Hate women? Well March is not your month. Saturday was the official start to Women’s History Month. March 2014, we celebrate women of colors and backgrounds, from homemakers to movers-and-shakers. The National Women’s History Project announced this year’s theme is Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment. The honorees that were submitted include those of past and present resilience. While all the honorees are notable, Divas In Defense has selected three that really speak to the versatility of the honorees.
Tammy Duckworth (1968 – Present)
Member of Congress and Iraq War Veteran
Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Representative from Illinois, is an Iraq War veteran and former Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs. In 2014, she became the first disabled woman elected to serve in the House of Representatives. Duckworth has a strong record advocating and implementing improvements to veteran’s services. In 2004, she was deployed to Iraq as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot. She was one of the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom until her helicopter was hit by an RPG on November 12 2004. She lost her legs and partial use of her right arm in the explosion and was subsequently awarded a Purple Heart for her combat injuries.
Arden Eversmeyer (1931 – Present)
The Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project Founder
Arden Eversmeyer founded the Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project (1999), to ensure that the stories of lesbians born in the first part of the 20th century, who were labeled “mentally ill”, fired from their jobs, rejected by their families, and even raped and murdered with impunity, are recorded in history. Project volunteers have documented over 320 diverse life stories recording the sacrifices and obstacles faced by lesbians of that era. The collection is now archived, and continues to grow, as part of the prestigious Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College. Today Eversmeyer is proud to live in a time when she can be her true self with acquaintances, friends, family, medical professionals, and everyone
Anna Julia Haywood Cooper (1858 – 1964)
African American Educator and Author
Anna J. Cooper was an author, educator, speaker, and among the leading intellectuals of her time. Born into enslavement, she wrote “A Voice from the South,” widely considered one of the first articulations of Black feminism. Throughout her long life, Anna worked for the betterment of African American women’s lives, which she saw as the foundation for a more just society for everyone. Cooper worked at Washington D.C.’s M Street — now Dunham High School for nearly 40 years, focusing the all black high school on preparing students for higher education, successfully sending many students to prestigious universities.
Information on honorees and a full list can be viewed here.
The orgins of Women’s History Month can be traced back to 1911, when the first International Women’s day was held on March 8th. While in office, Jimmy Carter issued a Presidential proclamation that the week of March 8th would be Women’s History week. Following the petition by the National Women’s History, in 1987 Congress passed a bill that declared March the month for Women’s History.