To celebrate women’s history month, Ramapo Women’s Center and LGBTQ+ Services is hosting a variety of events centered around this year’s theme: “Valiant Women of the Vote.”
The month began with opening proclamations on March 2, but was preceded by the performance of The Vagina Monologues. Events like movie screenings, discussions and co-hosted celebrations will be taking place throughout the month, all with focuses on different groups of women.
Women’s History Month has a history of its own, beginning in 1978 as “Women’s History Week.” It wasn’t given a full month until almost a decade later in 1987.
Many have taken to calling the month, “HERstory month,” choosing to highlight not only the history of women and their struggle for rights, but the stories of women today and giving voice to them.
The fight for a voice has been a long battle, one that is still not over. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the pay gap between women and men has closed less than 20 percent since the 70s.
This year's theme highlights the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, something that often seems to be such a distant moment. However, for many women, the 19th Amendment didn’t mark the end of an uphill battle. Black women in America continued to fight poll taxes and literacy tests into 1965, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
Part of women’s HERstory month includes giving voice to the communities of women who often go unheard. Women of color, queer women, muslim women and more all still struggle to be heard in today’s mainstream narrative about women’s rights.
A variety of events will be held throughout the month including "Can a Woman be President?" which will discuss women's presidential political history, an apt conversation as Elizabeth Warren continues to fight for the 2020 nomination. Others like "Women's Appreciation," co-hosted by Lambda Theta Phi Latin Sorority Inc., will be highlighting women within the Ramapo community who make a difference.
All are encouraged to attend these events and participate in this month, because while March is dedicated to women's history, the struggles of women across the world will continue on well after March 31. It is during this month that conversations must be started so that all can be reminded of those who fought for women today, and may fight for the women of the future.