LV honors women’s history
Posted March 14, 2008

March is Women’s History Month, the time to celebrate the achievements of women who have paved the way for equality, freedom and justice for equal rights.

Women’s History month is being marked with several events across campus.

The resident assistants in Stu-Han held a Women’s Health Week that focused on various topics concerning lifestyle choices.

“I think the (women) benefited a lot from the topics concerning women’s health,” Assistant Residence Coordinator Jenny Lin said.

Events featured speakers including ULV faculty, who explored the topics of sexually transmitted diseases, cancer, stress and body image.

Lin says that it was a great environment for women to openly discuss topics that were geared toward women and felt empowered by this and other events for Women’s History Month such as the “Vagina Monologues.”

This is the third year the monologues have been performed at ULV. The “Vagina Monologues,” is an award-winning play written by Eve Ensler that is performed all over the world as a part of the non-profit V-Day global campaign and its efforts to raise money to prevent violence against women.

In addition to the “Vagina Monologues” Jordan Wycoff, a sophomore theatre arts major directed, “A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer,” says that the performance is important because it tells a side of women that is not often revealed.

“I think it really raises some eyebrows and brings awareness on how common and unfortunate it is to see violence against women,” Nick Solis, senior liberal studies major said. “Seeing women who were comfortable enough to stand up and say if they were victims of violence really hit home for everyone and made the issue apparent.”

Solis, who also appeared in the monologue directed by Wycoff, said that the end of “The Vagina Monologues” offered an idea of how common violence against women is.

“I think this month is important because it really recognizes women. And the world would not be the same without the contributions they have made to society,” Solis said.

“I think Women’s History Month is important because history was written by men who never told the story of women,” Wycoff said.

A brief history of this month ties in all these important aspects and why the ULV community celebrates Women’s History Month.

It all began in Europe in 1911, when March 8 was first celebrated as International Women’s Day. Around this time in history women’s rights was a very debated issue.

When women’s rights began to expand, including a new right to vote, many women's groups made it a priority to make the contributions made by women an important part of history and recognized the need for women’s history in the school curriculum.

In 1978 in California, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women started a “Women’s History Week” celebration. This celebration coincided with the March 8 date for International Women’s Day. During this time schools focused on teaching the important contributions and struggles by women throughout history.

The National Women’s History Project assisted this effort by making materials available to schools that pertained to and supported the week by providing important information about notable women and their contributions throughout history.

In 1987, the National Women’s History Project requested that Congress consider expanding the week into a month, and thus upon the passing of the proclamation of Women’s History Month, we now celebrate it each year in March

For more information about Women’s History Month and Women’s History, visit the National Women’s History Project at www.nwhp.org.

Francine Gobert can be reached at fgobert@ulv.edu
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