Not too long ago, women had very limited roles in society. Females were generally relegated to tasks that solely involved housekeeping, childbirth, child rearing and being a source of comfort and support to their male partners. Women were not allowed to vote, hold the same jobs or receive equal wages as their male counterparts. In some instances, women were not allowed to walk next to a male individual because doing so was considered disrespectful. Instead, women were expected to walk behind a man to acknowledge the latter’s social status. Males were upheld by society as the dominant and more powerful gender.
Over time, many women fought hard to overturn the numerous restrictions unjustly imposed on them. The battle was waged slowly, but with great dedication and determination, and equal rights were eventually achieved. In the 1960s, feminism became known as women’s lib (women’s liberation), an important movement although it was initially met with both resistance and approval by government leaders across the globe and the general public. The movement, however, successfully paved the way for equal rights, opportunities and privileges that the women of today are entitled to.
From the once unrecognized sector in society came forth the most brilliant, influential, powerful, successful and inspiring female icons of our time. Women like Emmeline Pankhurst, Evita Peron, Rosa Parks, Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt, Joan of Arc, Florence of Nightingale, Margaret Thatcher, Corazon Aquino, Saint Catherine of Siena, Harriet Tubman, Marie Curie, Eleanor Roosevelt, Indira Gandhi, Princess Diana and Mother Theresa are but a few individuals who have shaped and stirred the world with their brilliance, compassion and commitment to their ideals.
However, you don’t have to be famous to deserve recognition. Women all over the world deserve to be praised and commended for the many roles that they fulfill everyday of their lives, from taking care of their families to being successful in their chosen professions.In Houston, there are several activities devoted specifically for women to pay tribute to their amazing lives and accomplishments.
Women’s History Tours
Houston Historical Tours
Price : Prices vary depending on types of reservations. Contact Keith Rosen for tour packages. Lunch is not provided. Each individual is responsible for his/her own lunch.
Hours: Tours are conducted daily. Tours A and B start at 9 a.m.; Tour C starts at 10 a.m.
Women’s History Tours consist of three separate five hour tours focused on women’s culture and history. The tours are part of the daily tours hosted by the Houston Historical Tours. Tour A explores the east and central parts of Houston, Tour B covers the southwest and near west regions including the famous River Oaks, and Tour C includes the west and north areas of the city. Each tour includes a visit to a minimum of two museums or historical institutions.
Price: No fees or dues to participate
Date: March 21, 2012
The Houston’s Business and Social Network for Women hosts a monthly gathering for women dubbed Women and Wine on Wednesdays. The special event is a facilitated forum that aims to bring women together so they can have an opportunity to forge friendships and be part of a larger network that will help them go through different challenges and transitions in their lives. The forum provides a friendly atmosphere and glasses of wine so women can unwind and relax as they meet new friends and chat with the old ones. Meetings are held at different venues every third of the month.
Hours: Mon to Fri -11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat and Sun brunch: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A newly opened Italian restaurant in Houston is home to the newest series of paintings of renowned Houston artist Kathy Womack, who best is known for her successful paintings series dubbed “Women and Wine.” Gugliani’s Memorial Restaurant, a modern bar and restaurant known for its artful interiors, exquisite architecture and contemporary design, is now showcasing Womack’s latest series called “Poppies and …”. Gugliani’s aims to delight its guests not only with great food and ambiance, but also with an amazing array of bright and colorful paintings from Houstonian Kathy Womack, who has been featured in the Bayou City Art Festival for 15 years.
Related: Best Art Museums In Houston
“Our Colorful World” by Victoria Kovalenchikova’s at the Russian Cultural Center
Russian Cultural Center
Price: Free to the public
Hours: January 7 – March 31, 2012 from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
The Russian Cultural Center is featuring artist Victoria Kovalenchikova’s art exhibition, dubbed “Our Colofrul World,” from January 30 until March 31, 2012. Professional artist Kovalenchikova is based in Niderlands and is known for her contemporary paintings, which integrate abstract components. The artist’s works displayed at the exhibition are for sale to the public.
True Texas Women at Washington-on-the Brazos
12300 Park Road 12 (FM-1155 & Park Road 12 W)
Washington, TX 77880
Price: $5 (Adult), $3 (Child 7 and up) or $15 (Family of 2 adults and a max of 5 children aged 7 and up)
Hours: March 24-25, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The men and women of Barrington Living History Farm at the Washington-on-the-Brazos will host “True Texas Women,” an event focused on the wonderful lives led by notable Texas women who were instrumental in weaving the historical tapestry of the Lone Star State. The event will share the stories of hundreds of Texas women through a unique presentation highlighted by diary entries, letters and interpreters. Expert artisans will also be present during the event, showcasing their crafts including crocheting, spinning, quilting and other crafts that women of the 19th century were noted for. The event will feature the 19th century way of life including marriage, courtship, fashion and cosmetics including home settings that feature the era’s laundry area and kitchen that guests may visit and learn from. It’s about an hour’s drive from Downtown Houston, but the scenery on the trip is refreshing and well worth the drive.
They say men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Numerous debates have been staged discussing the ongoing battles between the genders. Needless to say, men and women, however different, are both important to society. March, however, is devoted to women as they are recognized for their achievements and contributions to the many lives who depend on their nurturing souls, strength, passion, creativity and brilliance. Let us honor them by learning more about them. Enjoy getting to know these women as you take part in these activities that pay tribute to their inspiring lives and remarkable legacy.
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Rainne Mendoza Celespara is a freelance writer living in Houston. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.