Women Have Shaped My Life

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This month, people from all over the world are celebrating the many inspirational and powerful women who have shaped their lives.

March is Women’s History Month, and just like Black History Month before it, we shouldn’t only celebrate it once a year. However, it is certainly nice to have a whole month dedicated to groups that don’t always receive the attention they undoubtedly deserve.

The first Women’s History event happened in 1982 as Women’s History Week. It later expanded to include the entire month of March in 1987 after the United States Congress passed a resolution declaring it a national month-long celebration.

If many of us sit and think about it, it’s easy to recall names of women who have impacted our lives in profound and immeasurable ways. It could be a famous “first,” like the first woman in space, the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize or the first woman Vice President of the United States. It could also be someone much closer to our hearts, like our mother, grandmother, aunt, or guardian.

As I think about the women who have impacted and shaped my own life, I realize that the women I admire the most come from both historical figures and the women closest to me in my family.

I think about my grandmothers, on both sides of the family, who have taught me about the importance of having a strong and steady faith, as well as the value of being an independent thinker.

I think about my mother, who always encouraged me to pursue the things that made me happy and recognized early on that writing was not only something I was good at but something I could turn into a fulfilling career as well.

Powerful women throughout history also come to mind, like Ida B. Wells, a journalist and civil rights activist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Through the power of pen and paper, she exposed the horrors of Jim Crow-era lynchings across the American South, and went on to be one of the co-founders of the NAACP in 1909. Her investigative journalism work inspires me to always seek out the truth, even if that truth makes some people uncomfortable.

I also think of Christian writers, like Rachel Held Evans, whose raw and vulnerable accounts of her faith transformation have taught me to explore my faith in new and different ways. Evans tragically died in 2019, but her books are ones that I’m sure I will return to time and time again throughout my life.

And I of course cannot ignore the impact of seeing Vice President Kamala Harris become the first female vice president in U.S. history, and knowing that many little girls will grow up understanding that it’s possible — and not only that, necessary — for them to do great things as well.

Women’s History Month is about celebrating powerful, courageous women who have impacted not only our lives but the lives of countless people across the globe.

Remember to celebrate the important women in your life, not just in March, but every day of the year.


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