SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – Today the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors proclaimed March as Women’s History Month. The commemoration acknowledges the multiple contributions of women regardless of their age, race, class, ethnic, or educational background.
In today’s proclamation, the Board acknowledged that throughout history women not only have contributed to securing their own rights of suffrage and equal opportunity, but also were part of the abolitionist movement, the emancipation movement, the industrial labor movement, the civil rights movement, and the peace movement, to create a fair and just society for all.
“Women have been and continue to be the heart and soul of our families and communities. Even though they had to challenge the status quo to defend their rights, their legacy is inspiring and commendable,” said Supervisor Dave Cortese, President of the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors and Chair of the Board’s Children, Seniors and Families Committee. “Everyone is blessed to have women by their side who unselfishly provide support and wisdom. We call them mothers, teachers, wives, daughters, friends, and colleagues.”
Today’s proclamation by the Board of Supervisors reiterates the role that women have played in economic, cultural, and social arenas, from becoming leaders in the forefront of major progressive social change movements, to constituting a significant portion of the labor force, and charitable, philanthropic and cultural institutions.
“Our history is our strength and we need to be strong today as we address challenges at the every level,” said Suzanne Doty, Chair of the County of Santa Clara Commission on the Status of Women. “We continue to work to balance budgets at every level and we strive to create and implement policy that promotes equality and ensures economic sustainability for all women.”
“While progress has been made, much work remains as women in every single occupational category are paid less than men for the exact same work and experience; violence against women is a serious threat to their health and safety, and the green economy is showing serious gaps for women and girls in Santa Clara County,” said Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, Director of the County’s Office of Women’s Policy. “To build a safe, healthy and sustainable community, we must all work together to address and alleviate discrimination and disparity of women and girls.”
Today’s proclamation comes one week before the world marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. The County Office of Women’s Policy and the Commission on the Status of Women will be partnering with other organizations to commemorate Women’s History Month, with activities that include:
- The Womyn’s Herstory panel on the “Status of Women and Girls in Santa Clara County” at Evergreen Community College on March 3rd.
- A panel presentation for The Women’s International Perspective (The WIP) at their annual celebration “Moving from Outrage to Courage” commemorating the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day to be held at the Monterey Institute in Monterey, CA on March 5th.
- A public celebration at the County Government Center, 70 West Hedding Street, in San José, to commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8th, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Partnering with the City of Campbell for the second annual “Women of Distinction Awards” honoring outstanding women in Campbell, CA. The winners will be recognized during the Campbell City Council on Monday, March 21st.
The first public celebration of women’s history in the United States took place in 1978, as “Women’s History Week” in Sonoma County, California. The week included March 8, International Women’s Day. In 1981, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Representative Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) co-sponsored a joint Congressional Resolution proclaiming a National Women's History Week. In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month, and March was declared Women’s History Month.
Women by the Numbers*
As of October 1, 2009:
- There were 155.8 million women in the United States.
- There were 82.8 million mothers of all ages in the United States. In 2008, the median annual earnings of women 15 and older who worked year-round, full time was $35. Women earned 77 cents for every $1 earned by men.
- 29.4 percent of women 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher education in 2008.
- 55 percent of college students in fall 2008 were women.
- There were 6.5 million women-owned businesses in 2002, generating more than 939 billion in revenue.
- There were 23.8 million female workers in educational services, health care and social assistance industries. More women worked in this industry group than in any other.
- There were 99,000 female police officers across the country in 2008. In addition, there were about 14,000 women firefighters, 349,000 lawyers, 267,000 physicians and surgeons, and 36,000 pilots.
- There were 1.7 million military veterans who were women in 2008. As of September 30, 2008, there were 197,900 active duty women in the military; of that total, 34,300 women were officers, and 163,600 were enlisted.
- 3.1 million girls participated in high school athletic programs in the 2007–08 school year.
*From the U.S. Census Bureau
Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119; Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, Office of Women’s Policy, (408) 299-5142.
Posted: March 1, 2011