Sunday, May 9, 2021 is Mother’s Day, a holiday to celebrate all the hard work and dedication that mothers bring. Mother’s Day is celebrated across the world with many origins including ancient Greek celebrations of mother goddesses and Europe’s Mothering Sunday. The Mother’s Day we celebrate in North America has roots in a couple of celebratory days. Mother’s Friendship Day which originated in 1868, following the American Civil War, was a day in which mothers would meet with and promote reconciliation between former Union and Confederate soldiers. Mother’s Peace Day followed in 1873 when Julia Ward Howe, an abolitionist and suffragette, called mothers into action to promote world peace. In the 1900’s the first official Mother’s Day was celebrated in West Virginia in the United States.
On Mother’s Day in 1968, Coretta Scott King led demonstrators with the Poor People’s Campaign to government agencies in Washington D.C. to demand economic justice. 53 years later, many women are still living with the consequences of unequal pay and treatment. The quote of women making 79 cents to every dollar male counterparts make is often cited. However, it is often left out that black women on average make 64 cents and Latinas make 54 cents to every dollar. Mother’s Day has a long history in highlighting political and social causes such as supporting equal rights, and access to health and childcare. Today, the customs of Mother’s Day typically include giving gifts and spending quality time with our maternal relatives. These moments of celebrating our mothers are meaningful, but let us also remember the significance this day has in the history of women’s rights.
Celebrate Moms Throughout the Year
Take the time this Mother’s Day to thank the women in your life for all they do, but also remember the importance of creating a safer and more inclusive environment all year. Here are some ways you can support the rights of mothers and women, throughout the year:
- Do your research – locally or on a global scale, it is important to be informed of current laws or systems of oppression. Understand how even previous expectations of women have great impacts on many people’s current views and expectations of how women should act, look,
- Donate to organizations – access to healthcare, childcare, and education is still a privilege for many. Many people require access to these services through charities and organizations funded through public donation.
- Attend marches and protests – the demonstrations that Coretta Scott King led, and many other historic marches have led to big changes in the women’s rights movements. Today, they are still important to address current inequalities.
Written By: Hannah Reynn