Celebrating Women’s History Month


Jessica Pliley, Texas State associate professor of History of Women, Genders and Studies, discusses the progress of women's equality over the centuries March 5.
Photo by Ali Mumbach

Ivy Sandoval

Over the years, women have broken barriers and ignored limits in order to achieve what they deserved. March is a time to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history with Women’s History Month.

According to the National Women’s History Museum, women were originally given only one internationally recognized day: March 8. It was not until 1987 that the month of March was designated as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, each president has issued an annual proclamation officiating the month.

The Texas State and San Marcos community has celebrated in various ways to shed light on the importance of women’s roles throughout American history.

A free art show was held March 8 at the San Marcos Public Library in honor of International Women’s Day. The show featured exclusively local female artists. There were five poets, four musicians and 24 artists ranging from photographers, jewelry designers, ceramic artists and doll makers.

The theme of the art show was “A Room of One’s Own,” inspired by Virginia Woolf’s essay, which portrays the idea that for women, a personal room for creation is vital.

Debangana Banerjee, local artist and curator of the show, along with the San Marcos Public Library librarian Deborah Carter, said the inspiration behind holding the art show and choosing the theme was to provide encouragement from the community for these local female artists.

“I thought the celebration would be more meaningful if I could do it alongside other local women artists,” Banerjee said. “We all create art regularly and use different mediums. We belong to different age groups and have different cultural backgrounds. We should all build our own rooms (with key and lock) where we can produce our most honest own reality.”

Latinas Unidas, an all-female Latina -based student organization on campus, strives to empower its members through support and education on relevant topics. For Women’s History Month, the organization’s meetings are centered around themes of female empowerment and Latinas in history.

Daniella Carrera, volunteer coordinator for Latinas Unidas, said members take part in a minimum of five service hours a semester. She said the organization has aided her in realizing her worth as a woman.

“We have to acknowledge the fact that different women have different struggles, especially (women) of different ethnicities,” Carrera said.

ATX Celebrated International Women’s Day March 2019 with a show to celebrate a worldwide event created by a local Austin artist, Leti Garza.The concert consisted of three women-led bands: Cecilia + the Broken Hearts, Tiarra Girls and Leti Garza y La Banda.

Garza, project director of the event, said she constructed the concert to recognize International Women’s Day and create more awareness in the Austin area, because it has not been substantially celebrated in the community.

“This year, I wanted to recognize the Latina community and women artists in Austin,” Garza said. “It was very important for me to bring women of color into the mainstream public life.”

Jessica Pliley, associate professor of the History of Women, Genders and Studies, said she was proud of the progress made by women and knowing there will be more, especially with taking on more positions in leadership and politics.

“There has been a lot of progress,” Pliley said. “That doesn’t mean there can’t be more progress and I think the most fundamental thing in our country is that we have to get more equal representation in politics.”

The timeline of women’s history and accomplishments has grown exponentially, but there is still a constant strive for change. It is important that any designated month celebration should not only be limited to that length of time, but celebrated and respected daily.

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