By Grace Bennett
History as we know it would be incomplete, uninteresting, and, indeed, impossible without the varied, significant, and necessary contributions of women across the globe. Women have never failed to influence the course of world history, and one would be hard pressed to find any major historical event where a woman failed to leave her mark. Despite, however, the undeniably important roles women have, and continue to, play, we often don’t make the history books. Few history classes across the globe fail to mention the impact of Napoleon, Plato, or Einstein. While, of course, the footprints these men left on history must be recognized, but one could easily say the same of great women like Frances Perkins, Catherine the Great, or Clara Barton. History, however, pays them much less attention. Luckily, we have a chance this month to give these and other great women the attention and celebration they deserve.
March marks Women’s History Month, and DC organizations and centers are well prepared to honor and celebrate women’s incalculable contributions to world history. Every year, the National Women’s History Project declares a theme for the month in order to center attention around one unique aspect of woman’s history. This year the theme is “Weaving the Story of Women’s Lives” and celebrates both individual and collective stories of empowerment, courage, breakthrough, and progression. The theme encourages all of us to celebrate the stories and influence of women in our own life, while reflecting on the invaluable role of others throughout history. Here are a few places you can celebrate Women’s History Month this March:
The National Museum of Women In the Arts: 1250 New York Ave. N.W.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts is the only major museum in world to host works solely by female artists. The Museum hosts ten major exhibitions throughout the year, and has a number of musical and visual events planned for this month!
Women of Architecture: National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW
This year the women of architecture lecture will be given by Sharon Davis, principal of Sharon Davis Designs, a New York design firm. Davis emphasizes the importance of social and economic empowerment in her work, and will speak about the intersection of design and social impact. For tickets visit their museum: http://go.nbm.org
The Smithsonian is celebrating Women’s History Month this March with a number of different talks and events, as well as their normal exhibitions. The event calendar can be found here:http://smithsonianeducation.org/heritage_month/whm/
The Library of Congress: 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC
The Library of Congress has complied a number of relevant collections and inventories related to various themes, including women’s rights, women and war, government, and art.
You don’t even have to leave campus to celebrate Women’s History Month! In addition to GUWIL events, lectures, and workshops, you can check out a number of events hosted by The Women’s Center this month. The Center is hosting more than ten events, including conversations and forums dedicated to careers, gender at Georgetown, and the role of feminism in world history. For a full list of events, please visit the Women’s Center’s website at http://womenscenter.georgetown.edu.