The “Real Beauty and Women’s Herstory Month Opening Luncheon” was held last Thursday to kick of a month of celebrating the contributions of women in society. During the event, put together by Health and Wellness Coordinator Sam O’Grady, the “Real Beauty” exhibition displayed photos which aimed to promote self-acceptance, self-love and challenge beauty standards.
“I thought it was a great start for Herstory month," said freshman Stephan Lally. "I was impressed by the photo project that displayed the various wonderful women we have at Ramapo. The event really set the tone for a month with dyanamic programming that will encourage people to learn more about feminism and women’s rights.”
During the lunch, the theme of the month was revealed, an overview of the events for the month was given and attendees were encouraged to come to all the events.
"The lunch was a very enjoyable time," said Elizabeth Guzman, a freshman. "It was nice to know that people appreciate women and will come out to events like this for women. I was also able to meet new people and talk about issues on the campus which made me realize that there are others that think like me as well."
Women’s History Month, more fondly called Women’s Herstory Month, is an annual celebration of the contributions, work and dedication women have contributed through history. It is celebrated during March in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia in correspondence with International Women’s Day, March 8. On International Women’s Day, women and allies acted together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people through the “A Day Without Women” strike.
Women’s Herstory Month traces its beginning to the first celebrated International Women’s Day, which occurred in 1911. In 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women's History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9, which designated the month of March 1987 as Women’s History Month. Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the president to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1988, U.S. presidents have issued annual proclamations designating the month of March as Women’s History Month.
At Ramapo College, Women’s Herstory Month is planned and organized by the Student Women’s Outreach Coordinator in collaboration with other organizations, clubs and offices to bring the month to life by deciding on a theme, speaker and events.
Celebrations can be traced back to the beginnings of the Women’s Center with posters displaying the year and what events were had. The theme for this year is centered on the intersectionality of women's lived experiences. The events, programs, presentations and speakers focus on how the experiences of women differ based on an intersection of their identities and in turn what can be done to facilitate unity among them despite the differences.
The Women’s Herstory Month Closing Banquet, co-sponsored by the Office of Specialized Services, will be occurring Wednesday, March 29 at 4:30 p.m. in the Alumni Lounges. Keynote speaker Tricia Downing will close the banquet by discussing her life as a woman, athlete and Paralympian.