By: Andrea Smith ’15
March 8th is International Women’s Day and has been since 1909. It was originally the last Sunday in February, and Russian women changed the day to March 8th in 1913. In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City for shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights. Today many countries such as Afghanistan, China, Russia, and Vietnam all celebrate it as a national holiday. In their country, it is an equivalent to Mother’s Day here in America. In America March is Women’s History Month. The tradition sees men honoring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues with flowers and small gifts. Today women are still not paid equally as their male counterparts. We now have female astronauts and prime ministers, a huge accomplishment in over a hundred years. Throughout the world events are held to celebrate women’s achievements.
Mother of Mercy’s very own Mrs. Mitchell is a feminist and teaches a HerStory class that is offered to juniors and seniors. She started the class thirteen years ago with Mrs. Smock because they wanted a way to teach girls about the issues affecting their lives and empower them. While Mrs. Mitchell hasn’t faced any injustices for being a women she has been raised to do whatever she set her heart to. She went to Mount St. Joseph and the volleyball team was better than the football team and they got more benefits. Mrs. Mitchell faces stereotypes for teaching at an all girl school: we are all whiney, we all roll our eyes, and we are not strong academically. She said that she fights back by telling them that 100% to 99% of all graduates go off to higher education, her students are engaged in conversation, and we leave here ready to change the world. Mrs. Mitchell celebrates International Womens Day by doing women’s projects in her HerStory class, parties during lunch celebrating women, and she has sent notes to women in her life. Mrs. Mitchell believes that feminism is equality of gender, meaning having equality for both men and women. She also believes that women need to empower other women and all that they do. Mrs. Mitchell says, “Answer to fix everything: education.” Women need to build other women up to help continue getting equality of all women.