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BC Celebrates Women's History Month

This year's theme, "Women Change the World," empowers women of today to step up and speak out for women's rights. But without women of the past, women's history month would not be possible. From Hannah Adams to Susan B. Anthony to Condoleezza Rice, women's history month reflects and commemorates women's defining moments in history.

This year's "Women Change the World" events include:

March 8th
- Tuesday Chapel Servies- Debi McIntosh & Collegium Members. Recorder ensemble and Michelle Jones will perform interpretive dance. Danforth Chapel, lunch is served. 12:00-1:00 p.m.
- Women Uniting for P.E.A.C.E. International Women's Day Parade- Union Church, 5:00 p.m.
-Women Uniting for P.E.A.C.E. Dinner and a Movie- "The Color Purple"- Phelps-Stokes room 204, 6:30 p.m.

March 9th
-Peanut Butter and Gender- "Reclaiming Creativity"- Phelps-Stokes room 204, 11:55-12:55 p.m.

March 11th
-Film and Discussion: "Iron-Jawed Angels"- Kettering Hall/ Lower Lobby, 7:00 p.m.

March 15th
-Tuesday Chapel Services-"Jubilee" Gloria Johnson, "Women's Safety Program"- Danforth Chapel, lunch is served. 12:00-1:00 p.m.
-"Women:God's Chosen Vessels" bible study with Debbie McIntosh- Elizabeth Rogers, 9:00 p.m.
-Women Uniting for P.E.A.C.E.- "Women's Safety on and off campus"- Fairchild Lobby, 7:00 p.m.

March 16th
-Peanut Butter and Gender- "Can Forgiveness Conquer Death?"- Phelps-Stokes room 204, 11:55-12:55 p.m.

March 22nd
-Film and Discussion: "Osama" University of Kentucky, Gaines Center's Bingham, 218 E. Maxwell Street, Lexington. 7:00 p.m.

March 29th
-Tuesday Chapel Services- Liz Menefee, Chamber singers- Danforth Chapel, lunch is served. 12:00-1:00 p.m.
-"Itís All Up to You" Workshop- New Opportunity School for Women, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
-Film and discussion: "Sisters in Resistance"- Frost room 203, 7:00 p.m.

March 30th
-Women Uniting for P.E.A.C.E "Candlelight Vigil in Remembrance of All Women"- Fountain at Woods-Penn, 7:00 p.m.

March 31st
-"History and Community Service"-Phelps-Stokes room 204, 7:00 p.m.

April 1st
-Women Uniting for P.E.A.C.E. "Ladies Lounge"- Phelps-Stokes 7:00-12:00 a.m.

For nearly a century, international women's history day has been celebrated on March 8th. The first women's history day celebrated in the United States was on Febraury 28, 1909. As countries around the world began to recognize the significance of women in their societies, they also began to adopt women's history days. The event that permanently set March 8th as the date was in Russia in 1917. Two million soldiers had died, and women chose February 28th to go on strike for peace. Four days later, the Czar of Russia abdicated his position, and the new government granted women the right to vote. Although this was on February 28th on Russian calendars, it was March 8th on the Gregorian calendar used almost everywhere else.

Women's history month began as a week-long celebration that originated in 1978 in Sonoma County, California. This week included the International Women's Day. Then in 1981 Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Representative Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) made the celebration official with a Congressional resolution commemorating national Women's History Week. In 1987, Congress changed the celebration to a month, and March was declared Women's History Month.

The UN hopes that with International Women's Day, light will be cast upon women's issues in all countries. For example, their focus has included Bride-Burning in India due to lack of sufficent dowries; the killing of women for family honor in Jordan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and other Persian Gulf countries; and the female genital mutilation of over 85 million women in 28 African countries.

Some firsts in women's history include Mary Katharine Goddard, the first woman postmaster in 1775; Hannah Adams, the first professional woman writer in 1784; Lucy Brewer, the first woman marine in 1812; Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to earn a medical degree in 1849; Harriet Tubman, the first woman to run the underground railroad in 1850; Susan B. Anthony, the co-founder of the first woman's suffrage organization in 1869; Pearl S. Buck, the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for literature in 1935; Halle Berry, the first African-American woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress in 2002; and Condoleezza Rice, the first African-American woman to be appointed Secretary of State in 2005.

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