International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

Since 1911, International Women’s Day has served as a salute to the capabilities and accomplishments of women throughout the world.  This year’s theme is #EmbraceEquity.

What does it mean to #EmbraceEquity?  If women are to be counted as full members of society, they need more than acknowledgement.  They need real opportunities and the knowledge that women can and do anything they choose.  To that end, the IU East Campus Library offers a variety of databases dedicated to the creative, sociopolitical and scientific achievements and changes by women.

Women have been leaders for social change since the founding of the United States.  From voting rights to social justice, women have led the charge for a host of causes, all dedicated to improving the civic and personal condition of all human beings.  For an investigative look at some of these causes and activities, go to the Women and Social Movements in the United States database.  Use this source to read back issues of Equal Rights, the journal of the National Woman’s Party, or discover women like Mary Rozet Smith, who was the life partner of social reformer Jane Addams. 

Mary Rozet Smith, left, with Jane Addams. Public domain.

Women during the Victorian era turned out a number of literary works of importance.  Besides well-known authors such as George Sand and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, many other women left behind literary works that are worth investigating.  The Victorian Women Writers’ Project focuses on some of these lesser known women authors.  This database includes the full text of these authors, with writings ranging from religious pamphlets and how-to guides to memoirs and detective stories.  While the collection is still being developed, this database offers a tantalizing array of writings for those interested in examining women’s writings from this period.

Author Olive Schreiner. Public domain.

As change makers, survivors and pioneers, women have played an especially integral role in American history.  The IU East Campus Library includes among its databases American Women’s History, a database dedicated to the lives, times and achievements of women in the US, from the original 13 colonies to the present day.  Here, you can read the original text of Abigail Adams’s “Remember the Ladies” letter to her husband, John Adams (second President of the United States), discover the scoring records of the earliest women’s basketball players and learn about Hattie Wyatt Caraway, the first women elected to the US Senate.

Hattie Wyatt Caraway, by Harris and Ewing. Public domain.

Women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) fields have made significant discoveries.  Today, there is a database that puts together information or many of these women.  The Gage Database, a project of the nonprofit organization 500 Women Scientists, features the work of women in all fields and levels of scientific research, from policymakers to Ph.D students.  They host Wikithons to include more women in Wikipedia entries and offer fellowships for women of color to pursue STEMM careers. 

With good quality resources at hand, it’s easy to learn about the important contributions women have made at all levels of society and scholarship on International Women’s Day.  Want to dig deeper into the life and career of a specific female scientist?  Looking for primary sources from women movers and shakers?  Interested about women pioneers in a variety of fields of interest?  Ask Us! or click here:

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