Words: Maggie Ju
At Centennial, many students advocate for women’s rights, adding their own impact to women’s history. The month of March was designated by Congress as Women’s History Month in 1987, giving these students a special platform for voicing their ideas.
Centennial has three clubs dedicated to the promotion of women in society: Girl for Girl, Girl Up, and She’s the First. The three clubs combined have around 100 members. They regularly host events to support women and girls in need, both in the community and around the world.
Girl Up board member Emily Addalia said, “For Women’s History Month, our club members wrote morning announcements about different women in history, and what they have accomplished.”
It is widely acknowledged that historical women often faced difficult times simply for being women. Suffragists, scientists, and athletes are rightfully celebrated for their hard-earned achievements, but the everyday lives and decisions of women often go unnoticed.
Ms. Parker, who teaches history at Centennial, said, “When I did have the chance to teach Women’s History, I focused on the unique experience that women have had throughout history and the unique contribution they have made. For instance, birth control does not often come up as an important issue in US history but in a study of women in the 1920s and 1930s, it is a central issue. The choice not to have children for a Depression-era mother was a very serious one.”
In the wake of recent female-empowerment movements, the spotlight of Women’s History Month has shifted to include those who were often excluded by early women’s rights activists: minority and marginalized women.
Freshman Aria Ma, who identifies as bisexual, felt that the month was significant for LGBT women. “People think that all girls have a little gay in them and therefore don’t treat us like we’re real,” she explained. “Having a women’s history month would better give representation, not just for women in general but [also] for bi and gay women.”
Despite the struggles that the month highlights, Addalia was hopeful. “Women’s History Month is an opportunity to celebrate women from our history and our present,” she said, “and to inspire young girls to dream big and accomplish their goals.”
For more information about Girl Up, visit centennialgirlup.weebly.com. Girl for Girl meets during Eagle Time in Portable 1, and She’s the First meets Mondays after school in Room 904.
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