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Posts Tagged ‘Women’s History Month’

SIRS Discoverer Spotlight of the Month: Women’s History Month

The lives of women are very different now than they were centuries, even decades, ago. There was a time when women were not allowed to serve in the military. It was unlawful for a woman to vote or own property. Wives were once considered their husband’s property. Because of the work and dedication of strong women, those ideas have changed. Women have more rights than they had just fifty years ago, and women today strive for equality in every part of life. During Women’s History Month we salute the countless women who have furthered women’s rights by making important changes in the ways women live and work.

Sally Ride

U.S. Astronaut Sally Ride
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

SIRS Discoverer’s March Spotlight of the Month focuses on Women’s History Month. We have valuable content on women who have contributed to science, government, and human rights. Your students can research about the women’s suffrage movement in the United States, meet African-American women who have changed history, read about early female politicians, follow women’s increasing role in the military, and celebrate women’s scientific achievements.

Elizabeth Blackwell–Born in England, she became the first female doctor in America.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton–An early champion of women’s rights, she became a central figure in the women’s suffrage movement.

Frances Perkins–President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed her as Secretary of Labor in 1932 making her the first woman to hold a U.S. Cabinet office.

Grace Hopper–As an admiral in the U.S. Navy and computer scientist, she pioneered “user-friendly” computer software and she also coined the computer term “bug.”

Juliette Gordon Low–She founded the Girl Guides which eventually became the Girl Scouts.

Marie Curie–She performed groundbreaking work in physics and was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.

Sally Ride–Chosen by NASA to be the first American woman in space.

Sandra Day O’Connor–She is a retired judge and the first female U.S. Supreme court justice.

Shirley Chisholm–She was the first African-American woman elected to U.S. Congress.

Student Activity: To learn more about each of these women, have your students answer these questions:

  • When was she born?
  • What was her education?
  • Where did she live most of her life?
  • What is she most famous for accomplishing?
  • Why is she an important part of history?
  • What changes did she make in her field?

How are you celebrating Women’s History Month in your library, media center, or classroom?

Let us know in the comments or tweet us with #ProQuest.

Challenge Your Students to This Women’s History Quiz!

How well do you know U.S. women’s history?

To celebrate Women’s History Month, take this Playbuzz quiz to see if you can pair up the correct state with an event in U.S. women’s history. Each question is based on facts taken from SIRS Issues Researcher timelines, including the one for our Women’s Rights Leading Issue.

(If you can’t view the matching game below, you can access it on PlayBuzz.)

What are you doing with your students to celebrate Women’s History Month?

Tweet us at #ProQuest or comment below!

The New 10: Which Woman’s Face Will Grace the New Bill?

In June of last year, the Obama administration announced that, in the year 2020, a woman will grace the front of the $10 bill. The redesign and unveiling will be in celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in the United States.

The question is…who will it be?

There are two requirements: the woman must be deceased, and she must exemplify the theme of “Democracy.”

There are many women who have deeply impacted this country and its history, and who fill the two above criteria. Selecting one woman to fill this extraordinarily symbolic role will be challenging. Which historic achievement will be highlighted, and which female innovator will be featured?

The Treasury Department has asked for help in the selection process. It launched a website, https://www.thenew10.treasury.gov/, that provides details of “the new 10” and has created a public discussion via the use of social media and #TheNew10 hashtag.

So let’s discuss. It is Women’s History Month, after all.

Susan B. Anthony (standing) consults with her long-time collaborator, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Though the picture is obviously posed, it captures something of their mutual trust and respect over many decades.

Susan B. Anthony (standing) consults with her long-time collaborator, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. [Library of Congress, Public Domain], via SIRS Knowledge Source

Perhaps, because the new $10 bill will be revealed on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, a woman who was integral to women’s suffrage will be chosen. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were both prominent leaders of the movement, cofounding the National Woman Suffrage Organization and working tirelessly for a constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote. They contributed to the writing of The History of Woman Suffrage and were both passionate abolitionists. Anthony, however, has already appeared on U.S. currency: her portrait was featured on the $1 coin from 1979 to 1981.

Sacajawea already appears on the dollar coin (which is no longer in general circulation), but she deserves consideration. A Shoshone Native American, Sacajawea served as the interpreter for Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their 8,000-mile journey into the American West and to the Pacific Ocean. She was integral to their travels, and thus to the information and research that the explorers shared with the world.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman [Library of Congress, Public Domain], via SIRS Discoverer

The era of slavery is a dark one in American history but gave rise to extraordinarily strong and brave African American men and women who helped transform this country. Harriet Tubman, known as “the Moses of her people,” escaped slavery and was determined to help others do the same. She travelled the Underground Railroad many times after her escape, leading more than 300 slaves to freedom. Sojourner Truth also escaped slavery. She became a strident abolitionist and was the first female African American orator to protest slavery. Her speeches inspired people throughout the Northern and Midwestern states.

What about First Ladies? Some have affected noble and lasting changes, both politically and socially. Two come to mind: Abigail Adams and Eleanor Roosevelt. Adams was the nation’s second First Lady, wife of President John Adams. She never held political office, but took an active role in politics and national matters (including the Revolutionary War), was an early supporter of women’s rights, and had great influence on her husband. Her letters to him are full of her insightful observations. More than a century later, Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt exerted tremendous political and cultural influence in her position as First Lady. She was an extremely vocal advocate for social causes, spreading her message by holding press conferences, hosting a radio show, and writing a daily newspaper column. Known as an activist for the rights of women, African Americans, and immigrants, she influenced her husband to embrace the civil rights agenda. Her humanitarian career continued after she left the White House: she served as a U.N. delegate for seven years and headed the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

Rosa Parks with Dr. Martin Luther King

Rosa Parks with Dr. Martin Luther King jr. (ca. 1955) [USIA/National Archives and Records Administration Records of the U.S. Information Agency Record Group 306, Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Civil Rights Movement of the 20th century gave rise to many female activists. One, in particular, changed the national conversation about civil rights by taking a stand and sitting on a bus. Rosa Parks made a transformative decision on December 1, 1955. She violated Alabama’s bus segregation laws and refused to give her seat to a white man and was arrested. Considered the mother of the Civil Rights Movement, her act of courage inspired the Montgomery bus boycott and roused activists to nonviolent action across the country.

What about Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut in space? Or Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator who successfully completed a transatlantic flight? Or Margaret Sanger, who crusaded for women’s reproductive rights? Or Clara Barton, who founded the American Red Cross?

So whose face will grace the new 10? Do you have an opinion? If so, make your voice heard–whether it be to the Treasury Department, in the classroom, in the lunchroom, or around the dinner table. Each inspirational woman mentioned above, and all who will be considered for this tribute of currency portraiture, had strong voices and opinions that changed the world.

Learn more about these women, and find out details of the new 10, on SIRS Knowledge Source and SIRS Discoverer. While you’re there, check out the March SKS Spotlight of the Month on Women’s History Month.

Women’s History Month on ProQuest SIRS Discoverer

March is Women’s History Month. Take this opportunity to research the countless women who have contributed to history. President Barack Obama issued a proclamation stating that “during Women’s History Month, we recognize the victories, struggles, and stories of the women who have made our country what it is today.” Women’s History Month corresponds with International Women’s Day and women all over the world have contributed to women’s history.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai
 By DFID – UK Department for International Development (Malala Yousafzai: Education for girls) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

ProQuest SIRS Discoverer has endless content on women who have contributed to science, government, and human rights:

  • Anne Frank kept a diary about her life hiding from the Nazis and became world famous after her early death.
  • Elizabeth Blackwell was born in England and became the first female doctor in America.
  • Frances Perkins was the first woman to hold a U.S. Cabinet office. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed her as Secretary of Labor in 1932.
  • Grace Hopper was an admiral in the U.S. Navy and computer scientist–she pioneered “user-friendly” computer software and she also coined the computer term “bug.”
  • Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Guides which eventually became the Girl Scouts.
  • Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban–she became a worldwide advocate for the education of girls.
  • Marie Curie performed groundbreaking work in physics and was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.
  • Sandra Day O’Connor is a retired judge and the first female U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Join SIRS Discoverer’s March Spotlight of the Month in honoring Women’s History Month. Learn about the women’s suffrage movement in the United States, meet African-American women who have changed history, read about early female politicians, follow women’s increasing role in the military, and celebrate women’s scientific achievements. Perhaps you will become inspired to thank a woman who has made a positive impact in your life!

Remembering Those Who Dedicated Their Lives to Women’s Rights

At the core of any social movement are those who envision it, persuade others to join it, and propel it into social consciousness. The American women’s rights movement is no different. Many women contributed to its evolution and escalation throughout the 1800s and early 1900s. We can thank these women for its victories. We pay tribute to these women by continuing the struggle for women’s equality in the United States and around the world.

"Women Suffragists Marching, New York City, 1913" <br \> by Library of Congress, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

“Women Suffragists Marching, New York City, 1913”
by Library of Congress, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

There are many unnamed women who struggled for women’s rights in the 19th and 20th centuries. They contributed their time, efforts, and wisdom, and helped generate outcomes that we may take for granted today. We can’t know every name and honor them accordingly. But there are a significant few who are worthy of our attention, and their lives and accomplishments deserve to be celebrated in the classroom.

We all know the names and accomplishments of Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Mott was a passionate abolitionist and a strident forerunner of the women’s rights movement. She helped to organize the Seneca Falls women’s rights convention of 1848, and also presided over the American Equal Rights Association. She inspired Anthony and Stanton, who, with other likeminded women, worked tirelessly for the women’s rights movement after Mott’s death in 1880. These two pioneering women cofounded the National Woman Suffrage Association and jointly published the women’s newspaper, The Revolution. They enacted changes in laws that empowered women, including one that allowed women to own property in their name. Mott, Anthony, or Stanton did not live to see the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, but these three leaders played crucial roles in its development and approval.

“Women Suffragists Picketing in Front of the White House, 1917” by Library of Congress
via ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher [Public Domain]

Sojourner Truth is a well-known advocate of both African American and women’s rights. She was a passionate abolitionist before and during the Civil War, speaking when and where she could against the inhumanity of slavery. When the Civil War concluded, she dedicated her life to obtaining rights for African Americans and for women. Despite her lack of formal education, her lectures powerfully impacted listeners and galvanized the women’s rights movement.

Julia Ward Howe may be best remembered for her Civil War folk song “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” but she also was very active in the women’s suffrage movement, was an editor of the Commonwealth newspaper, wrote poetry, authored books, and was the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She also helped to establish “Mother’s Day” in the United States in 1872.

Lucy Stone and her daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell, are 19th- and 20th-century women reformers, respectively, who made unique contributions to the movement. Not only did Lucy strive for slave emancipation, but she cofounded the American Woman Suffrage Association. She and her husband, also a fervent feminist, launched the weekly newspaper Woman’s Journal in 1870. Their daughter, Alice, continued their tradition of activism for women’s rights as a writer, editor, and suffragist.

Carrie Chapman Catt is a lesser-known, but no less important, figure in the women’s right’s movement of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1920, at the time of the 19th Amendment’s ratification, she was president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). One year later, she founded the National League of Women Voters, which prepared women for citizenship. Her accomplishments go beyond voting laws: she was the first woman to be a superintendent of schools and she was an avid antiwar advocate.

During the month of March, join SKS and SIRS Discoverer in honoring these and other remarkable women who made lasting contributions to women’s rights. The SKS Spotlight of the Month and the SIRS Discoverer Spotlight of the Month feature articles, photos, and Web sites that emphasize the cultural, societal, and political influences of women today and throughout history.

March Is Women’s History Month

Rosie the RiveterRosie the Riveter proudly proclaimed, “Yes, we can do it!”  Women in the United States have contributed much to our country and to the world.  March is the annual celebration of the lives and achievements of women in the United States.  In 1857 when women in New York City protested working conditions, thus began observances of Women’s History Month.  Observances became official in 1981 when Congress authorized National Women’s History Week.  The week became a month in 1987.  It coincides with International Women’s Day which is recognized on March 8 each year.

 Women have been instrumental in government and politics, education, the arts, science and public service since the beginnings of the country.  From Deborah Sampson who disguised herself as a man in order to serve in the Revolutionary War to Sally Ride who became the first woman in space, American women have proved themselves admirably through the years. 

To learn more about many fascinating American women, go to eLibrary.  eLibrary has an abundance of information for research.  Not only are there publications dedicated to women and women’s history and issues, but there are also Research Topics–from historic and contemporary figures and issues like the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act–which provide jumping-off points to learning more about women in America (and around the world).  Search reference books like American Women’s History: A Student Companion and Her Heritage: A Biographical Encyclopedia of Famous American Women for encyclopedic information.  Scholarly journals such as the Journal of Women’s History serve a higher academic level.  No matter what you are looking for, eLibrary offers it and more.

SKS Spotlight of the Month: Women’s History Month

Each March in the United States, we celebrate Women’s History Month. We honor the many women who, throughout the centuries, dedicated their lives to furthering the cause of equality for women. We honor the women who made it possible for young girls of today to dream of becoming a scientist, a business owner, a military officer, a politician, or even the President of the United States.

The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) supported USAID's sponsorship of the Arab Women's Forum in Cairo in May 2003. Attended by 25 women from 12 Arab countries, the forum developed an action plan for women's empowerment that focuses on legal, political, and economic issues. Specific proposals developed by the forum will be supported with MEPI funds. <br \> by U.S. State Department, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) supported USAID’s sponsorship of the Arab Women’s Forum in Cairo in May 2003. Attended by 25 women from 12 Arab countries, the forum developed an action plan for women’s empowerment that focuses on legal, political, and economic issues. Specific proposals developed by the forum will be supported with MEPI funds.
by U.S. State Department, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

In some parts of the world, however, women’s rights movements have not effected such dramatic change. In many countries, women are plagued by violence, horrid working conditions, virginity tests, and inequality in political representation and in the courts. However, beginning with the ambitious global effort dubbed the UN Decade for Women (1975-1985), the issue of women’s rights has slowly begun to shape myriad cultures around the world. Over the past decade, the international landscape of women’s rights has been peppered with bravery: the Yugoslavian Women’s Court Initiative, the European Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, female workers in Sri Lanka staging a groundbreaking mass protest, gender equality voted into the Moroccan Constitution, and the education campaign of Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafza. Around the world, the emergence and evolution of the struggle women’s rights remains grounded in the slogan developed at the 1993 UN World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna: “women’s rights are human rights.”

Join this month’s SKS Spotlight of the Month in honoring Women’s History Month. Take pride in the awesome strides made by strong and dedicated women in the United States, and marvel at the brave and tireless women across the world struggling for each small step in women’s freedom and equality.

SIRS Discoverer Spotlight of the Month: Women’s History Month

Women's Basketball Team at Smith College <br \> Wikimedia Commons, via ProQuest SIRS Discoverer [Public Domain]

Women’s Basketball Team at Smith College
Wikimedia Commons, via ProQuest SIRS Discoverer [Public Domain]

The lives of American women are very different now than they were centuries, even decades, ago. Did you know that there was a time when women were not allowed to serve in the military? Or that it was illegal for a woman to vote? Or that wives were once considered their husband’s property? Because of the work and dedication of many strong women, those things have changed. Women have more rights than they had even fifty years ago, and women today keep striving for equality in every part of life. March is a great time of year to honor the many women who have furthered women’s rights by making important changes in our country.

Join SIRS Discoverer’s March Spotlight of the Month in honoring Women’s History Month. Learn about the women’s suffrage movement in the United States, meet African-American women who have changed history, read about early female politicians, follow women’s increasing role in the military , and celebrate women’s scientific achievements. Perhaps you will become inspired to thank a woman who has made a positive impact in your life!

SKS Spotlight: Women’s History Month

Ever wonder how Women’s History Month came to be? Its origins can be traced back to the first National Women’s Day, celebrated in the United States in 1909. Two years later, an International Women’s Day was observed in several European countries, and in 1949, China celebrated its first Women’s Day. The United Nations first recognized International Women’s Day in 1977 by proclaiming March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace. The following year, America celebrated its first Women’s History Week. Finally, in 1987, the U.S. Congress expanded the observation to the month of March. Since then, each March has been designated Women’s History Month.

0000104108

A WAC armorer repairs a 1903 Springfield rifle, Camp Campbell, Kentucky, 1944.
by National Archives, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

This month’s SKS Spotlight of the Month reflects on Title IX, women in the military, women’s education, and milestones in women’s history. Women, from Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, are featured. Learn about the Women’s Army Corps of World War II and test your knowledge on Sally Ride, the nation’s first female astronaut in space. Join SKS in honoring women in the United States and around the world.

SIRS Discoverer Spotlight: Women’s History Month

Three suffragists casting votes in New York City, ca. 1917 <br />  by National Photo Company Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, via ProQuest SIRS Discoverer [Public Domain]

Three suffragists casting votes in New York City, ca. 1917
by National Photo Company Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, via ProQuest SIRS Discoverer [Public Domain]

Who are the important women in your life? Your mom? Your grandmother? A coach? A favorite teacher? March is a great time to tell them how special they are, because it’s Women’s History Month! During Women’s History Month, people across the nation honor women and their accomplishments. SIRS Discoverer celebrates Women’s History Month by introducing you to women who helped make a difference, such as civil rights leader Sojourner Truth; brave aviator Amelia Earhart; the first woman in the U.S. Congress, Jeannette Rankin; and the first female astronaut in space, Sally Ride. Also learn about significant events in women’s history, including the Equal Rights Amendment, Title IX, and the birth of the Girl Scouts. Visit March’s Discoverer Spotlight of the Month and honor women who make a difference.