Why Women’s History Month Is So Important

By: Amanda Crescenzo

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker Of The House Nancy Pelosi made history on Tuesday night by being the first two women to stand behind a sitting president during the State Of The Union Address, reminding all of us that Women’s History Month is finally here. The whole month of March is dedicated to celebrating Women’s History Month. Women’s History Month first started as “Women’s History Week” as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California. The Santa Rosa Education Taskforce wanted it in March, so the celebration can have a connection to International Women’s Day, which is on March 8th, from there a tradition was born. All throughout history, women have broken glass ceilings in all aspects of life, however, those contributions have been overlooked. 

People knew the names Alan Shepard, John Glenn, and Neil A. Armstrong for being the first Americans to go to space, but for decades, nobody knew that Kathrine Johnson’s genius orbital mechanics were responsible for all their accomplishments. She was one of a handful of African American women working at NASA and until her retirement in 1986, she served as a crucial asset for NASA, helping develop paths for space exploration, the Space Shuttle Program, and Earth Resources Satellites. 

Did you also know that the double helix was not discovered by Watson and Crick, but Rosalind Franklin? Watson and Crick came across her unpublished x-ray picture of a DNA molecule, and after combining some of their data with hers,  it soon became their inspiration to create the famous model of DNA. Franklin’s contribution to the discovery of the DNA structure was a pivotal moment in history, yet her milestone discovery is often not even mentioned in science texts.

Johnson and Franklin are only two of thousands of women whose accomplishments are often forgotten.

If it were not for Women’s History Month, I would have not known who these women are, or what they contributed to their field of studies during their time on earth. Because of Women’s history month, there is a larger platform to talk about the women who came before us, whose stories and accomplishments were consistently swept under the carpet for centuries, women who paved the way for millions of women today who can take their rightful place in almost any industry in the world. If we have a platform to tell their stories and to talk about their achievements, their stories will inspire and continue to pave the way for the next generation of girls and women. 

Leave a Reply