Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Forgotten Lives | Women's History Month

As may or may not know , March is women's history month! Ever since I was younger I always wondered why there were statues and memorials for so many men when the only recognition for women was joined together. The example I'm using for this is the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland as it a lot of the centenary celebrations are also this month. People always speak of the men who fought and although they deserved to be talked about , so do the women who have been forgotten over the years!

Women had a huge part in the rising! They fought alongside the men in spite of anyone who disagreed with that. They were one of the first group of women to do that in history.Why don't we talk about that? I've written about two (of so many!) extraordinary women that fought in the rising below.

Countess Markievics was the female leader of the rising. She was the first woman to be elected to the British House Of Commons (she refused her seat!) and she was one of the first women to hold a cabinet in Ireland. She spent most of her life fighting for the right for freedom as a woman and an Irish person. She defied society and even some of her fellow leaders so that Cumann Na mBan were allowed to fight and die with the men. 

Elizabeth O'Farrell was a nurse who joined the women's paramilitary organisation and acted as a courier during the week of the rising. She was one of the last people left in the GPO (One of the main buildings that were taken over.)
When the Irish forces surrendered , it was her and Padraig Pearse that delivered surrender to the British but her involvement has been edited out of history.

A picture was taken of the two of them and she has been removed from it multiple times! Although you can only see her feet , removing her gives the impression that Pearse delivered the surrender on his own. They literally airbrushed her out of the picture and tell the story of Pearse surrendering with no mention of O'Farrell. It's such a significant moment in Irish history and it really shows you how history was told and learned with the women subtly forgotten.

There are countless forgotten stories of women in history from all around the world and it's terrifying that history is still mainly about the men.

Whether you're interested in Irish history or not , I think that this shows how important it is to remember all genders. I encourage you to research women in history. Find something that you are interested in and find out what the women were doing because I assure you , they were doing something! Strong women have existed as long as strong men have and their stories should not be forgotten!

Some links to pages related to this topic: 

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