Women’s History Month

In 1975, the United Nations declared March to be International Women’s History Month. It also declared March 8 to be International Women’s Day. Three years later, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women launched a local “Women’s History Week” celebration, the first in the nation. They picked the week of March 8 so as to include International Women’s Day. Soon after, dozens of schools began their own Women’s History Week programs.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter designated a national Women’s History Week for the country as a whole. Congress followed suit, authorizing an official Women’s History Week in 1981. It took place in the first half of March. In 1987, the week was expanded to include the whole month of March. Feminists and women’s rights activists viewed the designation as a step toward revising American history in a way that would no longer ignore women’s contributions. During Women’s History Month, emphasis is placed on the importance of women’s achievements in history. People also often take time to promote the expansion of women’s rights around the world.

Related Links:

  • Women’s History Month
    The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum–all join to commemorate and encourage the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.
  • Why March Is National Women’s History Month
  • A history of the month dedicated to women in history from the National Women’s History Alliance.
  • Women’s History Month
    Explore biographies, videos, photo galleries, and related stories such as Famous Firsts in American Women’s History and The Fight for Women’s Suffrage. From History.com.
  • International Women’s Day
    Investigate the history of International Women’s Day, March 8, and the themes focused on in different years by the United Nations.
  • Finish the Fight!
    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media and The New York Times collaborate on this nonfiction project highlighting the diverse women who fought for voting rights.

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