Celebrating powerful historical women 


Ana López del Punta '23

Women’s History Month honors women’s commitment to advancing social justice.

March marks Women’s History Month, the annual commemoration of influential women across history and their contributions to the advancement of global equityAs the Head of the Women in Leadership Club, Sacred Heart Greenwich junior Jenny Di Capua fosters leadership through educating members on female struggle and resistance. 

History has demonstrated that female involvement in government is vital to progress, according to state.gov.  Although women hold a growing number of government positions, only 13 countries had a female head of government in 2021.  Just four nations have 50 percent or more female representation in legislative bodies, according to unwomen.org.  

Mrs. Eva Perón combated social inequity in Argentina. Courtesy of Ms. Nikita Triandafillidis.

To raise awareness about gender inequality, the Library of Congress holds a collection of female work from different countries and continents.  It offers free public access to primary sources so that patrons can enhance their knowledge of women’s history, according to guides.loc.gov.

The Library of Congress also highlights prominent figures in the United States campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment and the Women Suffrage Parade of 1913, including Mrs. Mary Church Terrell, Miss Susan B. Anthony, and Miss Alice Paul.  In addition to advocating for gender equality, women such as Miss Ella Baker and Mrs. Septima Poinsette Clark were active participants in the civil rights movement.  As members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Miss Baker mentored young activists while Mrs. Clark worked to desegregate the public school system, according to nps.gov.  Although female activists faced sexual harassment and discrimination, Black and white women’s efforts helped pass laws that protected the rights of Black Americans, according to loc.gov.

In Argentina, women also challenged socioeconomic disparities to bring about progress.  Mrs. Eva Perón was the wife of former Argentine President Juan Perón.  Through her activism, she increased the political and social power of First Ladies.  Mrs. Perón’s advocacy for women’s rights and the working class gave her the nickname Evita, which represents her closeness with the Argentine people.  As first lady, she attended delegations and helped increase workers’ wages.  Additionally, Mrs. Perón visited factories and low-income neighborhoods in a period of social and wealth disparity, according to evitaperon.org.  

Mrs. Aoua Keita was the first French-speaking West African woman to serve at the national legislative assembly of Mali, according to unesco.org.  She campaigned against colonialism and founded the Committee of Women Workers to defend the rights of female workers.  Mrs. Keita also endeavored to establish a Panafrican women’s organization to amplify female voices, according to unesco.org.

Taking inspiration from historical women across the globe, the Women in Leadership Club welcomes female guest speakers through Zoom to talk about their careers and offer advice to club members.  Through these discussions, Jenny hopes to strengthen students’ self-esteem and empower them to engage in self-advocacy.

“[The guest speakers] address the different struggles they faced personally and the different methods with which they handled those struggles personally and emotionally,” Jenny said.  “A big final question that we always end with is a piece of advice that is imperative for us as aspiring female leaders to take in and internalize.”

The Women in Leadership Club encourages members to assert their role as leaders.  Courtesy of Ms. Nikita Uday

Women in Leadership participants also explore the historical and current obstacles women face to highlight the importance of perseverance and determination.  Jenny believes that learning about influential female leaders will inspire young women to continue social justice initiatives. 

“I think that a big part of growing up, continuing your education, and getting into your career is learning from the past and being able to move forward in a progressive way,” Jenny said.  “I think that it is important to understand the different issues that women are facing and how we can enact change and get involved.”

Featured Image by Ana López del Punta ‘23