Celebrating Activists During Women’s History Month

Celebrating+Activists+During+Women%27s+History+Month

Whitney Robbins, Writer

March is when we celebrate Women’s History Month. During this thirty-one days, we recognize powerful and brave women who have changed the lives of not just women, but everyone, all around the world. These female activists tackled issues such as education, peace, and equal rights. 

Hillary Clinton (b.1947)

Hillary Clinton has filled a lot of important roles, including the first lady of the United States and secretary of state. Clinton’s most important role in not only our country, but the whole word, is an activist. Clinton’s mother was abandoned by her own parents at a young age, and left to take care of herself. Fortunately, Clinton had a more privileged childhood, but her mother’s experience inspired Clinton to fight for the needs of children. Sometime in 1963, Clinton saw Martin Luther King Jr. speak, which encouraged Clinton to get involved in social justice. Since then, she has made many great achievements. Clinton attended Yale Law School, being one of the only 27 women to graduate from her class. After graduating from Yale, she went to work for the Children’s Defense Fund with this was her first big job. She fought for a better education for children with disabilities. She has also co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Family, which is one of Alaska’s first child support programs. She ran for president in 2008 and 2016, making her the first woman to run for U.S. president. Clinton has done so much more to help families and especially children and families.

Helen Keller (1880-1968)

Helen Keller was an activist for many things, including women’s suffrage and pacifism. Keller was born perfectly healthy. Unfortunately, she got struck with an illness that experts today believe to be scarlet fever or meningitis at almost 2 years old. This illness left Keller permanently blind and deaf. Keller became a wild and disobedient child until her teacher, Anne Sulivan, arrived in her life. Sullivan changed Keller’s life by teaching her how to cope with her disabilities, and how to communicate. Keller attended the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf from 1894 to 1896. While there, she enhanced her communication skills and studied general subjects. It was around this time that Keller decided she wanted to go to college. She attended the Cambridge School for Young Ladies in 1896 and, with the help of Henry H. Rodgers, attended Radcliffe College from 1899 to 1904. Keller published her first book, The Story of My Life, in 1905. When she graduated from college, she became more involved with activism, focusing on social and political problems. She gave speeches about her experiences, worked with other people who lived with disabilities, and even stood before Congress, demanding to improve the well-being of blind people. Keller co-founded Helen Keller International in 1915, and helped found the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920. Being disabled did not stop Keller from achieving greatness. 

 

Abigail Smith Adams (1744-1818)

Abigail Smith Adams is usually remembered  for being the wife of the second U.S. president John Adams and the mother of the sixth U.S. president John Quincy Adams, but she was an activist for women’s education and rights. Adams was born into a respected and well-known family. Despite this, she, like most women at the time, did not have a proper education. This did not stop her from learning, however, as she read books from her family’s library. Abigail’s intelligence drew John Adams to her, and the two soon became married and had 6 children together (with one being stillborn). While her husband was away, Adams handled their farm and, despite women having little to no property rights, referred it as her own. She wrote a letter commonly known as “Remember the Ladies” in March of 1776 to caution the Founding Fathers to not forget about the women while they are fighting for America’s freedom. Adams was very concerned about women’s education, and felt that they deserved a better one. She joined Judith Sargent Murray (another women’s rights activist) to improve women’s education. Throughout their marriage, Adams and her husband were very supportive and respectful of each other’s beliefs. She did not let the expectations and limitations of women stop her from using her voice.

Because of their kindness, bravery, and determination we celebrate these three strong women. While Women’s History Month is in March these women along with all women should be celebrated every day.