Thursday, March 02, 2006

Celebrating Women's History Month

"Now this is a song to celebrate
The conscious liberation of the
female state!
Mothers - daughters and their
daughters too.
Woman to woman
We're singin' with you.
The "inferior sex" got a new exterior
We got doctors, lawyers, politicians
too.
Everybody - take a look around.
Can you see - can you see - can you
see
There's a woman right next to you."

--From the song "Sisters are doing it for themselves"
by Eurythmics
Indeed, women are with us and around us. After all, they are half of the human race. And while women continue to achieve in so many fields, it is clear there is still work to be done to achieve equality and harmony. Until that day, we can celebrate women's achievements during Women's History Month, which opened yesterday.

The Census Bureau has released their feature of facts and figures for Women's History Month. Among the interesting facts,
  • Well, for one, they outnumber men: 149.1 million is "the number of females in the United States as of July 1, 2004. That exceeds the number of males (144.5 million). Males outnumbered females in every five-year-age group through the 35- to 39-age group. Starting with the 40- to 44-age group, women outnumbered men. At 85 and over, there were more than twice as many women as men."
  • They are business owners: 6.5 million is "the number of women-owned businesses in 2002, up 20 percent from 1997. (The increase among all businesses was 10 percent.) An estimated 916,768 such firms had paid employees, with receipts of $804 billion."
  • They serve in the Armed Forces: 212,000 is the "total number of active duty women in the military, as of Sept. 30, 2004. Of that total, 35,100 women were officers and 177,000 were enlisted."
And women contribute in so many ways from those that go out into the workplace to those who choose to stay home and raise children full-time. I was a lucky boy raised by a full-time mom. I dare anyone tell her she did not have a job.

Readers can also visit the National Women's History Project Site for information on activities and resources for Women's History Month.

You can test your knowledge of Women's History here. I got 14 out of 20 on the quiz. Some of those questions are little stumpers but interesting to learn the answers. This is part of Gale's free resources for the month. Find the resources page here.

You can also visit the Librarian's Internet Index and see their excellent listings of resources on this topic here. Personally, LII is a site I always recommend to my students when they need to find quality Web sites. The site About.com also has a collection of Women's History resources. The quotes I chose below come from that site.

This History Channel also has some virtual exhibits on Women's History here.

And finally, some quotes by famous women:

  • "As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold the person down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might." --Marian Anderson
  • "Eroticism is one of the basic means of self-knowledge, as indispensible as poetry." --Anais Nin
  • "I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others." --Amelia Earhart
  • "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature." --Helen Keller
  • "It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving." --Mother Teresa
  • "Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war." -Maria Montessori

2 comments:

Jane Dough said...

You learn something new everyday - I did not realize this was Women's History month - Thanks for the heads up!

bkatieann@aol.com said...

I was thinking to myself that women need to be celebrating themselves in this day and age when there is so much out there trying to keep us down. As women begin to soar - a recent NPR piece said that in major cities young women are making the big salaries now and are finding themselves in the position of "dating down"and we hear that women are far outnumbering men now as college graduates-suddenly society wonders about what is going on with the young men. Yet at the same time women and young girls are at increasing numbers being targeted for abuse and sexual assault. Pregant women are more at risk than at any other time for assault from their so called significant other. Pornography, sexual addiction, and all the sickness it spawns is at an all time high. The prisons are full to bursting with male predators who are just releases and rereleased back into society. I'm glad there is a women's History month, but I had no idea about it until I decided to look for some good quotes by and about women to try to put out there, somehow, to the public. Meanwhile, men young and old play at war and the human race is at risk because of it.