Editorial: Remember struggles of women this month

March is Women’s History Month, and we at The Daily Eastern News implore everyone on and off campus to challenge themselves and reflect on the contributions that women have made to the country and the world that have been overlooked or ignored.

One of the best ways to learn more about women’s history (and to support the local Charleston and Eastern community) is to attend any of the themed events.

According to Eastern’s website, the theme for Eastern’s Women’s History and Awareness Month keynote speech is “The 19th Amendment at 100: The Past, Present and Future of Women’s Suffrage,” and it’s set for Wednesday from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Doudna Lecture Hall of the Doudna Fine Arts Center. We encourage everyone to attend.

Today, it seems almost impossible to imagine a time in our history when women weren’t allowed to vote. The startling reality is that it was 1919 when Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; that was just over 100 years ago. It will have been ratified exactly 100 years ago come August of this year.

The keynote is aimed at educating attendees about the history of women’s suffrage, so go and learn about how drastically different times were then compared to now.

Women should also exercise that right to vote now as early voting in Illinois for the 2020 Presidential Primary opened Monday. Make a difference by voting yourself while honoring the women who fought for women’s suffrage.

Another event taking place in time for Women’s History Month is the Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteerism’s first “Womxn Up” conference on March 28 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, which includes a series of educational conversations about women’s rights and issues. The conference is also specifically gender inclusive, so those who identify as women are also celebrated. Like everything educational happening on campus for Women’s History Month, everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

We at The Daily Eastern News understand that sometimes it’s difficult to put yourself in the shoes of someone who lived 100 or more years ago, before women’s rights are what they are today. Having that historical perspective is so important to understanding the gravity of women’s suffrage, however. So we cannot urge everyone enough to educate themselves on the past and present of women’s rights.

This month, challenge yourself. Go to an event, learn about women’s history and exercise the rights that women fought for you to have.