Greetings, March! Women's History Month has formally began, with 31 days devoted to honoring women's contributions to American history, culture, and society. Since 1987, it has been celebrated annually in March in the United States, coinciding with International Women's Day on March 8. The way people celebrate the holiday has improved over time.
Why Do We Respect It?
Women have made many contributions to society, but their accomplishments and contributions are often ignored in favour of their male peers. In spite of balancing the playing field, we still have a long way to go. When we take the time to consider all that women have achieved and continue to do in our society – in science, our cultures, democracy, the arts, athletics, and medicine.
When It All Started
In 1978, a weeklong festival of women's history was held in Santa Rosa, California, hosted by various school districts in Sonoma County. Hundreds of students engaged in an essay contest named "Real women," and a parade was organized in downtown Santa Rosa. Many societies started their own Women's History Week celebrations the following year as news of the campaign spread throughout the world.
A coalition of feminists and scholars advocated for public recognition of the movement in 1980. President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential declaration designating March 8th as National Women's History Week that year.The next year, the United States Congress followed suit, passing a bill creating a public holiday. The National Women's History Project successfully petitioned Congress six years later to extend the celebration to the entire month of March. As a result, Women's History Month became a reality!
How Can It Be Celebrated?
Over the course of this month and beyond, there are a plethora of opportunities to honor women in history and in your own life! Feel free to be creative, but whatever you do should eventually focus on honoring women's contributions, inspiring women, and raising awareness about gender equality.
Happy Women’s History Month!