March marks Women’s History Month, a time to reflect and celebrate the often-overlooked contributions of women to society, and in our instance, the women who build up the local economy, cultural capital, and contribute to our region.
According to the American Public Transportation Association, more women use public transit daily than men, and 55 percent of all transit riders identify as female. The RTA aims to celebrate our female riders and all women who support the public transit system, year-round. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’ve highlighted a variety of local, women-owned businesses, and women-centered events and attractions, all accessible by public transit so that anyone can hop on their local train or bus to celebrate the women of our region.
International Women’s Day Market
More than two dozen women-owned businesses will be participating at the first annual International Women's Day Market, on Sunday, March 13 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The market will feature the hardworking women-owned businesses in the Lincoln Square Ravenswood area of Chicago.
Where: Artifact Events, 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave. Chicago, IL 60613
How to get there: CTA Brown Line (Montrose Station) and/ or CTA Bus #78
Jane Addams Hull House Museum
The Hull House Museum serves as a dynamic memorial to social work reformer Jane Addams, the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and her female colleagues, whose work changed the lives of Chicago’s immigrant populations as well as influenced national and international public policy. The Museum is housed in the original 1889 building, a National Historic Landmark and one of the oldest houses in Chicago, right on the University of Illinois at Chicago’s campus.
Where: 800 S. Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60607
How to get there: CTA Blue Line (UIC- Halsted Station) and/ or CTA Bus #8, #9, #9x, #12
Women and Children First
This Andersonville shop is one of the largest feminist bookstores in the country, with more than 30,000 books by and about women and children. It's also considered one of the city's best sources for lesbian and gay fiction and nonfiction. Along with their robust collection, they host regular community events, book clubs, readings, author discussions, and more with the intent of supporting and promoting female authors. As well, all year-round, they fundraise to buy books for the organization, Chicago Books to Women in Prison (CBWP) and for the Chicago Public School system.
Where: 5233 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640
How to get there: CTA Red Line (Argyle Station) and/ or CTA Bus #22, #92,
After shop owner Omotola Akinbiyi became aware of how unrepresented women were in the art world, she opened her shop, Bon Femmes, a store featuring art, beauty products, and home decor that is all made by women. A percentage of every sale is donated to a woman led charity, and throughout March, Bon Femmes’ beneficiary is Sarah’s Circle, an Uptown nonprofit that assists unhoused women locally.
Where: 4917 N. Damen Ave. Chicago, IL 60625
How to get there: CTA Brown Line (Damen Station)
CTA Bus #49B, #50, #81
Metra UP-N (Ravenswood Station)
Owned and operated solely by women, Uptown Bikes, is aimed at building community in the Uptown and Northside neighborhoods through biking and beyond. They also offer repair workshops so riders can DIY their own repairs on-the-go, even when they aren't near the shop.
Where: 4653 North Broadway Chicago, IL, 60640
How to get there: CTA Red Line (Wilson Station) or CTA Brown Line (Montrose Station)
CTA Bus #36, #81
Metra UP-N (Ravenswood Station)
Around the region
Women’s History Month Walk
Join the Forest Preserves of Cook County on an outdoor hike Saturday, March 12 at 10:00 a.m. The hike will highlight conservation leader Isabel Bassett Wasson and the work and discoveries she made at Thatcher Woods. Nestled along the Des Plaines River, the 245-acre Thatcher Woods is a hot spot for bird watching and nature exploration.
Where: Thatcher Woods, 8030 Chicago Ave. Maywood, IL 60153
How to get there: From east, CTA Green and Blue Lines (Harlem/ Lake and Forest Park Stations, respectively) and connect to Pace Bus #318
From west, Metra UP-W Line (River Forest Station)
Pace Bus #313, #322 and #331
We Are Women Art Walk
Throughout March, a collaboration of the DuPage Art League and Downtown Wheaton Association will bring an immersive art and retail experience to over 20 women-owned businesses in Wheaton. All month long, the community will be a canvas for some of the DuPage Art League’s female artists and other local artists, promoting local economic and community development.
Where: Downtown Wheaton (see inset map linked below)
How to get there: CTA Blue Line to or CTA Bus #56 to Metra UP-W Line (Wheaton Station)
Pace Bus #802, #530, #714
Universal Suffrage: Looking Back and Forward
The Oak Park River Forest Museum is hosting, Jeanne Schultz Angel, Director of Learning Experiences & Historical Resources for Naper Settlement, to reflect on universal suffrage in American history and discuss the ongoing struggle for voting rights for all Americans.
Where: 129 Lake St. Oak Park, IL 60302
How to get there: CTA Green Line (Austin Station)
CTA Bus #20 and #91
Pace Bus Lines #309 and #313
Recently named the Glen Ellyn Retail Business of the Year, Lindsay Palm and Ashley Aikens, have taken the Chicagoland retail market by storm with their store, Good Roots, an inclusive, green, and family driven, plant and home shop. The store has been featured in HGTV, Architectural Digest, Forbes and has quickly become a staple of female ownership in the community.
Where: 492 Crescent Blvd. Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
How to get there: Metra UP-W (Glen Ellyn Station)
Metra BNSF (Westmont) and connect to Pace Bus #715
The Chicago region has been shaped by a long line of driven and revolutionary women. To learn more about women’s history in Chicago specifically, visit the Chicago Women’s History Center via their website https://www.chicagowomenshistory.org
Remember to mask up on transit and to check each location’s individual COVID-19 requirements before embarking on your journey.
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