The last few weeks have been challenging and exhausting as we all face the battle against Covid-19. We thought we would take a break from talking about this pandemic to acknowledge March as Women’s History Month.
In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th, 1980 as National Women’s History Week. He famously wrote:
“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.”
Each year, the National Women’s History Alliance selects a theme for March, and 2020’s theme is “Valiant Women of the Vote” celebrating the women who have fought for women’s right to vote in the United States.
This year also marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment, and it feels fitting to honor women from the original suffrage movement as well as 20th and 21st century women who have continued the struggle (fighting against poll taxes, literacy tests, voter roll purges, and other more contemporary forms of voter suppression) to ensure equal voting rights for all.
It is easy to become disillusioned while we watch politicians fight and argue and as tensions rise during an election year. Let’s pause to honor those who fought so hard and never took for granted the right to vote and remember that our voice matters!