BY CARMEN FANNING
“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” – Unknown
March is “Women’s History Month,” an entire month to celebrate the often overlooked accomplishments of women in the United States. This annual celebration first began in 1978 as a weeklong recognition in March of female accomplishments in Santa Rosa, California. Soon communities all over the world began to join in the celebration.
The National Women’s History Alliance lobbied for recognition nationally in 1980. President Jimmy Carter then declared the week of March 8th Women’s History Week. It wasn’t until 1987 that Congress passed Public Law 100-9, deeming the entire month of March “Women’s History Month.”
People all over the world have joined in the celebration of this month, and Tina Wolbert and Serena McCown of Fort Hays State University’s Student Engagement were no exception. Wolbert and McCown set up a table in the Union where students and faculty could write the names of the women that inspired them the most.
“We’re trying to celebrate all women. Whether it be more well known and famous, or people who have inspired other students, faculty and staff lives,” Wolbert said.
The message the two women were trying to spread is the importance of women empowerment.
“Although very subjective, in many ways society has been created for people who identify as men. If you’re outside of that sometimes it’s hard to see yourself in any roles,” Wolbert said. “Women empowerment are people who empower other women to do something they may have not thought they could.”
The significance of this month goes far beyond simply celebrating the accomplishments of women, but the woman herself. Both women have women they are inspired by. On the board there were names written such as Cher, Lana del Rey, Jane Sanders, and FHSU’s very own Tisa Mason.
“A lot of times, we don’t think about the significant things women in the past have done, or even women now are doing for all of us,” Wolbert said. “We all have females in our lives who have played a significant role and we often forget about that.”
Among the numerous women that inspire Wolbert, Michelle Obama is her personal favorite.
“So many, but one that really stands out to me is Michelle Obama,” Wolbert said. ”There’s so many intersectionalities that she represents for so many people. Although she’s had a lot of spotlight on her, she still remains positive and empowers people”
Inspirational women come in all shapes and sizes. Age is but a number when it comes to the impact women can make.
“Greta Thunberg,” McCown said. “She’s so spunky and has a lot of passion for climate change which I do too.”
This isn’t just something that should be celebrated only one month out of the year, but every day. This month is a good reminder that women do make an impact on lives and deserve to be recognized.