Monuments to women are few and far to come by, most of the monuments around the Nation’s Capital are in commemoration of men. But this does not mean that women have fallen short when it comes to the growth of the Nation.
Women have accomplished amazing feats, and they continue to lead the way in today’s age. Washington D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser is an excellent example of a female leader that is doing more than anyone before her.
She inspires creativity throughout the city with her YouTube channel 202 Creative and is currently drafting new legislation called the Safe Cannabis Sales Act of 2019. This legislation hopes to use the revenue for affordable housing, and she does it all while hosting parades and events around Washington, D.C.
This is a woman on fire, the women before her who took initiatives to create change in the Nation have taken matters into their own hands and fought for change.
Change not for women, but for society as a whole, and that is why they stand out and are commemorated in stone.
The Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality Monument
The Belmont Paul Women’s Equality Monument did not receive recognition as a national monument until 2016 exactly 100 years after the National Woman’s Party (NWP) was formed in 1916.
In 1929 the home that encompasses the Belmont-Paul monument is where NWP members met to fight for women’s equality.
Alva Belmont funded the purchase of the property and Alice Paul founded the NWP. Thus among the eldest colonial properties in Washington D.C. lies the heart and soul of the women who drafted the Equal Rights Amendment and obtained the right to vote.
These women smashed windows, went on hunger strikes, and used the men’s tactic of violence to fight for the women’s vote. Speaking the same language seemed to work because women in America finally attained the right to vote after the drafting of the 19th Amendment in 1919.
Joan of Arc in Meridian Hill Park
Everyone has heard of Joan of Arc, but did you know she was so young? In 1412 when Joan of Arc was just 13 years old, she heard voices from the saints and went out to fight for France.
She fearlessly said, “I am not afraid… I was born to do this.”
Then she went off to battle and successfully drove the English from Orleans in 1429. She was however captured shortly after and burned at the stake for heresy.
While she may not have been recognized for her accomplishments back then, she sure has been recognized as a martyr for France throughout history.
Thus on January 6, of 1922 the Femmes de France of New York gifted the statue of Joan of Arc to the Women of the United States of America just two years after they won the right to vote!
There have been a couple of discrepancies, and apparently, someone does not like her appearance in Washington D.C. because Joan’s sword has been stolen on and off for the last 80 years.
The last one cost a whopping 18,000 dollars to replace, but our lady from France still sits high upon her horse in honor.
You can head to 16th St NW &, W St NW, to see her shine.
“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”
This first lady is a powerhouse that could not be ignored. She inspired people across the nation to follow the beauty of their dreams.
She worked hard besides the world to fight for human rights, and beside women as the first appointed head of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women in 1961. There she released a revolutionary case-study about gender discrimination.
Her fight for human rights, and for gender equality lasted a lifetime, and we honor this incredible woman with her statue, which lies in the F.D.R memorial on 1850 West Basin Dr in SW Washington D.C.
Walking the Women’s Path
Although we only highlighted three incredible women here, there are more monuments and memorials that ballad sweet melodies to women who have impacted the Nation.
We encourage you to listen to the stories of the first headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women that unfold at the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House.
To dig your fingers into the libraries and archives of the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum. This is a society that was founded on October 11, 1890, and still remains active to this day.
To leave your fears behind at the Jane A. Delano Memorial which stands in courage and represents the beginning of the societal revolution in health care. It honors hundreds of civil war nurses, who gave their lives on the battlefield.
To walk among the only standing memorial for women in military service in the United States of American at the Women’s National Memorial and to feel the patriotism and bravery which resonates therein.
To feel the energy that echoes off the walls of the Clara Barton National Historic Site and helped others in need during times of peace and times of war.
The Women’s Ballad
Women throughout history have made a difference in the Nation whether they are recognized for it, burned at the stake for it, thrown into jail for it, or honored for their service.
They stood up and sang from the depths of their heart to write a ballad that is remembered and surpasses time.
Although they are rarely highlighted, it is great to take the time to reverberate in their stories, listen to their words, and follow their footsteps in mornings wake.
If you live at Daro Apartments get out and explore your city of Washington D.C. in honor of the centennial of the drafting of the 19th Amendment!