By Ganna Mahmoud
Due to the progress in the feminist movement, our lives have been significantly improved as women, and compared to 100 years ago, we have much more freedom in regards to how we act, what we wear, and who we can become. However, we still have a long way to go, as misogyny and gender inequality still exist in both the United States and the entire world.
The month of March was chosen to honor women, and this goes back to the suffrage movement when women were fighting for their right to vote. We also have International Women’s Day on March 8. At first, the observation of women’s history month was only for one day when the socialist party in America, in 1909, declared it as National Women’s day but the idea expanded and spread throughout the universe and that’s what we call now, “International Women’s Day.”
Since 1995, every president declared March as Women’s History Month to highlight its importance and honor.
Now let’s share some facts about Women’s History! Wyoming Territory was the first to give women the right to vote in 1869 and was elected the first female governor in 1964, but also it wasn’t until 1965 for ALL women to vote legally.
Until 1974, women were not allowed to get their own credits. They could not have their own name on the card and they had to bring a man in order to cosign. In Congress, there are 145 women out of 535 total members, though women in the US make up around 50% of the population.
According to the National Women’s Law Center, women of color get paid less than white women. For the record, women earn 82 cents for every dollar a man makes. It was not until 2013 that the US government allowed women to serve in combat positions, and 14% of women participate in active duties and not to mention the military has the highest rate of sexual assault out of all male-dominated industries.
In 1961, the first woman to ever pass the astronaut test was Geraldyn Jerrie, but she was not allowed to travel to space because of her gender.
“Women who want to be part of research and participation in space exploration are not trying to join the battle of sexes,” Jerrie told The New York Times. “We see only a place in our nation’s space future without discrimination.”
We still need to work more on women’s rights and liberation movements. Violence against women is still shockingly high in the US. Social gender double standards still exist.
And let’s not forget the struggles of women in male-dominated industries. According to Cornell University, women in male-dominated industries face lack of both emotional and financial support, voice, and respect. This leads to women being underrepresented, and not getting paid enough which will eventually lead women to leave those fields.
I once read in a feminist book called “The Longest War,” in which the author wrote that “It is my job, your job, and our job to change that,” in regards to these discrepancies.
It is our job as a society to support women and honor them. It is our job to change our perspective on gender stereotypes.