At the end of the morning announcements on a 2-hour delay day, and a student spirit PJ day as well, new HS secretary Mrs. Robinson read an announcement written by the SHOUT club to honor International Women’s Day.
“Happy International Women’s Day! Today, SHOUT would like to celebrate the amazing women who inspire us to be better every day. We’re proud to be surrounded by strong, creative, and brilliant women who help us reach new heights. Thank you for your resilience and for inspiring us!
Ben Avon residents, Jamie and Ali McMutrie moved to Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 2002 and 2006, respectively, not long after graduating from Avonworth High School. They saw the impact of poverty on Haitian families, forcing many families to go as far as giving up their children simply due to the inability to provide for them. Together the sisters founded Haitian Families First, which nurtures and empowers families in despair through emotional, social, and financial support, ensuring children remain with their biological families and out of unnecessary institutions. The sisters were honored as Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2010 Pittsburghers of the Year and made national headlines, as they were featured on CNN, Good Morning America, and Ellen.
Four years after founding HFF, Haiti was struck by devastating earthquakes. Families already trying to cope with limited resources then also had to navigate a country ravaged by destruction. Jamie and Ali McMutrie flew 54 orphans out of an earthquake-flattened Haiti into the international spotlight, garnering support from NGOs around the world and also close to home.
SHOUT is proud to honor Jamie and Ali for their inspiring bravery and selflessness while saving orphaned children of Haiti—both before and after the country’s devastating earthquake in 2010.”
So why celebrate women today?
From the National Archives EEO Special Emphasis Observances: March: National Women’s History Month
“National Women’s History Month was established by presidential proclamation in order to draw attention to and improve the focus on women in historical studies. It began in New York City on March 8, 1857, when female textile workers marched in protest of unfair working conditions and unequal rights for women. It was one of the first organized strikes by working women, during which they called for a shorter work day and decent wages. Also on March 8, in 1908, women workers in the needle trades marched through New York City’s Lower East Side to protest child labor, sweatshop working conditions, and demand women’s suffrage. Beginning in 1910, March 8 became annually observed as International Women’s Day. Women’s History Week was instituted in 1978 in an effort to begin adding women’s history into educational curricula. In 1987, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to include all of March as a celebration of the economic, political and social contributions of women.”
From the Census Bureau:
Although women’s rights have made much progress since the 20th century, inequality still exists today, particularly in the workplace. In 2022, women earned an average of 82 cents for every dollar that a man earned (U.S. Census Bureau), but the wage gap can differ between professions.
Women still face a variety of issues as well, from feeling unsafe in public places to fair treatment in healthcare to abortion rights. It is important to celebrate International Women’s Day as a marker of how far women’s rights have come, but also to acknowledge how far they still have to go.