2014 Theme: Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment

Women’s History Month grew out of a small town school event in California in 1978 that celebrated the contributions of women to the American culture.  Its continued national and international celebrations in the month of March recognize and applaud the contributions of women to history and contemporary society in the United States and globally.

In his March 1980 presidential proclamation, President Jimmy Carter stated,  “From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America are as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”

Since the inception of this country, women have sought to achieve civil and human rights. The first women's rights convention was held in New York in 1848 and was followed two years later by the first national women's rights convention in Worcester, Massachusetts. Forging ahead, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth C. Stanton formed the National Woman Suffrage Association to win women the right to vote, a right long denied. Finally in 1920, the 19th Amendment of the Constitution was signed. The efforts of women to move toward equity and full inclusion were further enhanced with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that barred discrimination in employment on the basis of race and sex.

As women look back, there is the acknowledgement of progress. As women look forward, there are new challenges to face and new opportunities to explore and achieve. For example, 2013 statistics indicated that “women currently hold 4.6 percent of the Fortune 500 CEO positions and 4.6 percent of the Fortune 1000 CEO positions”. These statistics reflect the progress as well as the challenges women still face as they choose and define their roles in society.

Sources: National Women’s History Project and Catalyst Knowledge Center

Timeline of Significant Women's History Events

1848: The first women's rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York.
1850: The first National Women's Rights Convention took place in Worcester, Massachusetts, attracting more than 1,000 participants.
1869: Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton formed the National Woman Suffrage Association.
1903: The national Women's Trade Union League was established to advocate for improved wages and working conditions for women.
1920: The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote, was signed into law by Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby.
1964: The Civil Rights Act barred discrimination in employment on the basis of race or sex. At the same time it established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate complaints and impose penalties.
2003: In Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs, the Supreme Court ruled that states can be sued in federal court for violations of the Federal Medical Leave Act.
2009: President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which allows victims of pay discrimination to file a complaint with the government against their employer within 180 days of their last paycheck.
2014: Mary Barra was chosen as the first female CEO of General Motors.

Do You Know These Women Leaders?

montage of women leadersA) Selena Quintanilla-Perez – First Hispanic female pop star
B) Mary Barra – First female CEO of General Motors
C) Malala Yousafzai –Sixteen-year-old Pakistani activist for women's education
D) Mae Jemison - First African American woman to travel in space
E) Sacagawea - Interpreter and guide on the Lewis and Clark Expedition
F) Mother Teresa – 1979 Nobel Peace Prize winner
G) Sonia Sotomayor - First Hispanic justice, and the third female justice, for the United States Supreme Court
H) Sandra Day O'Connor – First woman to be a United States Supreme Court justice

Did You Know?

To coincide with Women's History Month 2011, the White House issued a 50-year progress report on the status of women in the United States. It found that younger women are now more likely than their male counterparts to hold a college degree and that the number of men and women in the labor force has nearly equalized.

Source: The History Channel

Women's History Month Campus Events  

Flowers for the Women of Lamar
Monday, March 3, 10am—1pm
In front of the Setzer Center, Library and Dining Hall
Presented by the Student Government Association

Lunch and Learn: “Personal Finance for Women”
Wednesday, March 19, 12:15 pm—1:15 pm
Setzer Student Center Arbor
Presented by LamarAlive! Student Activities Board

Conversations: “Stepping Up and Stepping Out”
Monday, March 24, 2 pm—4 pm
Setzer Student Center Ballroom
Presented by Student Development and Leadership

Celebrating Women Through Art
Friday, March 28, 6:30pm—8 pm
Setzer Student Center Ballroom
Presented by Student Development and Leadership and Sister Circle