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The Occidentalist


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Celebrating Women’s History Month

The Women in History Club honors the special month for women

  March is recognized nationally as Women’s History Month, a month dedicated to celebrating women’s accomplishments throughout history and the impact that they have had on the world around them. At West, students can celebrate through participating in clubs, reading books and learning more in class. 

  “It is important to honor women who have been underestimated who have worked hard to help the world grow,” freshman and member of Women in History Club Erica Jones said.

  Women in History Club is a group dedicated to learning more about women’s history and positively impacting the community. In honor of Women’s History Month, the club is organizing a tin can drive for March 20th to support an all-female Honor Flight, which is an organization that flies veterans to Washington D.C. in order to see war memorials.

  “[People] can help by donating cans to us. They can also grow in the community by helping women in need. There’s resources like the Women’s Resource Center that you can always help by donating to,” Jones said.

  According to the National Women’s History Museum, the celebration started in California as “Women’s History Week” in the 1970s, during the Women’s Liberation movement. The month of March was chosen to correspond with International Women’s Day, March 8. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter made Women’s History Week a national event. Eventually, Congress passed a law making March Women’s History Month. This corresponds with March 8, which is recognized as Women’s Day globally. There are many ways to become educated about women’s history, whether it’s giving back to women in the community, joining a club, supporting women-owned businesses or simply reading articles online.

  “If they want, they can educate themselves by doing some research if they’re interested, or they can join Women in History Club or help women in their community,” freshman Amelia Verschaeve said.

  West offers a Women in History Club, which promotes the study of impactful female figures in history.

  “Each week, we look at different female historical figures to see how they’ve impacted history, our country and the world. We get to learn about what they did and how they contributed,” Verschaeve said.

  Other groups at West honor Women’s History Month by celebrating the pathways they have opened for girls. Liddie Walski, a freshman and member of the robotics team, said that she is inspired by Ada Lovelace, the inventor of computer coding.

  “I think it’s very important that people learn about how women have changed the rules and society and have paved their own way. I think it is important for people to recognize how hard women have worked to earn their place and make their way in a man’s world,” Walski said.

  Walski said that she is very grateful for the opportunities she has today and the societal changes that have made those opportunities possible. 

  “I believe it is important that girls are presented with the opportunity to do whatever they want, especially with all of the other clubs in school. There are so many different things that 60 years ago, women wouldn’t have been able to do. I think it’s great that now anybody can do whatever they want,” Walski said.

  Laws such as Title IX have opened up choices for girls like Liddie to participate in different sports and activities that have been traditionally male dominated. Women’s History Month is a time for reflection on how far girls and women have come. One simply has to look at girls playing sports, coding robots or creating research projects on women who have inspired them to witness what might have been laughable only a few generations ago. 

  “Someone who has inspired me is Selena Quintanilla. I think it is really inspiring how she overcame obstacles of all sorts, including her gender, race and wealth. It is just really cool to see how much she succeeded, even though she didn’t grow up with a lot,” Verschaeve said.

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About the Contributors
Aubrey Lawless
Aubrey Lawless, Section Editor, Podcast Coordinator
Aubrey Lawless is a sophomore in her second year of newspaper. She made the decision to take the class because she enjoys writing, editing, and photography as well as being involved in the school community. Aubrey is a staff writer and reporter at the moment, and hopes to continue improving her skills in journalism. Outside of school, she spends a lot of time on the water, with her friends, and with her dogs.
Tessa Gryc
Tessa Gryc, Podcast Coordinator, Photographer
Tessa is a freshman and this is her first year on newspaper as a reporter. She is taking newspaper because she likes to be involved in the community and be aware of current events. In her free time she likes to read, volunteer, and make pottery. She is especially interested in early american history and government.

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