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Women's History Month: March

Introduction

Women’s History Month honors and celebrates the struggles and achievements of American women throughout the history of the United States. American women have struggled throughout our history to gain rights not simply for themselves but for many other under represented and disenfranchised groups in America.

Women’s History Month had its origins 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".  As requested by Congress, President Reagan issued Presidential Proclamation 4903 proclaiming the week beginning on March 7, 1982 as the first "Women’s History Week" and recognizing the vital role of women in American history:

  • American women of every race, creed and ethnic background helped found and build our Nation in countless recorded and unrecorded ways ... As leaders in public affairs, American women not only worked to secure their own rights of suffrage and equal opportunity but also were principal advocates in the abolitionist, temperance, mental health reform, industrial labor and social reform movements, as well as the modern civil rights movement.

Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as "Women’s History Week" and authorizing the President to issue a proclamation to inform the country of this recognition and urge the people to study the contributions of women to U.S. history.  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.”  This law requested the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate activities and ceremonies.  President Reagan then issued Presidential Proclamation 5619 proclaiming March 1987 as "Women’s History Month" and calling upon all Americans to mark the month with observances to honor the achievements of American women.  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 proclamation designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”  These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields. In 1999 President Clinton issued Presidential Proclamation 7170 which celebrated women from journalist Nellie Bly to Fannie Lou Hamer a leader in the Civil Rights movement to Rachel Carson.  In 2008 President Bush issued Presidential Proclamation 8225 declaring the Month of March 2008 as “Women’s History Month.”  This proclamation recognized the achievements of women as diverse as Amelia Earhart, physicist Chien-Shiung Wu and Harriet Tubman who risked her life on the Underground Railway.

http://www.loc.gov/law/help/commemorative-observations/women_history.php

Presidential Proclamation

 

WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH, 2015

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Throughout history, extraordinary women have fought tirelessly to broaden our democracy's reach and help perfect our Union.  Through protest and activism, generations of women have appealed to the values at the heart of our Nation and fought to give meaning to the idea that we are all created equal.  As today's women and girls reach for new heights, they stand on the shoulders of all those who have come before and carry forward their legacy of proud achievement.  This month, we celebrate countless pioneering women and the victories they won, and we continue our work to build a society where our daughters have the same possibilities as our sons.

Courageous women have called not only for the absence of oppression, but for the presence of opportunity.  They have demonstrated for justice, but also for jobs -- ones that promise equal pay for equal work.  And they have marched for the right to vote not just so their voices would be heard, but so they could have a seat at the head of the table.  With grit and resolve, they have fought to overcome discrimination and shatter glass ceilings, and after decades of slow, steady, and determined progress, they have widened the circle of opportunity for women and girls across our country.

Today, more women are their family's main breadwinner than ever before.  Women are nearly half of our Nation's workers, and they are increasingly among the most skilled.  At the same time, more than 60 percent of women with children under the age of 5 participate in the labor force.  This increasing participation of women in our workforce has bolstered our economy and strengthened our families, and it has demonstrated that the policies that benefit women and working families benefit all of us.

But not all of the rules that govern our workplaces have caught up with this reality, and today, too many of the opportunities that our mothers and grandmothers fought for are going unrealized.  That is why I am committed to tearing down the barriers to full and equal participation in our economy and society that still exist for too many women.  All women deserve equal pay for equal work and a living wage; the Congress needs to raise the minimum wage and pass a law that ensures a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work.  I continue to call for increased workplace flexibility and access to paid leave -- including paid sick leave -- so that hardworking Americans do not have to choose between being productive employees and responsible family members.  And I have proposed a plan that would make quality child care available to every middle-class and low-income family in America with young children.  These are not only women's issues -- they are family issues and national economic priorities.

We know that when women succeed, America succeeds.  The strength of our economy rests on whether we make it possible for every citizen to contribute to our growth and prosperity.  As we honor the many patriots who have shaped not only the destinies of other women, but also the direction of our history, let us resolve to build on their efforts in our own time.  As a Nation, we must join our voices with the chorus of history and push forward with unyielding faith to forge a more equal society for all our daughters and granddaughters -- one where a woman's potential is limited only by the size of her dreams and the power of her imagination.

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 2015 as Women's History Month.  I call upon all Americans to observe this month and to celebrate International Women's Day on March 8, 2015, with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.  I also invite all Americans to visit www.WomensHistoryMonth.gov to learn more about the generations of women who have left enduring imprints on our history. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.

BARACK OBAMA

 

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Research databases
 
***Adapted from Ashford University***

State your topic

Your topic is the essential idea of your paper. It is usually a few words or a phrase that summarizes the subject of your paper. For your thesis statement, try to make your topic as specific as possible.

State your main idea about this topic

What are you trying to state or prove about your topic? What are you trying to persuade the reader to believe? When stating your opinion, be sure to:

  • express one major ideal
  • name the topic and assert something specific about it
  • take a stance on an issue that you can support with facts and reasons.
  • state your position on or opinion about the issue.

Give a reason that supports your main idea

Write your reason as a clear statement. Be sure that you can support this reason with logical facts and evidence.

Give another reason that supports your main idea

Write your reason as a clear statement. Be sure that you can support this reason with logical facts and evidence.

Give one more reason that supports your main idea

Tell us one reason that supports your opinion. Write your reason as a clear statement. Be sure that you can support this reason with logical facts and evidence.

Include an opposing viewpoint to your main idea, if applicable

A good thesis statement acknowledges that there is always another side to the argument. So, include an opposing viewpoint (a counterargument) to your opinion. Basically, write down what a person who disagrees with your position might say about your topic.



 

Click the button to generate your thesis statement!

 

 

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library
San José State University