03/06/2011 11:17 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Exploring Women's History, To Inspire Women's History

Women are leaders and mothers, artists and wives, sisters and scientists, daughters and grandmas. They have been making history since the beginning, but have not always been represented in history books. That is unquestionably wrong. But when I look around, I see the women in my life as beacons of individuality, grace, and pride. In my world, women have always "held up half the sky."

A century ago, most women could not vote. During March of 1911, in Copenhagen, women bravely stood up and demanded rights and protections in a mass protest for human rights. Just a couple of weeks later, when the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire killed over 146 workers in New York, almost all of them women, women's rights became front page news. And this Tuesday, on the one hundredth anniversary of the first International Women's Day, I will be celebrating the advances our global society is making. Despite the forces of sexism, exploitation, harassment, and unequal pay, women can reflect proudly this International Women's Day, and rally around women and their successes.

This March 8th, I challenge you to consider the opportunities you have to empower women in your own life. Take a look back at the message of Maria Shriver's wonderful story from last Women's History Month, and really reflect on how we can all work to raise the perceived status of women worldwide.

This Women's History Month, I have been educating myself on feminism and gender issues to inform my work with 1000memories. One woman we spoke with was Molly MacGregor, co-founder of the National Women's History Project, who is encouraging people to consider the stories and memories that make up women's lives. "This year, rather than highlighting national figures, we are encouraging individuals to discover stories about the women in their own families and communities. Knowing the challenges these women faced, grappled with, and overcame can be an enormous source of strength to all of us." We are thrilled to play a part in that effort.

To help assemble and collect the stories, memories and history of women, 1000memories has launched a partnership with the NWHP and the Internet Archive to collect and save the stories of the women everywhere. "Writing Women Back into History," our special tribute allows women around the world to add their own personal female heroes and influences to the fabric of women's history. You can include photos, narratives, and memories of the women from your life alongside many famous women from history. This special project aims to be a collective celebration of women's history, a place where current and future generations of women can be inspired by the contributions of women throughout history, and a place where women important in each of our lives are remembered side-by-side.

This March 8th is a day to remember the impact of women in our lives. By exploring the lives of women who have inspired us through history, we can all open our minds to a world in which men and women create history together.