Why women’s history?
To tell the untold stories.
To create role models.
To inspire and encourage.
To show all that can be done!
To give a voice to the forgotten voices.
To show that we can too!
To unveil and reveal what was there all along.
To bring balance.
To know their names.
To prove that one person can make a difference.
To learn from their lives.
To give an example which we can follow.
To foster a sense of unity.
To celebrate great achievements.
To fill in the gaps.
Go into any school and open a text book. You will find names there: Galileo; Shakespeare; Newton; Picasso; Da Vinci; Churchill; Lincoln; Beethoven; Pythagoras; Keats…and on it goes. Not just any names, you’ll note: men’s names.
Sure, there are the odd few women thrown in for good measure: who hasn’t heard of Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, and maybe even Mary Seacole (who made it on to the curriculum in the UK recently.) But they are so few and far between. So it is to be a girl growing up hearing only the names of the very great number of men who came, who did, who went down in history.
But there were women too. Their stories a little harder to find, their names often forgotten – sometimes not even recorded, their lives just waiting to be discovered.
So, why women’s history? For Bessie, Murasaki, Khutulun, Jackie, Claudette, Lily, Ani and Wilma. And for the girls who will hear their stories and realise they can be just like them; who will realise they can achieve their dreams and make history themselves.
Naomi Wilcox-Lee is the founder and editor of Sheroes of History. Sheroes of History is a women’s history blog telling the stories of historical heroines. Get in touch if you’d like to learn how to contribute!
Celebrate Women’s Equality Day with us on Twitter, August 26th. Use #WomensHistoryBecause to share why women’s history is important to you.