March is Women’s History Month and WYCD joins in celebrating the strength, inspiration, and enduring contribution of women throughout history. This year’s theme of Women’s Education acknowledges women who fought bravely for the education rights of their peers and generations of women thereafter.
Thanks to activists like teacher and school founder Emma Willard, not only do women have a right to higher education, they now outnumber men on college campuses across the U.S. What began as a basic allowance to girls, with the objective of educating future mothers who nurture leaders and further the goals of a male-dominated society, has evolved into the promise of equal learning opportunities and the comprehensive professional advancement for women.
Today and on Wednesdays throughout March, we join the National Women’s History Month Project to recognize women leaders in education. The first honoree, Emma Willard, took it upon herself to found the Troy Female Seminary in New York when the notion of women’s education and labor was suppressed or ridiculed at best.
A statue of the trailblazer stands at the campus, since renamed the Emma Willard School. The inscription reads in part: HER MOST ENDURING MONUMENT [is] the gratitude of educated women.