Women’s History Month is dedicated to the month of March every year to focus on contributions from women in history and contemporary society. It wasn’t until 1987 when Congress declared the month nationally recognized as Women’s History Month.

Every year, Women’s History Month has an annual theme declared by the National Women’s History Project, an American nonprofit devoted to recognizing and honoring women’s history. Some past themes have been: “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government” (2016), “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business” (2017), “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination against Women” (2018), and “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence” (2019). This year’s theme is, “Valiant Women of the Vote”.

It is important to celebrate women’s success because it leads to greater achievements. When we recognize this success, it acts as a mirror for the girls who will be the women of the future. By holding back the celebration of achievements, women can be held back from receiving equal pay and feeling satisfied with their job. Research has shown that women openly celebrating their successes has more of an impact on compensation than directly negotiating for a higher compensation.

By celebrating our success, it helps empower other girls to succeed. Empowered girls have healthier families and are able to break free from generational poverty. It’s their human right to use their voice, go to school, stay safe from violence, and have access to healthcare. By motivating girls, it helps them develop the desire to be successful and prosper.

Gloria Steinem is a woman in history that has always interested and inspired me since I learned about her in grade school. She is an American feminist, journalist and political activist who was a leader and spokesperson during the feminist movement in the late 60s into the early 70s. She attended Smith College in Northampton; one of my favorite cities in Massachusetts. In an interview, Steinem once said the best advice she ever received was, “we don’t know which thing we do matters, so the art form is to behave as if everything matters.” She redefined what it meant to be a feminist. “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” – Gloria Steinem

Written by  Nicole Camello, Girls Inc. of the Valley’s Communication Intern.