Why Is Women’s History Month Celebrated In March?
Today is March 1, which means it’s officially Women’s History Month. While we believe women’s history should be celebrated every day, one month is a start. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? …Right?
But why is Women’s History Month celebrated in March? Let’s take a look.
Women’s history wasn’t something that was acknowledged until relatively recently. In fact, even as recent as the ‘70s, women’s history was seldom taught in schools or mentioned in the public. It was around this time that women really started to question why their invisibility felt so palpable. Why did they feel less visible than their male counterparts? Why was there a blatant exclusion from history books?
The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women in California wanted to change this. So, in 1978, they created the Women’s History Week celebration, since March 8 had been declared International Women’s Day by the UN three years prior.
The week was met with a largely positive response and dozens of schools started taking part in the special week. There were female-led presentations, prizes were given, and a grand parade closed out the week.
Women’s History Week was clearly a success so it wasn’t long before it spread to other communities. This lead to a more concerted effort to make a national Women’s History Week. So in 1980, President Carter officially declared that week of March National Women’s History Week.
As enthusiasm grew, more communities began recognizing and celebrating the event. Six years later, 14 states expanded the celebration from one week to the entire month of March. Since then, the goal of Women’s History Month has been to revise a history in which women didn’t seem to exist. States began lobbying Congress to make things official, and in 1987, it happened. Since that year, every March is National Women’s History Month.
Its progress like this that has helped shift the perspective of women’s role in history in the United States and beyond. The recognition of women’s place in history has taught us to examine history from a different perspective.
Today, more women are refusing to be invisible. We know our voices count and we refuse to be silenced. We weren’t originally given a place in history so we demanded it. And guess what? In the words of Ariana Grande, “I want it, I got it.”