Who thought only a day would be enough to celebrate women in their entirety? March is not only the month that starts Spring, as March is recognized as Women’s History Month. Yet, this month used to be just a day.
It took the work of many to get the recognition for this month. The history of March as the month for women’s history is messy at best. In fact, the month was originally only supposed to be a day. According to the article “Why Is Women’s History Month Celebrated in March?” from Britannica, in 1910, Clara Zetkin suggested that Mar. 8th became International Women’s History Day as she wanted to, “…mobilize working women in a setting apart from the mainstream feminist movement, which they felt overlooked working women in favor of the bourgeois.”
As feminism continued to thrive globally, this day eventually turned into a week with former President Jimmy Carter’s help, as Carter was the first President to officially recognize women’s history beyond a single day; he instituted National Women’s History Week back in 1980. In 1987, Congress officially voted in favor of Women’s History Month being a federally recognized observance.
All throughout the month, Queens College hosted events to celebrate women. This Wednesday, Mar. 8th, I decided to spend my afternoon at Queen College’s event honoring International Women’s Day. When I entered the Patio Room in the Dining Hall, it was busier than ever. Friends and strangers alike engaged, laughed, and had a good time. The music of famous female R&B artists played over the speakers. I’ve been to several events during my time here, but this one felt different. Friends and strangers alike were engaged, laughing and having a good time in each other’s company. Tables were littered with coloring pages and cupcakes of all flavors.
Junior Dietetics major Amanda Rodriguez was smiling throughout the event and enjoying the time with her classmates. As she colored her picture of Frida Kahlo, she said she felt it necessary to ‘celebrate women’s history month at school.’ Rodriguez continued, saying, “As a woman, I wanted to come and support the event. I like to be involved.” On her way out of the event, she told The Knight News why she thought it was crucial for Queens College to hold such events saying, “I think it gives students time to reflect on what women’s accomplishments mean.”
Office of Student Development and Leadership work-study student Lizbeth Marte, held down the fort in the Dining Hall as a representative of those who held the event. Marte, a senior, told The Knight News about her goals: she wanted to use her knowledge as a psychology major to organize an event such as this. She said, “Essentially I wanted to do something with art therapy. I wanted to combine art therapy and women’s history.”
The combination could not have worked out better. Not only were students relaxed, but they were actively tested about their familiarity with women’s history. The turnout pleased Marte, as she said “My favorite part is definitely seeing faces that I have never seen before. Different majors and people who were not even supposed to be on campus showed up, which I appreciated.”