Why is Women’s History month important?

This month is dedicated to the ladies.

March 8th was International Women’s Day; in fact the entire month of March is Women’s History Month. Unfortunately I doubt your sons or daughters will come home with papers or projects or coloring pages or assignments regarding Women’s History like they did for other events (like Valentines Day). They know nothing of Emmeline Pankhurst, or Angela Davis, or Gloria Steinem. Or about the brave contributions to the women’s rights movement from amazing women like Sojourner TruthBetty Friedan, and  Alice Walker.

circa 1911: British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst (1858 - 1928), being jeered by a crowd in New York.

British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst  being jeered by a crowd in New York.

Feminism (yes I used the dreaded F word – that’s another blog post altogether) has come a long way in the years since the Women’s Suffrage movement but it still hasn’t come far enough. Many of our young girls grow up knowing next to nothing about the Women’s Suffrage movement or what struggles we still face as women in today’s culture.

Don’t take it from me. Listen to Annie Lennox. As she so eloquently told us in her Guardian article all about the reasons we need to continue to fight for Women’s rights…

  • Women account for two-thirds of all working hours and produce half the world’s food, but earn only 10% of global income and own 1% of property.
  • Though women make up half the global population, they represent 70% of the world’s poor.
  • Women and girls aged 15–44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than they are war, cancer, malaria and traffic accidents.
  • At least one in three women around the world have been beaten, coerced into sex or abused in their lifetime.
  • Between 1.5 million and 3 million girls and women die each year because of gender-based violence.
  • Between 700,000 and 4 million girls and women are sold into prostitution each year.
  • 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries, with women dying of pregnancy-related causes at the rate of one a minute.
  • Women account for nearly two-thirds of the world’s 780 million people who cannot read.
  • 41 million girls worldwide are still denied a primary education.
  • Globally, only one in five parliamentarians are women.

And the icing on the cake? According to BBC NewsOfficial figures show men (STILL) earn 14.2% more per hour than women.

In our day and age, we may not think about what happens in countries so far away from us. Or even what happens in our own country that still speaks of gender inequality. Many of our children will go most of their childhood NOT hearing about this movement, or any other inspiring stories that should be shared in honor of Women’s History Month.

This needs to change. WE need to CHANGE. We need to honour and celebrate Women’s History Month by shouting from the rooftops, talking to our children, speaking up in schools and churches, to remember that women’s history matters.

So what can YOU do about it? I know what we’re doing about it… we’re talking about it and you should too! This month on we’ll be featuring extraordinary and exceptional women. From our picks from the most inspiring women, to our favourite female authors, to women’s issues affecting the world today.

What women have inspired you? Made you grow? Made your heart swell or helped you change? Would love to hear all about it in the comments or on Facebook  Twitter and Instagram.

Let’s talk about it!