Every March, we celebrate Women’s History Month — but what is the history behind it? Who began this remarkable occasion recognizing women’s achievements? Learn more about how Women’s History Month got its start, who was involved in launching the idea and why it remains important today.
by David Stone
An overview of why Women’s History Month was started
Women’s History Month is an annual celebration of women’s achievements was first recognized back in 1981. It originated from a week-long event held at the Sonoma County, California, school district, organized by women educators to bring attention to an area of education largely overlooked.
As this initial event gained recognition and support over the following years, it grew into what we now recognize as Women’s History Month.
Women’s History Month teaches us the value of women and the immense contributions they have made, We celebrate not only their past accomplishments but also their ongoing endeavors.
Examining the contributions of Dr. Gerda Lerner, an inspiration for Women’s History Month
Dr. Gerda Lerner, a writer and esteemed historian, was the founding inspiration for Women’s History Month.
Dr. Lerner has had a long and influential career as a trailblazer for the rights of women. She was one of the first female Ph.D. students in history at Columbia University, and through her investigative research, she uncovered unknown stories from early American history that provided new perspectives on the role played by women.
An Austrian by birth, Dr. Lerner set out to un-erase women’s bravado from our collective past, making way for Women’s History Month, a testament to her dedication.
Celebrating the accomplishments of women throughout history
Women really have come a long way and made history worth celebrating.
Women’s History Month, established in the U.S. 1981, is the perfect opportunity for honoring a history of courage and strength.
During this month we recognize and commemorate the many contributions women have made throughout history. There were changes in social policy, political engagement, economic development, increased educational opportunities and much more.
We reflect on how far women have come in our society and continue striving for greatness.
How we can honor women’s achievements today
Women’s History Month is a great way to recognize women, but this is something that can be done all year. In honoring women’s accomplishments today, we can seek out resources such as books, documentaries and the plethora of other media discussing the women whose prolific marks are on the timeline of history.
Doing so, we learn about these women by expanding our knowledge and evoking careful consideration for how their work was perceived back then and how it’s perceived now.
We can also create conversations around women’s rights issues so that our own contributions to women’s advocacy are meaningful.
Make sure that women are present in all aspects of life
Women’s History Month commemorates the contributions made by pioneering women throughout time and serves as a reminder that inclusion is key.
It started in 1981 as a result of research from different historians who studied how historical scholarship excluded women. Celebrating this month is powerful in that it reminds us to keep inclusion at the forefront; being aware and cognizant of this history helps us carry on a legacy.
It thus becomes imperative for everyone, regardless of gender, to work together toward creating a society that is inclusive and equitable for all.
Supporting women-owned businesses, causes, and organizations
In March 1981, President Jimmy Carter designated the entire month of March as Women’s History Month, after Congress passed a supporting resolution.
Today, support for women-owned businesses, causes, and organizations has never been higher.
Looking to support women and make an impact? There are many different ways.
You can get involved with national or local organizations that support women’s rights, help fund a cause you believe in, purchase products or services from female-owned businesses, volunteer at shelters and habitat programs that support single mothers or simply join a discussion about current events.
With just a few steps you can easily find ways of supporting your local women’s community.
It’s a little astonishing when you think about all that women have achieved and the strides that have been made in the last few decades.
Women’s History Month is a chance to reflect on the impact that women have had and their many accomplishments. Honoring, recognizing and celebrating their work, society must recognize and encourage females of all ages.
Now as much ever, that means building on the momentum of this movement creating equal rights and opportunities for women. From starting conversations around female empowerment through social media or pledging support for causes dedicated to getting more women represented in leadership positions; every one of us takes part in making a difference.