Think about the women in your life, the ones who’ve made a difference to you personally. Next, shift your attention to include the women in contemporary society who are changing the course of history at this very moment. Finally, widen your focus, and think about the women in past generations who’ve made a notable difference in our world.
March is Women’s History Month, which gives us a chance to look back at the women who have made an impact, who have made history—women like Amelia Earhart, Clara Barton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Lucretia Mott, and Alice Paul. In March of 2016, the National Women’s History Project will celebrate women who’ve shaped the past and future of the United States as leaders through public service and government.
Women’s History Month gives us a chance to look back but also to look forward—to notice women who are working right now, making important changes in our world that will reverberate into tomorrow. The accomplishments of women who made pioneering changes in a multitude of areas make today’s achievements possible. Today’s achievements do the same for the women and the world of tomorrow.
In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 2-8, 1980, as National Women’s History Week. In part, the proclamation stated:
From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.
Women and men are still working together to build this nation. Often, it continues to be the case that the efforts of women go unnoticed or unrecorded. Take some time today to reflect on women you admire from history and in your contemporary life. Think about what their efforts mean for us all. Each of those women is simply one person. Just like them, you have the power to make important changes, to make an impact, too.
Image: top row (L-R): Alice Paul. Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone.
bottom row (L-R): Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Clara Barton, Amelia Earhart.