March is International Women’s Month and March 8th is the specific day devoted annually to remembering the impact and importance of gender equality. The day has been celebrated in America since 1975 when its recognition was encouraged by the United Nations. Let’s take the time to learn a little more about how it came to exist and honor some inspiring American women.

The roots of International Women’s Day
While the U.S.A. did not celebrate the holiday until the ’70s, international recognition began much earlier than that. The first noted Day of the Woman was around 1910 when Clara Zetkin suggested that a day be set aside internationally at a meeting of the International Congress of Working Women. The meeting, which was in Copenhagen, eventually brought the day to become celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland the next year.

The significance of March 8th is also important. This was the first day of a historical strike led by women, in hopes to secure the right to vote in Russia in 1917. The strike ultimately led to the Russian Tsar being overthrown and women being given the right to vote in Russia.

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

American women to recognize this year
This year, the 2022 International Women’s Day campaign theme is Break the Bias. According to the campaign website, “Whether deliberate or unconscious, the bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field.” Here are some women in the American Government who have broken the bias and cleared the path for many other women to find success:

Maxine Waters
Congresswoman Maxine Waters was elected in November 2018 and is serving her 15th term in the House of Representatives in the 43rd Congressional District of California. She received 70% of the vote and her constituency continues to rely on her to represent them and their needs. She represents the diverse population of South Los Angeles. She was the first woman and first African American Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. Congresswoman Waters has a long history of shaping public policy and breaking down social barriers.

Liz Cheney
Congresswoman Liz Cheney represents Wyoming in the U.S. House of Representatives. She is the only member of congress to do so and has been in office since 2016. According to her website, “Cheney sits on the House Armed Services Committee and also serves as the Vice-Chair for the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.” Aside from her current role of leadership, she served at the State Department as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East. She was also a lawyer and speaks with authority as a Fox News Analyst.

Sonia Sotomayor
Now a U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, Sonia Sotomayor graduated in 1976 from Princeton with the University’s highest academic honor and continued to earn a degree from Yale Law School. Sotomayor served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office from 1979–1984. She was first nominated in 2009 and has served since. In 2019, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

These are only a few of the inspiring women who serve us through our government. Take the time this March 8th to consider the massive strength of those brave women who took a stand and fought for equality and those who continue the tradition today.