on the world.