According to the National Women's History Month organizers, this theme "presents the opportunity to weave women's stories - individually and collectively - into the essential fabric our nation's history."
"Accounts of the lives individual women are critically important because they reveal exceptionally strong role models who share a more expansive vision of what a woman can do. The stories of women's lives, and the choices they made, encourage girls and young women to think larger and bolder, and give boys and men a fuller understanding of the female experience. Knowing women's achievements challenges stereotypes and upends social assumptions about who women are and what women can accomplish today."
When we remember and recount the tales of our ancestors' talents, sacrifices and commitments we are inspired and this opens the way to the future. There is a real power in hearing women's stories, both personally and in a larger context.
March 2015 is also the 35th anniversary of the National Women's History Project and the Women's History Movement. In 1987, Congress declared the month of March as National Women's History Month. A special Presidential Proclamation is issued every year which honors the extraordinary achievements of American women.
Listen to Their Stories
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), an advocate for women's suffrage and the end of slavery in the US.
“No man is good enough to govern any woman without her consent.”
Rebecca West (1892-1983), an English author and literary critic. West also protested in the streets for English women's suffrage, which was extended to all women over 21 in 1928.
“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute.”
Cheris Kramarae (1938- ), a professor at the Center for the Study of Women in Society at the University of Oregon. Her career in academia has been devoted to both the study and the advocacy of gender equality and women's rights.
“Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.”
Bella Abzug (1920-1998), an American lawyer, U.S. Representative, social activist, and leader in the Women's Movement.
“The test of whether or not you can hold a job should not be in the arrangement of your chromosomes.”
Hillary Rodham Clinton (1947- ), former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States.
“Women's rights are human rights.”
Maya Angelou (1928-2014), American author and poet.
“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”
Malala Yousafzai (1997- ), a student from Swat, Pakistan who wrote a diary for the BBC in early 2009 entitled "Gul Makai.” She became an advocate for children's rights in Swat, Pakistan. In 2014 Ms. Yousafzai became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
“I raise up my voice-not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
LU Registered Women’s Student Organizations
Alpha Chi Omega Sorority -- Alpha Delta Pi Sorority -- Alpha Lambda Omega Christian Sorority -- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority -- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority -- EMPOWERMENT, The Xi Colony of Delta Xi Nu Multicultural Sorority -- Feminists of Lamar -- Kappa Delta Chi Sorority -- Lamar Women’s Rugby Club -- LU Women’s Club Soccer -- Lamar Dance Association -- LU Cheerleaders -- LU Dance Team -- Natural Vanity -- Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority -- Sister’s Circle -- Society of Women Engineers -- Woman to Woman -- Zeta Phi Beta Sorority -- Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority
Milestones in Women's History
1789: The US Constitution is ratified. The terms “persons,” “people,” and “electors” allow for the interpretation of those beings to include men and women.
1839: Mississippi becomes the first state to grant women the right to hold property in their own names.
1840: Catherine Brewer becomes the first woman to receive a bachelor’s degree.
1848: First Women’s Rights Convention is held in Seneca Falls, New York, to sign in the Declaration of Sentiments.
1849: Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman to receive a medical degree.
1869: The first women’s suffrage law is passed in Wyoming.
1872: Susan B. Anthony is arrested for trying to vote. Victoria Claflin Woodhull is the first woman to run as a presidential candidate.
1890: Wyoming becomes the first state to grant women the right to vote in all elections.
1913: 5,000 suffragists march in Washington, DC.
1916: Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first woman elected to Congress.
1920: The 19th Amendment gives women the right to vote.
1932: Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
1933: Frances Perkins is appointed Secretary of Labor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, making her the first female member of a Presidential Cabinet.
1934: Coca-Cola’s Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans is the first American woman to serve as director of a major corporation.
1938: The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes a minimum wage without regard to gender.
1955: The first lesbian organization in the United States, the Daughters of Bilitis, is founded.
1963: The Equal Pay Act is passed by Congress.
1964: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.
1965: Restrictive labor laws are repealed on the hours and conditions of women’s work, opening many previously men-only jobs to women.
1966: The National Organization for Women (NOW) is founded by Betty Friedan.
1967: Muriel Siebert is the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
1972: Title IX bans sex discrimination in schools. Katherine Graham of the Washington Post becomes the first woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
1974: Congress prohibits housing discrimination against women.
1976: The Supreme Court upholds women’s right to unemployment benefits during the last three months of pregnancy.
1977: Juanita Kreps is the first female Secretary of Commerce.
1978: Kirchberg v. Feenstra overturns state laws designating a husband “head and master” of his wife.
1979: More than half of all women 16 years and older are in paid employment.
1981: Sandra Day O’Connor becomes first woman appointed to the Supreme Court.
1982: This is the first year more women than men graduated with bachelor’s degrees.
1984: Sex discrimination in membership policies is forbidden by the Supreme Court. Geraldine Ferraro becomes the first female Vice-Presidential candidate representing a major American political party.
1987: Congress proclaims March as National Women’s History Month.
1990: Dr. Antonia Novello becomes the first woman (and first Latino) US Surgeon General.
1992: Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois becomes the first black woman elected to the Senate.
1993: Janet Reno becomes the first female US Attorney General. The Family and Medical Leave Act goes into effect.
1994: Congress adopts the Gender Equity in Education Act to train teachers in gender equity.
1997: Madeleine Albright becomes the first female US Secretary of State.
1998: The Supreme Court rules that employers are liable for sexual harassment.
1999: Lieutenant Colonel Eileen Collins of NASA becomes the first female astronaut to command a space shuttle mission. Nancy Ruth Mace becomes the first woman to graduate from the Citadel.
2005: Condoleezza Rice becomes the first black female Secretary of State.
2007: Nancy Pelosi becomes the first female Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
2008: Hillary Clinton is the only First Lady to run for President.
2009: Sonia Sotomayor becomes the first Latino appointed to serve on the US Supreme Court.
Source: Catalyst, National Women's History Project. For more facts and figures visit www.diversityinc.com/diversity-facts.
International Women's Suffrage Timeline
1862/3: In Sweden, single women who pay taxes win the right to vote in municipal elections.
1869: England grants unmarried women who are home owners the right to vote in local elections.
1881: Some women in Scotland obtain the right to vote in local elections.
1893: New Zealand grants equal voting rights to women.
1894: England expands women's voting rights to married women in local elections only.
1895: South Australian women gain voting rights.
1899: Western Australian women are granted voting rights.
1901: All Australian women obtain the vote, with some restrictions.
1902: Women in New South Wales gain the right to vote. Australia grants more voting rights to women.
1906: Finland adopts women's suffrage.
1907: Women in Norway are permitted the right to run for election.
1908: Women in Denmark granted local voting rights. Women in Victoria, Australia are granted voting rights.
1909: Sweden grants voting rights to all women in municipal elections.
1913: Norway adopts full women's suffrage.
1915: Women gain the vote in Denmark and Iceland.
1916: Canadian women in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan obtain the vote.
1917: The Russian government grants universal suffrage with equality for women; later the new Soviet Russian constitution includes full suffrage to women. Women in the Netherlands are granted the right to stand for election.
1918: England gives a full vote to some women - over 30, with property qualifications or a university degree - and to all men age 21 and older. Canada gives women the vote in most provinces by federal law. Quebec is not included. Native women were not included. Germany, Austria, Russia, Latvia, Poland, Estonia, and Ireland (with restrictions) grant women the vote.
1919: The Netherlands, Belgium, Belarus, Luxembourg, Ukraine, and Sweden (with restrictions) give women the vote. New Zealand allows women to stand for election.
1920: The 19th Amendment to the US Constitution grants full women's suffrage in all states of the United States. Women's suffrage is granted in Albania, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Canadian women obtain the right to stand for election (limited).
1921: Sweden (with restrictions), Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Lithuania grant women's suffrage. Belgian women allowed to stand for election.
1922: Irish Free State, separating from England, gives equal voting rights to women. Burma grants women voting rights.
1924: Mongolia, Saint Lucia, and Tajikistan give suffrage to women. Kazakhstan gives limited voting rights to women.
1925: Italy grants limited voting rights to women.
1927: Turkmenistan grants women's suffrage.
1928: England grants full equal voting rights to women. Ireland expands women's suffrage rights. Guyana grants women's suffrage.
1929: Ecuador and Romania (with restrictions) grant suffrage. Women found to be "persons" in Canada, enabling them to become members of the Senate.
1930: White South African women obtain the right to vote.
1931: Chile and Portugal grant suffrage with some restrictions.
1932: Uruguay, Thailand, and Maldives jump on the women's suffrage bandwagon.
1934: Cuba, Brazil, and Portugal (with restrictions) adopt women's suffrage. Turkish women are able to stand for election.
1935: Women gain the right to vote in Myanmar.
1937: The Philippines grants women full suffrage.
1938: Women obtain the vote in Bolivia. Uzbekistan grants full suffrage to women.
1939: El Salvador grants voting rights to women.
1940: Women of Quebec are granted voting rights.
1941: Panama grants limited voting rights to women.
1942: Women gain full suffrage in the Dominican Republic.
1944: Bulgaria, France and Jamaica grant suffrage to women.
1945: Croatia, Indonesia, Italy, Hungary, Japan (with restrictions), Yugoslavia, Senegal, and Ireland enact women's suffrage. Guyana allows women to stand for election.
1946: Women's suffrage adopted in Palestine, Kenya, Liberia, Cameroon, Korea, Guatemala, Panama (with restrictions), Romania (with restrictions), Venezuela, Yugoslavia, and Vietnam. Women allowed to stand for election in Myanmar.
1947: Bulgaria, Malta, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Argentina, and Japan (with restrictions) grant suffrage to women. Mexican women allowed to vote at the municipal level.
1948: Israel, Iraq, Korea, Niger, and Suriname adopt women's suffrage. Belgium moves to restrict women’s suffrage.
1949: India, China, Costa Rica, Chile, Bosnia, and Herzegovina give the vote to women.
1950: Haiti and Barbados adopt women's suffrage. Canada grants full suffrage, extending the vote to some women (and men) previously not included, still excluding Native women.
1951: Antigua, Nepal, and Grenada give women the vote.
1952: Greece, Lebanon, and Bolivia (with restrictions) extend suffrage to women.
1953: Mexican women run for election and vote in national elections. Hungary, Guyana, Bhutan, and Syria grant women's suffrage.
1954: Ghana, Colombia, and Belize grant women's suffrage.
1955: Cambodia, Ethiopia, Peru, Honduras, and Nicaragua adopt women's suffrage.
1956: Women gain suffrage in Egypt, Somalia, Comoros, Mauritius, Mali, and Benin. Pakistani women vote in national elections.
1957: Malaysia extends suffrage to women. Zimbabwe grants women the vote.
1959: San Marino, Madagascar, and Tanzania give suffrage to women.
1961: Burundi, Malawi, Paraguay, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and the Bahamas (with restrictions) adopt woman’s suffrage. Women in El Salvador are permitted to stand for election.
1962: Algeria, Monaco, Uganda, and Zambia adopt women's suffrage. Australia adopts full women's suffrage (with restrictions).
1963: Women in Morocco, Congo, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Kenya gain suffrage.
1964: Sudan adopts women's suffrage. The Bahamas adopts full suffrage with restrictions.
1965: Women gain full suffrage in Afghanistan, Botswana and Lesotho.
1967: Ecuador adopts full suffrage with a few restrictions.
1968: Full women's suffrage adopted in Swaziland.
1970: Yemen adopts full suffrage. Andorra permits women to vote.
1971: Switzerland adopts women's suffrage, and the United States lowers the voting age for both men and women to eighteen.
1972: Bangladesh grants women's suffrage.
1973: Full suffrage granted to women in Bahrain. Women permitted to stand for election in Andorra and San Marino.
1974: Jordan and the Solomon Islands extend suffrage to women.
1975: Angola, Cape Verde, and Mozambique grant suffrage to women.
1976: Portugal adopts full women's suffrage with a few restrictions.
1977: Nigerian women are granted the right to vote.
1978: The Republic of Moldova adopts full suffrage with a few restrictions. Women in Zimbabwe are able to stand for election.
1979: Women in the Marshall Islands and Micronesia gain full suffrage rights.
1980: Iran gives women the vote.
1984: Full suffrage granted to women of Liechtenstein. In South Africa, voting rights are extended to Coloreds and Indians.
1986: Central African Republic adopts women's suffrage.
1990: Samoan women gain full suffrage.
1994: Kazakhstan grants women full suffrage. Black women gain full suffrage in South Africa.
2005: Kuwaiti Parliament grants women of Kuwait full suffrage.