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March is Women’s History Month

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The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society.

About Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.”  Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.”  In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.”  Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month.  Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”

From the Law Library of Congress’ guide to the legislative history of Women’s History Month.

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Women’s History Month

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Women’s History Month: Remembering the past, looking toward the future.

During the early 1900s, answering phone calls, maintaining records and providing minor health care were some of few roles women who served in the military were permitted to fill. Jobs left open because men left for war, gave women the opportunity to step up and volunteer on the home front. A century later, women across the Department of Defense carry responsibilities from maintaining multi-million-dollar aircraft, leading troops through battlefields and serving in higher leadership positions. Women’s History Month honors the hard work and contributions made in the past and present. “Those women paved the way for me to be able to serve as a United States Air Force firefighter,” said Senior Airman Chelsea Westfall, a 31st Civil Engineer firefighter. “Because of them, I can come to work and feel like I belong. Women are no longer seen as the outsiders.” Knowing the efforts of women in the past allow for today’s women to prevail and make their own history, not defined by their gender. “We celebrate Women’s History Month to remember the struggles women went through to get the equalities we have today,”

Today, in the U.S. military, there aren’t many jobs women cannot volunteer for. Technical careers, equal pay and voting rights were merely dreams for women in the past, but now those dreams are constitutional rights. According to the Air Force Personnel Center, more than 58,000 women serve in the U.S. Air Force. They have the opportunity to ensure the empowerment given to them is carried on to the next generation. “In an ideal world, people wouldn’t focus on our gender, rather how we can be better together.” We go through the same training as men. If I’m wearing a duty badge on my uniform, you should know without hesitation that I belong. We are strong women who fought to be here and we aren’t going anywhere.”

 

This article came from the Airman Magizine March 2015

 

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