Chances are, you spent some time studying the badass women of the past in your history classes at school, especially during the month of March. Thanks to the efforts of some insightful individuals, Women's History Month is a great time to reflect on the achievements of women throughout history. So why is Women's History Month in March, anyway? Using the month of March to advocate for and recognize the rights of women has over a century's worth of tradition.
The push to recognize women's contributions to history began as a daylong observance. International Women's Day, which falls on March 8, has been observed in some form since the early 1900s, according to the organization's official website. Sparked by issues of oppression and inequality, International Women's Day serves to mark the cultural and political achievements made by women, as further explained by the International Women's Day site. This ongoing day of celebration also serves as a means of advocating greater gender equality.
By the late 20th century, women's role in the political sphere and the workplace continued to grow. There remained, however, a curious lack of women's representation in history texts. Only about 3 percent of content in history texts was devoted to women, so in 1980, the National Women's History Project was founded to address this disparity, according to the National Women's History project (NWHP) website. By drawing on the existing popularity of International Women's Day, the NWHP had the week of March 8 designated as National Women's History Week. Given the early success of these efforts, the entire month of March was declared National Women's History Month in 1987, as further explained by the NWHP's site.
And it's pretty amazing what the NWHP has accomplished during all of these Marches. For instance, the Women's History Month website features information on everyone from first Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin to the Guerrilla Girls. Even if it's been a hot minute since your last history class, it's easy to get lost in the stories of the women, places, and events that have helped shape the modern world. In general, knowing how to celebrate Women's History Month is a crucial way for everyone to acknowledge the contributions of women to society.