Women’s History Month, celebrated in March, is a time to recognize the strides women have made in fighting for equality. According to womenshistorymonth.gov, this month is a time to “join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.” So, GPO welcomes you to join in on celebrating this important month and learn more about women’s history with publications from the GPO Bookstore.
Do you know the name of the very first woman representative in the United States? If you guessed Jeannette Rankin of Montana, you’re a women’s history whiz! How about the first woman representative in your state? Learn all the fun facts about the history of women in politics in Women In Congress, 1917–2017. This popular publication includes a set of essays that reflects the considerable increase in the number of women in Congress during the last decade.
We’ve all heard that women earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Want to know even more facts and figures on women in the workplace? Women in the Labor Force: A Databook from the Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics presents historical and current labor force and earnings data for women and men from the Current Population Survey.
The Women’s Army Corps (WAC) was the women’s branch of the United States Army that was created in 1942 and disbanded in 1978. When it was first created, women had never before served in the military, aside from being nurses. At first, women were not granted the same benefits as male soldiers. Want to learn more about this fascinating time in history? The Women’s Army Corps from the Center of Military History gives a history of WAC from its beginning in World War II until it was discontinued by Congress. In the volume, readers will learn about the decision by Congress in 1978 to end the separation of men and women in the Army and give women roles in other branches of the Army. Bettie J. Mordon, the author of the volume, served as a WAC throughout its entire existence and writes of the changes in WAC throughout the years, including the transformation in the status of Army women and how the Women’s rights movement of the ‘70s helped revolutionize the U.S. military. Also in the volume are images of various uniforms enlisted women, drill sergeants, and officers have worn throughout the years.
Today, women make up about 19% of the total naval force. But this hasn’t always been the case. The Navy’s First Enlisted Women: Patriotic Pioneers gives a historical account of the women who have broken down barriers and changed the Navy for the better. In this publication, you will read about Loretta Perfectus Walsh, the first woman to enlist in the U.S. Navy who volunteered to continue her family’s legacy of military service. Also in the publication are historical photographs of the U.S. Enrollment Office, U.S. Naval Reserve Force enlistees, and other interesting facts.
Women in the Federal Government: Ambitions and Achievements assesses the treatment and advancement of women in the Federal Government. Written by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), the report notes that the situation for women in the Government has improved since its last report. For example, women hold an increased proportion of positions in the Senior Executive Service, and fewer women report that they are subjected to discrimination or stereotypes. However, according to the report, there’s still work to be done. It notes that Federal agencies may need to reexamine their approaches to recruitment, work assignment, and leadership development in order to continue to bring women and their work to the forefront of the Federal Government. MSPB includes recommendations that Federal agencies, managers, and employees can take to promote workplace fairness and the full utilization of all employees.
We hope these GPO publications help you learn a little bit about the women pioneers who changed our Nation for the better. Happy Women’s History Month!
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About the author: Blogger contributor Cat Goergen is the PR Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations office.