February is already behind us, and we move into March, a month historically recognized for celebrating Women’s History. During these weeks, people worldwide highlight the contributions of women, those Guerreras that have helped forge the society we live in today.
And they keep doing so.
The celebration of Women’s History officially started in 1982, although, back then, the observance lasted only a week. It was not until 1987 that it was extended to the whole month.
For us, this is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all those Latinas who fought to change the world and continue to do so today. Although, fear not, we will highlight our fav chingonas all year long!
What’s the story behind Women’s History Month?
It all began in the early 20th century, at a time of great social upheaval. Women began to organize against patriarchal oppression and inequality.
In 1908, 15,000 women marched in New York, demanding shorter working hours, better wages, and the right to vote.
The following year, the Socialist Party of America celebrated the first National Women’s Day across the United States on February 28, 1909. Women continued to celebrate it on the last Sunday in February until 1913.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, the Second International Conference of Working Women was being held in Copenhagen, Denmark, where Clara Zetkin, who headed the Women’s Bureau of the Social Democratic Party in Germany, introduced the idea of an International Women’s Day.
On March 9, 1911, International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. More than a million women and men attended rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be educated, hold public office, and end discrimination.
However, less than a week later, on March 25, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City killed more than 140 women and girls, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This fire, one of the deadliest in U.S. history, drew attention to the country’s working conditions and labor laws and became the focal point of subsequent International Women’s Day events.
This year’s theme for Women’s History Month
Each year, this celebration has a theme designated by the National Women’s History Alliance. This year, that theme is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” This subject was carefully chosen as a tribute and honor to all those women who have been on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic and also to all the women in our lives who, in one way or another, heal us and keep our hope alive.
This world has been forged by both men and women, whether they are homemakers, scientists, artists, athletes, or world leaders. However, women have been doing the same job, but in a society that has not been designed for them to thrive as they should. Latina women are no exception to this; many of the great contributions to the history of this country and the world have come from the hands of a Latina woman who has had to face the double stigma of being a woman and of color.