Women’s Awareness Month is celebrated every year in March across the world in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. This month includes International Women’s Day on March 8th and several other events held by various organizations. This holiday can be traced back to 1911, when it was established to recognize the influence of women in various career fields. The main focus was on leadership and women who had been influential in society.
Various middle and elementary schools around the county have planned awareness month activities for students. Particularly, schools with primary/middle years program, such as Julius West Middle School, highlighted the contributions of women through trivia games, morning announcements, and contests.
Trevor Campbell, a senior at Seneca Valley High School, agrees with the mission of the holiday. “A lot of men are remembered for their contributions, women should be remembered as well because they have also made just as many contributions.”
As time progressed, more leaders grew to recognize the pivotal contributions of women to societies. Couple with a three decade long feminist campaign, the US Congress officially declared March as Women’s Awareness Month in 1987.
Nowadays, the month of March is a prime time to educate the public about women’s roles in our past and present. Nonetheless, debate still occurs as to whether it implies a perception of equality or stands as another sign that women are “victims of the past.” Prabhleen Aneja, a senior at Paint Branch High School, says that “one side of [her] says we need woman’s awareness month. On the other side, there should be a day where woman’s awareness month isn’t needed. We, as women, don’t want to always be treated as special. We don’t want more, but just as much as men.”
Nonetheless, Eryn Gerber, a junior at Seneca Valley High School, believes that this month is a chance to show that “[women] can actually do something of importance, which can motivate more young women to strive to achieve whatever their hearts desire.”
While certain names, such as Florence Nightingale, Jane Austen, and Marie Curie are familiar to almost every home, millions of unsung women have paved groundwork for the advent of our modern state and continual progress. The road for women to reach fulfill their dreams has oftentimes been flooded with obstacles. As accounted in Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique is 1963, many cultures deem homes as the only suitable workplace for women. A worriless, serene life as the husband’s caregiver and the children’s caretaker epitomized the perception of ‘the other sex’ for many centuries. To struggle against stereotypes, as paralleled in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening (1911), often implicated disastrous outcomes. Nonetheless, in the modern era, women have found grounds in careers previously deemed as “sacrilegious,” such as science, politics, and business. The signs of yet another empowered generation of females are witnessed in MCPS.
“Every year we hold an invitational conference for seventh grade girls interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics),” says a science teacher at Blair High School, “and it’s thrilling to me to see so many bright young girls coming here. When I was in high school, I was about the only girl in my physics class. Now, I’d say with confidence, that the ratio of boys to girls is 1 to 1.”
Article by Aman Kaur, junior at Seneca Valley High School