Women’s History Month: How It Began and Its Significance



We greet March with much excitement. As the sun gets higher and hotter, summer draws nearer. However, we also observe an important occasion this March: Women’s History Month. The month-long celebration is about empowering notable and ordinary women in history and society. But just how did Women’s History Month come to be? Let’s learn about how it began and its significance in today’s society.

Women’s History Month: How It Began and Its Significance

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For us, it’s easy to think that recognizing women’s contributions to significant events in history have always been discussed. However, in as recent as the 1970’s, women were rarely talked about in US History. After a movement in the US in 1960’s women began to question their invisibility in history.

Starting With A Week

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It wasn’t until 1978 that women’s contributions in history were celebrated. California’s Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women began “Women’s History Week” that same year. To their surprise, the response of the public was greatly positive. Schools as well as organizations made programs of their own to commemorate Women’s History Week.

The following year, the task force brought their project to a Women’s History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. Other participants around the US also supported the cause with their own initiatives. At the same time, they supported the effort for the US Congress to declare a national Women’s History Week.

Three years later, in 1982, the Congress finally passed the resolution establishing national Women’s History Week on the week of March 8th. As a result, the project gained wider support throughout the US and the entire world. Schools organized special projects and exhibits to showcase women’s contributions in history. Organizations also pitched in by sponsoring talks on the subject. The National Women’s History Project in the US distributes materials to support the week-long celebration. Additionally, in hopes of educating students better, the group also creates mediums to enhance teaching history throughout the academic year.

A Month Just For Women

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At the request of the National Women’s History Project, the US Congress expanded the commemoration to a month in 1987. Since then, every March of each year is declared Women’s History Month and March 8 as International Women’s Day. While it was first launched in California, Women’s History Month is now recognized world-wide.

Why is Women’s History Month important?

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From the beginning, the goal of the celebration is to recognize the notable and ordinary women in  history. Its ultimate success, however, won’t be achieved until years of hard work. That one day, it would be practically impossible to discuss history without all these amazing women.