Recognizing the crucial contributions of women, today and always

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Joan Koczor Senior Living
Joan Koczor [file]

The theme of National Women’s History Month, “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” is a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during the ongoing pandemic.

It also recognizes the thousands of ways women of all cultures have provided healing and hope throughout history.

Women’s History Month celebrates the often-overlooked contributions of women in history, society and culture. Take time this month to recognize their hard work and accomplishments and remind yourself and those around us that women are strong, resilient, brave, gracious and intelligent.

The month-long commemoration started with Women’s History Day in 1978, organized by the school district of Sonoma, California. Hundreds of students participated in essay competitions, many presentations were made, and a parade was held in Santa Rosa.

Interest continued within communities, school districts and organizations across the country. In 1980, the National Women’s History Alliance championed the holiday to be observed as a national week, an idea backed by President Jimmy Carter, who issued the first proclamation declaring the week of March 8 National Women’s History Week.

The following year, Congress forwarded a resolution establishing a national observance. Six years later, the expansion of the event to the whole month of March was successfully petitioned by the National Women’s History Project.

For many years, women weren’t acknowledged enough in historical texts. Not because they weren’t making significant discoveries or aiding important conquests, but mainly because men wrote most historical documents for thousands of years.

Women have a rich history in the military. The Army Nurse Corps were created in 1901 and the Navy Nurse Corps were created in 1908.

The progressive 1900s allowed married women to own property in their own name and keep their own wages. They gained the right to vote in 1920.

More than 11.6 million businesses today are owned by women.

We all have the power to influence the direction our world is headed, and National Women’s History Month reminds us of women’s major accomplishments each and every day. From domestic chores and carrying babies to fighting wars and governing countries.

Women are pretty darn amazing. There is nothing we can’t do if we set our minds to it.

Don’t believe me? Check out History.com or many other articles and publications about women who shattered barriers and changed the world!

Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and a member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Board.

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This column was first published in the March edition of InMaricopa magazine.