Men’s history and memorials are all over the city, but in honor of Women’s History Month, here are a few of the women who should be equally remembered.
Vietnam Women’s Memorial
The Vietnam Women’s Memorial is a small memorial near the Vietnam Memorial. It shows three nurses taking care of a wounded soldier, representing the support roles that women served in the war.
Mary McLeod Bethune
Mary McLeod Bethune was a prominent African-American educator and civil rights activist in the first half of the 20th century. She founded the National Council of Negro Women in 1935, and was a close advisor to Franklin Roosevelt on civil rights issues.
This 1974 statue of her is in Lincoln Park. It was the first portrait statue of a female in a public site in D.C., and the first memorial for an African-American in a public park in the city. She is holding a cane that FDR gave her, and passing on her legacy to two young children.
Clara Barton founded the Red Cross. The headquarters is on 17th Street across from the Ellipse.
A statue on the grounds of a woman and child commemorates the help the Red Cross provided after the 1988 earthquake in Armenia:
Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality Monument
Right by the Capitol, with the Hart Senate Office building wrapped around it, the Belmont-Paul building has been the center of women’s rights for almost a century. The building was erected 200 years ago, and in 1929 the National Woman’s Party bought it. The NWP played a major role in getting the 19th amendment ratified in 1920, giving women the vote, and continued to fight for women’s equality in gathering support for the Equal Rights Amendment.
The National Park Service operates it now as a memorial to the movement for women’s suffrage and equality. It is currently closed for renovations but is scheduled to be reopened later in 2023.
Military Women’s Memorial
The Military Women’s Memorial is on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, and preserves the history of the more than three million women who have served as part of the war efforts from the Revolutionary War until today.
Concepción Picciotto, known as Connie, sat facing the White House all day almost every single day from 1981 to her death in 2016, protesting against nuclear proliferation.
Women making history today
Two of the most critical conflicts in the world are the war in Ukraine and the lack of freedom for women in Iran. Women in D.C. are prominent in addressing these issues.
Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova working in D.C. to get support for Ukraine.
Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
Woman Life Freedom
The Woman Life Freedom protests are taking place across the world to focus attention on the dire situation of women in Iran. There are weekly rallies in D.C. – here are some of the faces of the women.
Women in the sciences
Last year for Women’s History Month, the Smithsonian had on display #IfThenSheCan – The Exhibit, a collection of 120 life-size 3D-printed statues of STEM scientists, innovators, and role models. The statues are now being displayed at pop-up events in other cities.
See our photos from the exhibit at the Smithsonian, or check out the virtual exhibit.