Looking back at history to present day, women have come a long way.
“We can vote. We can own land. We can own a business,” said Deborah Deal-Blackwell, chair of Jefferson County’s 2017 International Women’s Day celebration.
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1908 — The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the U.S. on Feb. 28, 1909.
1911 — On March 19, 1911, International Women’s Day was honored for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.
1913 — International Women’s Day was transferred from being observed on the last Sunday in February to March 8.
1975 — International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations.
1996 — The United Nations commenced the adoption of an annual theme. The first theme was “Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future.”
2001 — The launch of www.internationalwomensday.com provides a digital, worldwide hub to unite people and organizations in response to a worldwide decline in International Women’s Day activity.
2011 — International Women’s Day celebrates its centenary. Former U.S. President Barack Obama proclaimed March 2011 to be Women’s History Month.
2017 — International Women’s Day is an official holiday in many countries worldwide. It is celebrated in a number of ways across the globe, from gift-giving to political rallies, parades and festivals, business conferences and networking events, fashion shows, sporting events, women-only arts and craft fairs and theatric or musical performances.
Information provided by www.internationalwomensday.com
“Women are an essential part of our communities, both professionally and personally. Healthcare would not be the same without women.” — Monica Buhlig of Golden, the group director of community health at St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood.
“It’s great for girls to get involved with STEM because we need to have women be a part of the technological innovations and solutions going on in the world.” — Megan Kallis, a computer science student at the Colorado School of Mines who is involved with DECTech, which is Mines’ outreach program designed especially for girls interested in STEM.
“Women’s Day highlights the importance of women in all levels of society and in our communities.” — Jennifer Nash of Westminster, the project coordinator at Holidaily Brewing Company in Golden.
“Women have so much to offer and bring to the table. In general, women are underrepresented in positions of leadership. The conversations and focus will certainly change when women participate in decision-making that impact our community, our state and our world.” — Tammy Story of Evergreen, a political activist organizer and former state representative candidate for house district 25.
Women represent state districts in governmental positions and make important policy decisions in numerous cities and counties. And someday, Deal-Blackwell added, a woman may even lead our country.
Jefferson County’s second annual International Women’s Day celebration took place on March 8. Hundreds of women attended the luncheon, during which local women celebrated each other’s accomplishments.
In the U.S., 9.4 million firms are owned by women, Deal-Blackwell said, and Jefferson County has at least 30 woman-owned businesses. In addition, Jeffco is home to seven chambers of commerce, and all of them have women presidents.
The 2017 United Nations’ theme for International Women’s Day was STEP it up for Gender Parity, and the theme for the Jeffco celebration was STEP it up for Women in STEM and all Women of Jefferson County!
A couple of county leaders spoke on the accomplishments of women, including Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan and Nancy Perlmutter, who read a letter from her husband, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado’s 7th Congressional District.
To coincide with the Jeffco theme, the keynote speaker was Dr. Tracy Camp, the division director and professor of computer science at Colorado School of Mines. Camp has been with Mines since 1998 and has been awarded two fellowships in her career.
Camp is known for her passion for supporting women in STEM disciplines, and she created the DECTech program at Mines, an outreach program designed specifically for young girls interested in STEM subjects.
Diversity in STEM careers is important, Camp said.
“Research shows that diversity brings innovative thinking, increased corporate earnings, more IT patent citations, and allows products and services to be developed for the betterment of all of society,” she said.
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