The Franklin-Simpson Human Rights Commission will move its annual Women’s History Month luncheon online this year. The commission continues to celebrate the contribution of women throughout our community and nation.

Some of the outstanding women of the Franklin-Simpson community will be recognized during a virtual Zoom gathering Saturday, March 27. The event will be posted on Facebook the next day, Sunday, March 28 on the Franklin-Simpson Human Rights Commission page. Commission members will also post the program on their individual Facebook pages.

The local Human Rights Commission will recognize individuals from the fields of education, health care, law enforcement, and pastoral work, as well as an organization working to benefit women.

Individual names will be released March 18.

The 2021 theme for Women’s History Month is Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced. Women received the right to vote in the United States in 1920. Because celebrations of this milestone were limited due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, the theme has been extended to 2021.

International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 8. The United States has extended the celebration of women to include the entire month of March each year.

Women are often overlooked in history. For example, the nation’s commemorative landscape is ladened with over 5,000 public statues honoring historic figures and their accomplishments. However, recent estimates suggest that fewer than 400 of these public works of art recognize women from lived history.

This disparity is evident in major cities such as Washington, D.C. and New York City.

In Washington, D.C. there are only seven public statues, outside of the National Statuary Hall Collection, honoring specific women from history: Joan of Arc, Queen Isabella I of Castille, Olive Risley Seward, Mary McLeod Bethune, Jane A. Delano, Crown Princess Märtha of Sweden, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Until the addition of the Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument on August 26, 2020, New York City had only five statues of female historical figures: Joan of Arc, Golda Meir, Gertrude Stein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Harriet Tubman.

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