With the month of March blowing into West Texas it is important to note that this is women’s history month. Unless you are completely unconnected I’m sure you have picked up on this. It’s been difficult to miss with the Day Without a Woman movement and posts on social media celebrating women’s accomplishments.
If you haven’t yet absorbed this tidbit of information, then let me be the first to tell you: March is women’s history month. And if you can look past the politicized rhetoric that turns legitimate movements and interests into culturally polarizing “causes,” it’s easy to see how important women have been throughout history. It’s also easy to see that there are still inconsistencies in how women are treated.
- Women in the united states outnumber men (July 2015).
- Women make up more than 47 percent of the civilian labor force.
- Women earn roughly 79% what men earn. (That’s .79-.80 for every $1 earned by a man … on average.)
- Women in the work force are more educated. (40.7 percent have a college degree compared to 36.4 percent of men.)
- Nearly 57% of women participate in the workforce as compared to 46% of men.
Assistant Professor of Sociology Dr. Deidre Redmond, who is also chair of the Diversity Awareness and Education Committee at Wayland has done a good job of promoting issues such as women’s history. Dr. Redmond and her committee have put together a number of activities to help educate others about the role women have played and continue to play in society. These include:
- On March 31, students from the School of Business will host a roundtable discussion with women business leaders in Plainview.
- Students are encouraged to play the Women’s History Month Scavenger Hunt throughout the month of March. Students must find the correct answers to questions about women’s history. Prizes will be awarded to top finishers.
- A short documentary on suffragist (someone who advocated for the right to vote) Inez Milholland was featured on a continual loop for two days in a classroom.
It's important to recognize how important women are in society and culture. It's important to understand that God created male and female in his image. And it's important to fight injustice when confronted with it. That fight begins with education; understanding the situation and the history that has led us to the where we are today. And while things are much better now than they were in the past, it is still important to continue working and educating ourselves. To borrow a phrase from the G.I. Joe cartoons of my childhood: Knowing is half the battle.
Redmond and her committee are also planning other ways to keep us educated and to promote racial and gender equality on campus, not the least of which will be a special campaign that highlights the importance education plays in many of these situations. That campaign is still in the early discussion and planning stages.
If, however, your personal understanding of women’s history is lacking, Dr. Redmond has compiled a list of website where you can find out more information. If you have the time, take a look. You might find the experience illuminating.
- Why Women’s History Month?: http://www.nwhp.org/womens-history-month/womens-history-month-history/
- International Women’s Day: http://womenwatch.unwomen.org/international-womens-day-history
- Latina History: http://www.latina.com/lifestyle/inspiring-latina/latina-women-who-have-changed-world
- Library of Congress: http://womenshistorymonth.gov/; http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/themes/womens-history/
- NBC’s Feature on Asian American Women’s History: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/asian-american-pacific-islander-women-profiles-n315901
- Quizzes to test your knowledge: http://www.nwhp.org/resources/quizzes/#whm; https://worldhistoryproject.org/quizzes/womens_history; http://www.nwhp.org/resources/commemorations/black-womens-history-challenge/
- African American Women’s Firsts: http://www.biography.com/people/groups/african-american-firsts-women
- Census briefing with data about the majority minority: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2017/cb17-ff03.html
- Women of NASA: https://www.nasa.gov/education/womenstem
- Native American Women’s History: http://www.indians.org/articles/native-american-women.html
- White House Feature on Women in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM): https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/women-in-STEM
About the author: Jonathan Petty holds degrees in communications and management. He currently serves as the director of communications for Wayland Baptist University.