Celebrating National Women's History Month!
National Women’s History Month!
“Today, women serve as leaders throughout industry, civil society, and government, and their outstanding achievements affirm to our daughters and sons that no dream is beyond their reach.”
--President Barack Obama Read more here
Database of the Month: CQ Researcher
CQ Researcher database offers:
- A revised “In the News” section, updated daily, connects CQ Researcher reports to news events
- “This Week in History” tell readers what CQ Researcher was covering 10 years ago.
- “Recent Issues” are highlighted in a scroll bar across the bottom of the page to give users a peek at new reports
- Twitter and Facebook feeds now highlight recent report
Here is the Women’s History Month 2012 Presidential Proclamation:
As Americans, ours is a legacy of bold independence and passionate belief in fairness and justice for all. For generations, this intrepid spirit has driven women pioneers to challenge injustices and shatter ceilings in pursuit of full and enduring equality. During Women's History Month, we commemorate their struggles, celebrate centuries of progress, and reaffirm our steadfast commitment to the rights, security, and dignity of women in America and around the world.
We see the arc of the American story in the dynamic women who shaped our present and the groundbreaking girls who will steer our future. Forty-one years ago, when former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt confronted President John F. Kennedy about the lack of women in government, he appointed her the head of a commission to address the status of women in America and the discrimination they routinely faced. Though the former First Lady passed away before the commission finished its work, its report would spur action across our country and galvanize a movement toward true gender parity. Our Nation stands stronger for that righteous struggle, and last March my Administration was proud to release the first comprehensive Federal report on the status of American women since President Kennedy's commission in 1963. Today, women serve as leaders throughout industry, civil society, and government, and their outstanding achievements affirm to our daughters and sons that no dream is beyond their reach.
While we have made great strides toward equality, we cannot rest until our mothers, sisters, and daughters assume their rightful place as full participants in a secure, prosperous, and just society. With the leadership of the White House Council on Women and Girls, my Administration is advancing gender equality by promoting workplace flexibility, striving to bring more women into math and science professions, and fighting for equal pay for equal work. We are combating violence against women by revising an antiquated definition of rape and harnessing the latest technology to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, and sexual assault. From securing women's health and safety to leveling the playing field and ensuring women have full and fair access to opportunity in the 21st century, we are making deep and lasting investments in the future of all Americans.
Because the peace and security of nations around the globe depend upon the education and advancement of women and girls, my Administration has placed their perspectives and needs at the heart of our foreign policy. Last December, I released the first United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security to help ensure women play an equal role in peace-building worldwide. By fully integrating women's voices into peace processes and our work to prevent conflict, protect civilians, and deliver humanitarian assistance, the United States is bringing effective support to women in areas of conflict and improving the chances for lasting peace. In the months ahead, my Administration will continue to collaborate with domestic and international partners on new initiatives to bring economic and political opportunity to women at home and abroad.
During Women's History Month, we recall that the pioneering legacy of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers is revealed not only in our museums and history books, but also in the fierce determination and limitless potential of our daughters and granddaughters. As we make headway on the crucial issues of our time, let the courageous vision championed by women of past generations inspire us to defend the dreams and opportunities of those to come.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2012 as Women's History Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month and to celebrate International Women's Day on March 8, 2012, with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that honor the history, accomplishments, and contributions of American women. I also invite all Americans to visit www.WomensHistoryMonth.gov to learn more about the generations of women who have shaped our history.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.
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. Click here to see a fantastic website regarding Women’s history in the military.
For outstanding on-line exhibits featuring women in education, film industry, politics, athletes, pioneer women, women of every race, and women who paved the way for our freedoms today, click here.
Have you heard of the Justice Bell?
This remarkable bell was used in the campaign for woman's suffrage. The name "Justice Bell" came from the fact that the suffrage movement looked upon a woman's right to vote as a matter of justice.
By Cathy Pickles, National Women History Month staff member: “I just spent a wonderful weekend in Philadelphia, which included a long overdue pilgrimage to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. There is something deeply stirring about being in the presence of such a potent symbol of the struggle for our nation’s independence. But it was a display a few yards from the venerable bell itself which both taught me a valuable history lesson and literally made my heart swell with pride. It was the story of the “Justice Bell” financed by a Pennsylvania suffragist in 1915.
Katharine Wentworth Ruschenberger commissioned a replica of the Liberty Bell to help spread the cause of woman suffrage in Pennsylvania. The inscription on the bell likened the denial of votes for women to the tyranny of English rule which fueled the American Revolution. It differed from its brother only in that it lacked a crack and bore the inscription, Establish Justice.
The 2,000 pound bell became something of a sensation. It toured 5,000 miles in a flatbed truck built specifically for this purpose, crisscrossing Pennsylvania. It eventually appeared at suffrage events in Chicago and Washington, DC. Its travels were marked by large crowds and band-led parades. Miniature versions of the bell were sold to defray the cost of its tour. It was a media darling.
The bell’s clapper was chained into silence until the passage of the 19th Amendment. In a ceremony held in Independence Square in September, 1920, the bell was raised and rung by a woman dressed as Justice, signaling true liberty in the United States: suffrage for women. The Justice Bell now resides in the Washington Memorial Chapel at Valley Forge.
I was ecstatic that this powerful (and unknown to me) chapter of women’s history was featured prominently in the presence of one of our most enduring national symbols. But in the same moment, I couldn’t help thinking about the thousands of inspiring women’s stories just like it scattered across the country. Unless a little girl living in Nevada, Kansas or Georgia visits the Liberty Bell or stumbles upon this story while surfing the web, she will never be have a chance to be inspired by the Justice Bell. That is precisely why the National Women’s History Museum must become a brick-and-mortar depository for chronicling the lives and achievements of American women. There has to be a place for all Americans to gather to celebrate and learn from the lives of their grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters.”
Women who wanted the vote helped finance the Justice Bell tour with their spare “nickels and dimes” and did so during wartime. Current economic times are also hard, though nickels and dimes are now dollars. I think of our generous donors and supporters doing everything they can to help us make the Museum a reality. Soon I hope we can ring few bells in honor of a permanent home for women’s history." Click here for more information
Image courtesy of the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters