The History of Women’s History MonthMar 23, 2022
We celebrate Women’s History Month each March to honor the legacy, contributions, and resilience of women and girls around the world.
In 1978, a California group called the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women planned the first-ever “Women’s History Week.” The event was scheduled during the week of March 8 to coincide with International Women’s Day, which had been observed throughout the world since the early 1900s. International Women’s Day has roots in the Socialist movement in America; in 1909, the Socialist Party held an anniversary celebration of the garment worker’s strikes in New York that occurred in 1908. As socialism spread throughout Europe in the following years, so did women’s day observances. By 1975, the U.N. officially began recognizing International Women’s Day.
In 1979, other communities around the country began recognizing their own women’s history weeks with the annual “Real Women” essay contest, educational programs, and the Santa Rosa, California parade.
In 1980, the National Women’s History Project, now known as the National Women’s History Alliance, lobbied for recognition throughout the United States. President Jimmy Carter subsequently issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week.
in 1987, Congress passed Public Law 100-9, which designated March as Women’s History Month. In the following years, Congress passed additional resolutions that authorized and requested the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, each President has issued an annual proclamation recognizing the month.
Since it was first recognized, the National Women’s History Alliance has also designated an official theme for each year’s celebration.
The 2022 Women's History theme, “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” is both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history. The 2022 theme proudly honors those who, in both public and private life, provide healing and promote hope for the betterment of all.
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