What is National Women’s History Month. Histroy, importance, activities and how to observe National Women’s History Month.
National Women’s History Month is an annual observance held in the United States during the month of March to recognize and celebrate the contributions of women to American history, culture, and society. The month-long event began as a week-long celebration in 1980, designated by President Jimmy Carter as National Women’s History Week, and was later expanded to a month-long observance by Congress in 1987. During this month, various events, programs, and activities are organized nationwide to highlight the achievements and struggles of women throughout history and to inspire and empower women of all ages and backgrounds. The theme of National Women’s History Month changes each year to reflect the diverse contributions and experiences of women.
History of Women’s History Month
The origins of Women’s History Month can be traced back to the early 20th century when International Women’s Day was first observed on March 8, 1911. In the following decades, various women’s groups and organizations began celebrating Women’s History Week in March, recognizing the important contributions of women to society.
The idea of establishing a National Women’s History Week gained momentum in the 1970s, as the women’s rights movement grew and gained visibility. In 1978, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County, California Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration for the week of March 8th. They selected the week of March 8th to correspond with International Women’s Day.
In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8th as National Women’s History Week, urging all Americans to recognize the contributions of women to American history.
The celebration continued to gain momentum, and in 1987, Congress passed a resolution designating March as National Women’s History Month. Since then, every year, the President has issued a proclamation recognizing March as National Women’s History Month and calling on all Americans to observe the month with appropriate ceremonies, programs, and activities.
The National Women’s History Alliance, formerly the National Women’s History Project, played a significant role in advocating for the establishment of National Women’s History Month and promoting women’s history. They continue to lead efforts to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of women throughout history.
How to Celebrate Women’s History Month
There are many ways to celebrate Women’s History Month and recognize the contributions of women to American history, culture, and society. Here are a few ideas:
- Attend an event: Check local listings for events that celebrate Women’s History Month, such as lectures, panel discussions, exhibitions, film screenings, or performances.
- Learn about women in history: Read books, watch documentaries, or listen to podcasts about women who have made significant contributions to history, science, art, politics, and other fields.
- Support women-owned businesses: Shop at women-owned businesses or support women entrepreneurs by investing in their products or services.
- Volunteer: Support organizations that empower and advocate for women, such as women’s shelters, girls’ clubs, and women’s health centers.
- Participate in social media campaigns: Join social media campaigns that highlight the achievements of women, such as #WomenInSTEM, #WomenInPolitics, or #PressforProgress.
- Educate others: Share what you’ve learned about women’s history and the ongoing struggles for gender equality with family, friends, and colleagues.
- Celebrate women in your life: Take time to acknowledge and celebrate the women in your life, such as your mother, sister, wife, or friends, who inspire and support you.
By celebrating Women’s History Month, we can honor the women who came before us, recognize the challenges women still face today, and inspire future generations of women to continue making history.
How to Observe National Women’s History Month
Here are some ways to observe National Women’s History Month:
- Learn about women’s history: Take time to learn about the contributions of women throughout history, from famous historical figures to everyday women who have made a difference in their communities.
- Attend events and lectures: Check local listings for events and lectures that celebrate National Women’s History Month. Many organizations host events to recognize and honor the accomplishments of women.
- Read books and watch documentaries: Take advantage of this month to read books and watch documentaries that focus on the history of women and the impact they’ve made on society.
- Support women-owned businesses: Choose to support women-owned businesses or organizations. This can include shopping at women-owned businesses or donating to women’s charities.
- Volunteer: Volunteer for organizations that support women’s rights and issues, such as women’s shelters, mentorship programs, and advocacy groups.
- Share women’s stories: Share stories of inspiring women you know or admire. This can be done through social media, conversations with friends and family, or writing letters to your representatives.
- Celebrate women in your life: Take time to celebrate and appreciate the women in your life who have made an impact on you. This can include mothers, sisters, friends, mentors, and colleagues.
By observing National Women’s History Month, we can acknowledge the impact of women on our history and culture, celebrate their achievements, and continue to advocate for gender equality.