Writing women back into history | TheUnion.com

Writing women back into history

To celebrate March as Women’s History Month, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of Nevada County is hosting a showing of the PBS documentary, “Women, Power, and Politics” at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in the Library Building, N6, Room 101, Sierra College in Grass Valley.

The film will be followed by a panel discussion lead by Dr. Kathleen Taylor, Professor of Psychology at Sierra College, and Lynn Medeiros, Professor of History at the college. The public is welcome. There is no charge for admission.

The United States disparity in political representation for women compares unfavorably with many other countries. The film, “Women, Power and Politics” focuses on that disparity and probes into the reasons for it.

The discussion following the film will further explore those issues, and the implications for equity for women and for the quality of governmental decision-making affecting us all.

Dr. Taylor specializes in social-cultural psychology. She has published work and/or performed institutional research in topics ranging from familial abuse and adolescent pregnancy, American Indian education in California, stigmatized social identity, and the stress-disease relationship.

Ms. Medeiros specializes in women’s political history. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from California State University, Sacramento.

As recently as the 1970s, women’s history was virtually an unknown topic in the K-12 curriculum or in general public consciousness. To address this situation, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration for 1978.

In 1980, President Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation recognizing Women’s History Week, making it a national celebration and recognition of women’s historic achievements. In 1987, this national celebration was expanded by Congressional Resolution to an entire month by declaring March as National Women’s History Month.

President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation in honor of Women’s History Month, 2010 on March 2, noting that, “Women’s History Month is an opportunity for us to recognize the contributions women have made to our Nation, and to honor those who blazed trails for women’s empowerment and equality.” At the same time, he notes that inequalities persist that must be corrected, an example of which is that, while women comprise over 50 percent of our population, they hold fewer than 17 percent of our congressional seats.

Since 1881, AAUW has been the nation’s leading voice promoting education and equity for women and girls. With a nationwide network of nearly 100,000 members, 1,000 branches and 500 college/university partners, AAUW has strong ties to this annual March celebration of women history makers. As an established historic organization, AAUW has helped – and continues to help – women make history.

The AAUW Nevada County Branch provides scholarships for local women entering and returning to college and for seventh grade girls to attend Tech Trek, a science, math and technology summer camp at Stanford University.

The branch also supports the AAUW Funds, the Educational Foundation which provides fellowships and scholarships for women completing their graduate studies and offers Community Action Grants to organizations for projects which support women and girls.

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