We all know that March is the month of Women!
It’s Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate the powerful and incredible babes who’ve shaped the way for our future.
But did you know that Women’s History Month is a relatively recent celebration?
It actually all began as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California, a small enclave in Northern California. The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women planned the first “Women’s History Week” in 1978. They chose March, because on March 8th, it’s International Women’s Day, which was adopted for observance by the United Nations in 1975. There were different presentations given at schools in the area, there was an essay contest, and a parade celebrating Women in downtown Santa Rosa for the Week. With a first successful jubilee, the week of history spread throughout the neighboring towns.
Then in 1980 the National Women’s History Project, led by a group of women’s clubs and historians, lobbied for a national holiday. It was then in February of the same year that Jimmy Carter, President of the time, issued the first Presidential Proclamation, creating the National Women’s History Week.
When Jimmy Carter signed the week into law, he stated, “From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”
It wasn’t until 1987 that Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 that designated the month of March as Women’s History Month. The National Women’s History Project, now called, the National Women’s History Alliance creates a theme for each year, in 2021, the theme reflects on the difficulties of these tough times as well as historical significance of women’s suffrage reaching 100 years (last year, with celebrations on hold because of COVID). So this year they’ve declared the annual theme to be “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced.”
Celebrating Women’s History Month is a way to open up the conversation about our past and the women who’ve changed the world! Celebrate Women’s History month with us as we explore women from all over the globe and with all kinds of different careers with our podcast, Weekly Woman.