The Liz Library presents Irene Stuber's Women of Achievement - Women's History Month

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Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
 who is solely responsible for its content.

Contents of this article may be freely reprinted for educational and nonprofit use.
We would appreciate credit and request that the philosophy of the material not be changed.

Now is the time to set the stage for going to your town or city's council to request that March 2001 and every March thereafter be declared as your city's Women's History month.
      Congress and the President have proclaimed March as National History Month since 1987, thanks to the hard work of Gerda Lerner and so many more.
      It's a very, very simple procedure since most politicians are eager to court the "gender gap" vote. Always approach women on your council first, or lacking any, contact the representative from your district. Enclose the proclamation form below with your letter (make it easy):

    WHEREAS, women have contributed in a fundamental way to the history and heritage of these United States; and

    WHEREAS, the celebration of women's accomplishments dates back to the first International Women's day on March 8, 1911, which led to a Congressional resolutions beginning in 1981 proclaiming National women's History Week, which became National Women's History Month in 1987; and

    WHEREAS, the purpose of the celebration is to educate all people in the study of the contributions of women to government, business, industry, science, health, education, social work, and the cultural arts; and

    WHEREAS, it is the purpose thereof to preserve, celebrate and teach about the contributions of women to our history and further to promote month-long activities to dramatize and demonstrate the historical role of women; now therefore, be it RESOLVED, that March is hereby proclaimed as Women's History Month (in your city).

You may also send a request to the governor of your state to remind her/him.

In her famous speech to her troops at Tilbury in 1558, Queen Elizabeth I told them: "I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a King of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain or any prince of Europe should dare to invade the borders of my realm, to which, rather than any dishonor should grow by me, I myself will take up arms; I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field."
      About 1600 years earlier, the Celtic Queen Boadicea of Iceni addressed her troops from a site only a few miles from where Elizabeth I spoke, saying
"This is what I, as a woman, plan to do: Let the men live in slavery if they will."
      When her King-husband died, Boadicea (Boudicea, Boudicca, Boudica ) was flogged by the Romans who had invaded the British Isles and enslaved the population. The she and her two daughters were raped. Rape is the time-honored method of soldiers and statesmen to emphasize the subordinate status of women and the uselessness of resistance. It is supposedy a strike against the husband/father/son of the woman but if that were so, the male would be raped, not the woman.
      Boadicea then led an Iceni-Celtic revolt that conquered two cities including London before her army was defeated.
      Boadica committed suicide on the battlefield rather than fall into the hands of the Romans again.
"All of this ruin was brought upon (Rome) by a woman, a fact which in itself caused them the greatest shame." Historian Dio described her as "huge of frame, terrifying of aspect ... (with) a great mass of red hair."
"It will not be the first time, Britons, that you have been victorious under the conduct of your queen. For my part, I come not here as one descended of royal blood, not to fight for empire or riches, but as one of the common people, to avenge the loss of their liberty, the wrong of myself and children."
            -- Boadicea (c 60 BC as quoted in Biography of Distinguished Women by Sarah Josepha Hale).

The complete text of Elizabeth I's speech (and the hardly ever mentioned fact that she made it at great peril to her life) is in the Women's Library section of this site.

© 1990-2006 Irene Stuber, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71902. Originally web-published at We are indebted to Irene Stuber for compiling this collection and for granting us permission to make it available again. The text of the documents may be freely copied for nonprofit educational use. Except as otherwise noted, all contents in this collection are © 1998-2009 the liz library.  All rights reserved. This site is hosted and maintained by the liz library.