Tag Archives: Herstory

International Women’s Day, 100th Anniversary – Herstory 8

BettyJean Downing

International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.
1908
Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women’s oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
1909
In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.
1910
n 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result.
1911
Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events. 1911 also saw women’s ‘Bread and Roses‘ campaign.
1913-1914
On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women’s Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Wommen’s Day ever since. In 1914 further women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women’s solidarity.
1917
On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for “bread and peace” in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. Opposed by political leaders the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women’s strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.
1918 – 1999
Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women’s Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD has grown from strength to strength annually. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women’s rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as ‘International Women’s Year‘ by the United Nations. Women’s organisations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honour women’s advancement and while diligently reminding of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women’s equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.
2000 and beyond
IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.
However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.
Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.
Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google some years even changes its logo on its global search pages. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as ‘Women’s History Month’.
So make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make everyday International Women’s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.
About this internationalwomensday.com website www.internationalwomensday.com  is a global hub for sharing International Women’s Day information, events, news and resources.The website was founded in 2001 as a non-profit philanthropic venture dedicated to keeping International Women’s Day (IWD) alive and growing.

Since 2007, IWD has gained considerable momentum due to greater media attention, events, social networking and corporate support. IWD is now celebrated via wide scale activity in almost every country and many world leaders support the day with official statements.
This service is proudly provided by Aurora Ventures as a non-profit venture and kindly supported by a number of companies who make it possible for this International Women’s Day website to operate. Without their support, the website could not survive. Each Supporting Partner has a firm track record in supporting women’s equality and advancement. We like to celebrate International Women’s Day, but we also want to celebrate our Supporting Partners! We urge you to acknowledge them whenever you can.

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Girl Scout’s 100 Most Important Women in History: Herstory 7

BettyJean Downing

Shelby Ellery, created a site www.angelfire.com/anime2/100import/ as a gold award project, the highest award that can be awarded in Girl Scouting that has to take at least  50 hours to complete.  She chose this project  believing  that women aren’t recognized enough.

“I can name so many men that I have been taught by my teachers, but I really can’t name all that many women. This site is a resource for all those people out there who are just like me, no matter what age, curious about how women also affected who people are today and who the world wouldn’t be the same without. Take a moment to choose someone you have never heard of and look through this window into their soul, who they really were or are. By all means, help yourself. And thanks again!”

Jane Addams
Susan B. Anthony
Marie Antoinette
Saint Joan of Arc
Aspasia of Miletus
Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Jane Austen
Ella Baker
Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike
Clara Barton
Florence Bascom
Simone de Beauvoir
Aphra Behn
Ruth Fulton Benedict
Shirley Temple Black
Elizabeth Blackwell
Bonnie Kathleen Blair
Rosa Bonheur
Louise Arner Boyd
Pearl S. Buck
Marie Anne de Cupis de Camargo
Rachel Carson
Catherine the Great
St. Catherine
Chien-shiung Wu
Cleopatra
Juana Ines de la Cruz
Marie Curie
Agnes George de Mille
Emily Dickinson
Amelia Earhart
Marian Wright Edelman
Eleanor of Aquitane
Beatrix Jones Farrand
Edith Flanigen
Anne Frank
Rosalind Elsie Franklin
Betty Naomi Friedan
Elizabeth Gurney Fry
Margaret Fuller
Indira Gandhi
Sarah and Angelina Grimke
Caroline Lucretia Herschel
Judith E. Heumann
Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin
Ariel Hollinshead
Mary Phelps Jacob
Helen Keller
Billie Jean King
Aleksandra Mikhaylovna Kollontai
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Susette La Flesche Tibbles
Maya Lin
Juliette Gordon Low
Anne Sullivan Macy
Wilma Mankiller
Barbara McClintock
Catherine de Medici
Lise Meitner
Rigoberta Menchu Tum
Maria Montessori
Mother Theresa
Baroness Murasaki Shikibu
Florence Nightingale
Georgia O’Keeffe
Vijaya Lakshimi Pandit
Emmeline Pankhurst
Rosa Parks
Eva Peron
Christine de Pizan
Pocahontas
Queen Anne
Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Isabella
Queen Victoria
Jeannette Rankin
Sally Ride
Alexandra Romanov
Eleanor Roosevelt
Sakajawea
Margaret Sanger
Sappho
Rose Schneiderman
Gloria Steinem
Lucy Stone
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Russell Strong
Bertha von Suttner
Emma Tenayuca
Valentina Vladimirovna Nikolayeva Tereshkova
Margaret Thatcher
Alexandrine Pieternella Francoise Tinne
Sojourner Truth
Harriet Tubman
Tz’u Hsi
Yoshiko Uchida
Phyllis Wheatley
Mary Wollstonecraft
Rosalyn Sussman Yalow

 

Don’t forget this page: very helpful if you need some explanation of my choices, pictures, or anything common. Also includes a bonus woman and my works cited.

Notes from the Author

This page contains additional important women contributed by viewers of this webpage.

Additional Important Women

 And as always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me (asukalangley13@hotmail.com)

Finished April 2001. Last updated November 7th, 2003

Elizabeth Blackwell: Herstory 2

Originally Posted on March 2, 2012 by freemenow

Elizabeth Blackwell (3 February 1821 – 31 May 1910) was the first female doctor in the United States.

She was the first openly identified woman to graduate from medical school, a pioneer in educating women in medicine in the United States, and was prominent in the emerging women’s rights movement.

Elizabeth Blackwell was born in Bristol, England and spent her early years living in a house on Wilson Street, off Portland Square, St Pauls, Bristol.

She was the third of nine children born to sugar refiner Samuel Blackwell and his wife, Hannah (née Lane).  Blackwell could afford to give his numerous sons an education and also believed that his daughters should get the same education as boys, so he had them tutored by the house servants.

While growing up, Blackwell lost six of her sisters and two of her brothers. One night when Blackwell was 11, a fire destroyed her father’s business. In 1832, the family emigrated to the United States and set up a refinery in New York City. The Blackwells were very religious Quakers. They believed that all men and women were equal in the eyes of God.

Due to their Quaker beliefs, the Blackwell family was anti-slavery. An opportunity was presented to Samuel Blackwell that allowed him to open a refinery in Ohio, where slaves would not be needed to harvest the sugar, so the Blackwells moved to Cincinnati. Three months after they moved, Elizabeth’s father got very sick with biliary fever and died.

After the death of her father, Blackwell took up a career in teaching in Kentucky to make money to pay for medical school. Blackwell found this work unpleasant. Desiring to apply herself to the practice of medicine, she took up residence in a physician’s household, using her time there to study from the family’s medical library. She became active in the anti-slavery movement (as did her brother Henry Brown Blackwell who married Lucy Stone, a suffragist). Another brother, Samuel Charles Blackwell, married another important figure in women’s rights, Antoinette Brown.

In 1845, she went to Asheville, North Carolina, where she read medicine in the home of Dr. John Dickson. Afterwards, she read with his brother Dr. Samuel Henry Dickson in Charleston, South Carolina.

She attended Geneva College in New York. She was accepted there — anecdotally, because the faculty put it to a student vote, and the students thought her application was a hoax — and braved the prejudice of some of the professors and students to complete her training. Blackwell is said to have replied that if the instructor was upset by the fact that Student No. 156 wore a bonnet, she would be pleased to remove her conspicuous headgear and take a seat at the rear of the classroom, but that she would not voluntarily absent herself from a lecture.

However, most of the faculty and students were not very polite to her. Blackwell’s male peers treated her very rudely. On 11 January 1849, she became the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States, and graduated, on 23 January 1849, first in her class.

Banned from practice in most hospitals, she was advised to go to Paris, France and train at La Maternité, but had to continue her training as a student midwife, not a physician. While she was there, her training was cut short when in November, 1849 she caught a serious eye infection, purulent ophthalmia, from a baby she was treating. She had her eye removed and replaced with a glass eye.

In New York City, Elizabeth opened up her own practice. She was faced with adversity, but did manage to get some media support from entities such as the New York Tribune. She had very few patients, a fact Elizabeth attributed to the stigma of woman doctors as abortionists. In 1852, she began delivering lectures and published The Laws of Life with Special Reference to the Physical Education of Girls, her first work, a volume about the physical and mental development of girls. Although Elizabeth herself pursued a career and never married or carried a child, this treatise ironically concerned itself with the preparation of young women for motherhood.

In 1857, Blackwell along with her sister Emily and Dr. Marie Zakrzewska, founded their own infirmary, named the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children. During the American Civil War, Blackwell trained many women to be nurses and sent them to the Union Army. Many women were interested and received training at this time. After the war, Blackwell had time, in 1868, to establish a Women’s Medical College at the Infirmary to train women, physicians, and doctors.

In 1857, Blackwell returned to England where she attended Bedford College for Women  for one year. In 1858, under a clause in the 1858 Medical Act that recognized doctors with foreign degrees practising in Britain before 1858, she was able to become the first woman to have her name entered on the General Medical Council’s medical register (1 January 1859).

In 1869, she left her sister Emily in charge of the college and returned to England. There, with Florence Nightingale, she opened the Women’s Medical College. Blackwell taught at London School of Medicine for Women, which she had co-founded, and accepted a chair in gynecology. She retired a year later.

During her retirement, Blackwell still maintained her interest in the women’s rights movement by writing lectures on the importance of education. Blackwell is credited with opening the first training school for nurses in the United States in 1873. She also published books about diseases and proper hygiene.

She was an early outspoken opponent of circumcision and in 1894 said that “Parents, should be warned that this ugly mutilation of their children involves serious danger, both to their physical and moral health.” She was a proponent of women’s rights and pro-life.

Her female education guide was published in Spain, as was her autobiography.

In 1856, she adopted Katherine “Kitty” Barry, an orphan of Irish origin, who was her companion for the rest of her life.

In 1907 Blackwell was injured in a fall from which she never fully recovered. She died on 31 May 1910 at her home in Hastings in Sussex after a stroke. She was buried in June 1910 in Saint Mun’s churchyard at Kilmun on Holy Loch in the west of Scotland