CC ISSUE: MAR 2010 Last updated: Mar 4, 2010
March is National Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month is celebrated every March in the United States to honor the contributions of women to the country. The commemoration began in 1978, in Sonoma County, Calif. as Women’s History Week, and in 1987, the event became a month-long celebration after Congress declared March as Women‘s History Month.
The celebration emerged in the context of the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. Women’s rights activists felt American history was exclusively focused on political events and leaders, most of whom were white men. Women’s lives were ignored because of their long-standing exclusion from politics and public life.
Women in the United States were not allowed to vote until the early 20th century. Until the last 100 years or so, a married American woman, could not own property, sign a contract or even maintain her wages. Culturally, women were expected to remain exclusively focused on homemaking and raising children. Higher education and a career were not viable options.
Women’s history month is celebrated with library displays, art exhibits, fundraisers, as well as lectures about women’s contributions in fields outside the domestic realm, from science and technology to business and education.
In honor of this month, the Chicago Crescent is highlighting some great women from Islamic history and some notable Muslim women the Chicago community. Read about our last year’s choices, Professor Amina McCloud, Dr. Shakeela Hassan and Mary Ali on Page 11 of the March 2009 issue of the Crescent at: http://www.ciogc.org/images/cc_pdf/MAR-2009.pdf