INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
By: Dusty Langdon
“International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.”
The official website for the United Nations states above the meaning and reasons behind International Women’s Day, which takes place every year on March 8.
Because there are too many extraordinary women in history who have made a mark on our societies, this article will focus on only a few. However, there are so many, many more women deserving of recognition that you can check out on March 8, and throughout the whole year.
International Women’s Day is all about the achievements of extraordinary women all over the world and history. It is for celebrating mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends who have helped shaped the world as you know it. Just a few of these incredible women are recognized in history books, and even fewer are known today for what they did for society.
- Elizabeth Blackwell, for instance, who according to the Scholastic Teacher’s Activity Guide, was the first woman to earn a medical degree from a college. She was rejected by all the major medical schools in the nation because of her sex. She then founded a women’s medical college to train other women to become physicians.
- Ella Fitzgerald, who is considered one of the greatest jazz singers of all time was the winner of 12 Grammy Awards and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- Shirley Jackson, who is the former head of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She is the first female African American to receive a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her outstanding leadership in education, science, and public policy demonstrates the capability of women to be leaders in the field of science and technology.
- Jackie Joyner-Kersee conquered the Olympic sport of heptathlon. She won the Olympic gold medal for the United States in 1988 and 1992, and set the world record. She was also the first American woman to win Olympic gold in the long jump.
- Ellen Ochoa is an astronaut and researcher of advanced optical information systems. She flew her first shuttle mission in 1993 as a Mission Specialist with the Discovery crew, conducting atmospheric and solar studied to better understand the effect of solar activity on the Earth’s climate and environment. She is the first Hispanic woman to be named an astronaut, and has logged over 500 hours in space.
- Sandra Day O’Connor is the first woman appointed to the position of U.S. Supreme Court Justice and has carved a place for women at all levels of the legal profession.
Each of these women have set new standards for women and girls everywhere. They have become role models for young women to look up to and strive to be like. They have helped women realize their dreams and wishes can be achieved with hard work and perseverance, even when living in a male-dominated society.
These women, along with many more, are just a small number of incredible women who have advanced women’s places in society over the years. However, being an incredible woman does not necessarily mean you must be an astronaut or a Supreme Court Justice. Women who are mothers, housewives, daughters, fast-food workers, mechanics, authors, and any other profession are all women who deserve to be celebrated on March 8. Every woman in your life has helped to shape you and the world you live in and those reasons alone are reasons to rejoice them every day of the year.