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March is Women’s History Month and Monday, March 8 is International Women’s Day. Women’s History Month originated in 1981 as a national celebration of women’s contributions to American history. That year, Congress requested and authorized the president to declare the week of March 7, 1982, as Women’s History Week. Beginning in 1988, Congress began to authorize a monthlong celebration of women’s history and Women’s History Month was born.

Women have made important contributions when it comes to advocating for the rights of older adults. Among these is Ethel Percy Andrus, the founder of AARP.1 Andrus was born in 1884 in San Francisco. She began her career working in education. As she got older and closer to retirement, she changed tracks and decided to focus on advocating for the rights of seniors and improving the lives of elders. She was in her 60s by the time she founded AARP in 1958, showing us the important contributions to society that older women make.

At Contra Costa Senior Legal Services, we work hard to improves the lives of all seniors, including woman. We empower women to advocate for their rights to housing, to be free from abuse, and to protection against consumer exploitation. Women often live longer than men, which unfortunately make them more likely to experience elder abuse. Assisting these women and helping them take control over their lives is a crucial part of CCSLS’ services. We strive to make sure that all women are appreciated and all women are able to thrive in their elder years just as Andrus envisioned.

1 AARP, “Ethel Percy Andrus: the Extraordinary Woman Who Changed America”