Women’s History Month
Happy Women’s History Month!
Women’s History Month is celebrated the entire month of March, comprising 31 days. Within the celebration month, women’s history is celebrated at an international level with International Women’s Day falling on March 8th. Because of the proximity of both Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, let’s explore where both got started.
Women’s History Month got its early beginnings as International Women’s Day is commemorated at a February 28th, 1909 meeting of socialists and suffragists in New York City. On March 8th, 1910, at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, German activist Clara Zetkin suggested International Women’s day be recognized, winning the approval of 17 votes from the countries in attendance. The following year 1911 would be the first celebration of International Women’s Day in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and Denmark. The United States did not celebrate the holiday until 1975 with the United Nations.
Within the United States, the first notice of the Women’s History celebration started as a response to get more school principals to comply with the recent passing of Title IX in 1977. Title IX prohibited discrimination due to sex in federally funded education programs. Through the passing of several legislations by Congress, between 1987-1988, the week-long spread to a week after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project. Congress would pass more legislation to have the celebration extended to a month between 1988-1994. In 1995, various presidents have passed a series of annual proclamations to celebrate the achievements of women throughout American history.
There are various ways to celebrate Women’s History Month:
- Learn the history of women’s rights: Researching the history of women’s rights is important to understanding where we currently stand in news and history on various topics affecting women daily.
- Realize issues women face today: Educate yourself and others on ways to support women in the fights they continue to face today. In understanding the current fight women take daily, from political to health purposes, we can all help.
- Support women-owned businesses and organizations: Send gifts, promote, etc. for women-based organizations and businesses, especially those that are local to your community.
- Donate or volunteer to women’s shelters, clinics, and clubs: Many are facing shutdowns or low funding and need your support now more than ever. Let's keep open the safe spaces for all women to gather and receive resources.
- Highlight special and/or influential women: Show off the important women in and around your life through special shout-outs and celebrations. Learn about special and influential women that are helping to make the world a better place.
Photo Source: The University of Akron