You may want to use Women’s History Month as an opportunity to start a dialogue with your daughter about the history of women’s rights and the vital impact women have made in the fields of arts, sciences, maths, health, and the humanities. Even in this day and age women and girls can feel unwelcome or discouraged from studying or working in STEM fields. There is still a pay discrepancy and women are often disparaged in popular culture and day to day.
We wrote this guide as a way to introduce your daughters to women’s history. This year, try a few of these interesting Women’s History Month activities for an educational and enlightening experience for the family.
Women’s Suffrage – a Monumental Occasion
Perhaps one of the most important events throughout the history of women’s rights came with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920. The Nineteenth Amendment prohibited anyone to be denied the right to vote on the basis of gender. Until this time women were banned from voting in elections of every level in the United States.
Although a lot has changed since then with many women participating in the political process, running for office, and holding office; there is still a long way to go. Although women comprise 50.8% of the population, they only comprise 19.4% of the congress. And a woman has yet to hold the highest office in the land.
You can cover this issue with a very simple activity. Have the family vote for dinner. Begin by listing a few dinner options, and having the entire family vote. However, when counting, ask your child how he or she would feel if his or her vote didn’t matter towards the final selection, and if he or she never had the opportunity to choose what he or she wanted in that regard. It is a useful way to help children understand the frustration that comes with being denied the right to vote.
Women in STEM
Science, technology, engineering, and math are male dominated fields but women have made huge impacts as well. Some famous names are Marie Curie, Hedy Lamarr, and Sally Ride. There are many women who made huge STEM impacts that are not household names.
This is a great opportunity to learn more about them. You and your daughter can research women in STEM and if she is particularly interested in one topic, it would be really fun to write a letter or email to her. For example, if your daughter is interested in a particular area, she could write to a woman successful in that area.
We also have great toys that can encourage and ignite your daughter’s love for STEM. Goldie Blox and the builder’s survival kit is a great way to for girls to learn engineering principles through play. Our Tesla Kit is great for learning to code.
A Step Forward for Women – What Will Your Child Do in the Future?
This is a great time to bring others into the conversation. If you have an older friend or Grandma it would be interesting to have your daughter interview her about what being a girl was like when she was a child. Were that things that she wanted to do but wasn’t allowed? What was college like when you went?
Learning about the past and how things have changed is a great way to inspire girls for the future. When you see how much change has been driven by women, it is easy to believe that you yourself can drive change too. Ask your daughter what she would like to change. Can you start now? How?
Teach Children About Women’s History this Month
As slightly over 50% of our population women have struggled for centuries for equal treatment and access to civil rights. Women’s History month is the perfect time to enlighten your daughter about the past and prepare her for a bright future. And to help teach your girls about this issue, try these simple activities as an entire family this year.