Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate and reflect on the many achievements of women over the course of American history.
According to Molly Rozum, an associate history professor at USD, the United States first declared the observance of Women’s History Month in 1987 after Congress passed a measure to inaugurate the national celebration. Since then, various events and commemorations have taken place in March to honor the importance of women and their work.
The Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies program at USD will be hosting a conference in late March. The event will include various keynote speakers, an art show and opportunities to connect with fellow peers. Sara Lampert, coordinator of the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies program, said this year’s theme will be care.
“We’ve done different themes for different conferences, and we invite people to put together proposals that can think about care in relation. Looking at that program, you can see all the different ways people are thinking about care in terms of women’s history,” Lampert said.
Honoring the contributions women have made to society over the years by incorporating the idea of other hierarchies is an integral part of the annual March celebration. Lampert said it is important to ask oneself if they are thinking about class, race and other aspects of a woman’s identity.
“In a very basic level, setting aside a time to ask what about women and what about gender is a practice we should do all the time. It can go a long way,” Lampert said.
Sharing and exploring the many contributions women have made is a growing practice among classrooms across America. Rozum said it is important to continue the teaching of women’s history in classes year-round and not just during Women’s History Month.
“We can learn what important contributions women have made over time. There are a lot of people who graduated high school or college who had never had a women’s history course,” Rozum said.
Because not everyone may be as informed on the topic, Rozum said some individuals may find Women’s History Month to be especially helpful in understanding the historical impact women have had on the U.S.
“If we’re to understand the ideals of the nation of equality and who contributes to building our economy, families or government, we have to know what women have done in the past and present,” Rozum said.