Women’s History Month
The Importance and Promise of Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month serves to highlight past civil rights accomplishments, inspire young girls, and boost the efforts of today’s women in workplaces, schools, and families.
Women’s history is often taught secondary to the history made by men. This is due in part to the limitations placed on women regarding their freedom to move about the world, but those restrictions have been overridden time and again throughout the ages. Women’s History Month celebrates those achievements.
At the women-led firm of Levin Simes Abrams, we know we stand on the shoulders of trailblazers who have fought the good fight for equality. Women’s history is our history, and the successes we’re able to achieve on behalf of our clients help form the future.
If you’re in need of legal representation for women’s issues with discrimination, assault, or childcare, you can contact Levin Simes Abrams via our online form or by calling (415) 426-3000. For more information on how far women’s rights have come, and the next steps to take towards true equality, read on.
When Was the First Women’s Day Celebrated?
The first National Women’s Day in the United States was marked on February 28, 1909. It began as an occasion to support the striking women workers of the garment industry in New York City, who protested against unfair low wages, sexual harassment, and dangerous working conditions.
The lack of regulations to protect female employees eventually caused the deaths of 146 people in Manhattan’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire on March 25, 1911. The Triangle Shirtwaist tragedy is still the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of New York, and one of the deadliest industrial incidents that has ever occurred in U.S. history.
The life-threatening risk of textile factory work was known long before the Triangle Shirtwaist catastrophe, and that horrendous incident could have been avoided if the protests of female workers on the first Women’s Day had been heard.
When Was International Women’s Day First Recognized?
The United Nations (UN) officially recognized International Women’s Day in 1975, and the first world conference on the status of women was convened in Mexico City, Mexico later that year. The progress made between 1911 and 1975 includes:
- August 18, 1920: Women gained the right to vote in the United States
- May 9, 1960: The first commercially available birth control pill was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- October 28, 1974: The Equal Credit Opportunity Act passed, which allowed women the right to their own credit cards without needing a husband or his permission
Each of these milestones granted women equivalent rights to men, long-withheld control over their bodies and finances, as well as more independence to shape the world around them. But the fight for equal rights is not yet over.
The fight for equal rights is not yet over, and the personal injury attorneys at Levin Simes Abrams are on the frontline for women’s fair treatment.
Why Do We Celebrate Women’s History Month?
Though women’s rights have made tremendous advancements in the 20th century, there are still gaps of inequality between the genders that have yet to be squared. These include:
- Equal pay: The pay between genders has always been in favor of men over women. The Pew Research Center recently found that women were paid only 84% of what men earned for doing the same job, meaning a woman would have to work 42 days more to earn the same amount as her male counterpart.
- The “pink tax”: This is a term used to describe the pricing irregularities between products marketed for men vs. women. From children’s toys to shaving razors to multivitamins, too often the blue items for boys are less expensive than pink ones for girls, and men’s products more affordable than women’s. This is true when the items are otherwise identical, and even in cases where the women’s products are smaller in size (and therefore less expensive to produce).
- Reproductive rights: The right to comprehensive sexual education, effective contraception, and abortion care are frequently eroded and denied across the United States. Unintended pregnancies can lead to damaging psychological conditions in women (like depression), harmful socio-economic impacts due to housing and employment discrimination, and imposed physical health burdens that the men involved do not and cannot share.
One of the most important aspects of Women’s History Month is the chance to use reflections on the past to spur further progress for the future.
Interesting fact: Pink used to be considered a boy’s color. In the 1920s, pastels and other light colors were considered appropriate for all young children, with pink in particular seen as a boy’s color because it was a junior version of the masculine “warlike” red for men.
Fighting for Women’s Equality
The law operates on precedent, meaning cases are frequently decided based on what has been done before. With a knowledge of historical decisions, your attorney strengthens the argument for your case. Similarly, by pursuing cases specific to women and pointing out the disparity in the law between genders, new precedents can be set.
At Levin Simes Abrams, we know that history is the mark left by the decisions we make in the present. If it’s time for you to take a stand against injustice, our attorneys are ready to join you.
Contact Levin Simes Abrams today at (415) 426-3000 for a free, confidential consultation. Remember that justice for one woman can help improve the lives of many others in schools, workplaces, and domestic situations across the country. You can be part of the inspiring history that is taught to tomorrow’s daughters.