With just under 3.4 million women living in Indiana, it’s fair to say that women have been and still are an integral part of the state’s defining moments. Over the last century, women have made significant advances toward gender equality in economics, politics, health care and education. Despite this, women’s stories are often overlooked or even ignored.
The latest exhibit in the Indiana Historical Society’s Be Heard series seeks to help remedy this through highlighting the contributions Hoosier women – both ordinary and extraordinary – have made throughout Indiana’s history. These stories are essential to more fully understanding Indiana’s past and present.
Be Heard: Women’s Voices in Indiana will be on exhibit at the Indiana History Center from Saturday, Jan. 11, through April 4.
Each story or individual featured provides insight into an important aspect of the experience of women in the state over time:
Lovina Streight demonstrates how important women were to the Union during the Civil War through her experience as a nurse on the front lines.
Mary Matthews provides a glimpse into the daily life of a young factory worker during the Great Depression in a small town in Southern Indiana.
Roselyn Richardson helps viewers understand the struggle of achieving school desegregation in Indianapolis and how to make a difference for students through career sampling programs.
Architect Avriel Shull shows how to achieve success in a male-dominated field while leaving an enduring legacy.
Chief Frances Dunnagan of the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana teaches what it takes to be a great leader through establishing democratic elections and instilling cultural pride in younger generations.
These stories just scrape the surface considering the more than 400 collections pertaining to women’s history available in our archives and the millions of Hoosier women who deserve to have their stories told.
photo at top: A group of women at a World War II bond drive booth hosted at the Madame Walker Theatre. INDIANA HISTORICAL SOCIETY PHOTO