Women's History Month began in 1978 as a singular day, later becoming a full week and finally an entire month of celebration in the United States. Each year focuses on one theme, such as "Writing Women Back into History," "Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business," and this year's theme: "Providing Healing, Promoting Hope." The theme for Women's History Month in 2022 focuses on the health and work of caregivers and frontline workers after two years of the ongoing pandemic.
We celebrate Women's History Month as a time to honor the accomplishments of women throughout history and the present day. The month is also devoted to progress in the movement for gender equality and finding action points to work against the issues women deal with today. There's also Women's Health Month, which takes place in May and shines a line on how gender minorities, including women, face a variety of disparities in healthcare.
To celebrate Women's History Month with an intersectional lens, take a look at some of the contributions of women who were members of minority groups. Another holiday that look at with a lens of intersectionality is the International Day For the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which commemorates the African Americans who were killed and injured during open fire from police at a peaceful demonstration in 1960. We'll also look at how women's contributions shaped our modern world and what we can do to move forward with Women's History Month in the future.
Jillian Mercado has been a significant figure in recent women's history as a model with a physical disability. Born in 1987 in New York, Mercado uses a wheelchair due to a diagnosis of spastic muscular dystrophy. She always had plans to change the fashion industry but her career has taken off since she began modeling in 2014.
Mercado is changing the norm when it comes to fashion standards, disability representation, and more. She chose to study marketing in university as she believed it would give her access to the politics behind fashion, so she could become a leader in the industry. With her recent impact on the fashion industry, she will likely be a celebrated name in Women's History Month for years to come.
Of the many issues facing women today, mental health is one. Around 20% of adult women in America live with a mental health condition. In addition, women may face specific mental health challenges in positions such as caregivers, as this year's Women’s History Month theme is dedicated to. Fortunately, women often feel empowered to seek treatment for their mental health conditions, including accessing therapy options. And, studies show that online therapy can be an effective treatment for conditions that women tend to face more often, such as postnatal depression. For Women's History Month this year, try having a conversation with women in your life about mental health and breaking taboo.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We celebrate this month to look at past accomplishments of women throughout history and see areas of possible growth in the future. Women still experience workplace prejudice and discrimination, pay gaps, medical discrimination, and more. In addition, women of color and women with disabilities face higher rates of discrimination. Celebrating Women's History Month gives us a chance to honor the strides we've made towards gender equality while acknowledging how we can improve our world.
When Could A Woman Get A Credit Card?
How Long Was The Fight For Women's Suffrage?
Why Is It Important To Understand Intersectionality When Celebrating?
It is only possible to truly celebrate and understand this holiday through an intersectional lens. So many of the influential figures in women's history have been women of color, women with disabilities, women in the LGBTQ+ community, and other minority women. Much of what we are taught about women's history focuses only on the contributions of women in majority groups, leaving out other important figures. By honoring their accomplishments and legacies, we can celebrate women's history more accurately and thoughtfully. The progress we have made towards gender equality results from women from all different backgrounds working together for a common goal. Maintaining our focus on an intersectional view of women's accomplishments and places for potential progress can give us the power to make the changes we need.