By Nina Krzyzanowska, ESF
Women’s History Month is a month of celebration for all women, of every ethnicity,religion, color, nationality, and more. ALL women. Throughout the history of life onEarth, women have been discriminated upon and treated as worse than men. Fromhaving to fight for basic human rights such as the right to vote through the suffragettesmovement in the 1900s to todays protests against the abortion ban in Poland, womenfight everyday for equality. This is why we celebrate them during this month, for theirstrength and resilience and to remind ourselves of the accomplishments womenachieved at times when it was deemed impossible.
The Women’s History Month was originally known as International Women’s Day set onFebruary the 28th. This date was established during a meeting of socialists and theiconic suffragettes in Manhattan of 1909.
One year later, this date was changed to March 8th, by German activist names Clara Zetkin, which was just recently celebrated throughout the world.
In the United States, during 1911, the school districts of Sonoma, California created aweek long event named Women’s History Week which began on March 8th. From July 13to July 29, 1979, scholar Gerda Lerner chaired a fifteen-day conference on women’shistory at Sarah Lawrence College. The SLC, the Women’s Action Alliance, and the Smithsonian Institution coordinated on the project. When its members learned aboutthe popularity of Sonoma County’s Women’s History Week celebration, they wanted tostart their own events in their own organizations, neighborhoods, and school districts.
Fast forward to February of 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980, as National Women’s History Week.The proclamation stated “From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the firstAmerican Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked togetherto build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes theircontributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength andlove of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names weknow so well” (Pub. L. 100-9).
Later, schools across the country also began to have their own local celebrations of Women’s History Week and even Women’s History Month. By 1986, fourteen states haddeclared March as Women’s History Month.In 1987, Congress passed a Public Law stating that March would be designated to becelebrated as Women’s History Month, after petitions from the National Women’s History Project.
Additionally, countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Ukraine, Russia and Canada have set March as a month for celebrating women. Globally, March 8th is considered the International Women’s Day celebrated by all.
Celebrating Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day is extremely important and should not be disregarded, This is a special occasion when we have the chance to praise, thank and appreciate what the women of past generations have done for future generations and what today’s women continue to fight for.
Additionally, countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Ukraine, Russia andCanada have set March as a month for celebrating women. Globally, March the 8th isconsidered the International Women’s Day celebrated by all. Celebrating Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day is extremelyimportant and should not be disregarded, This is a special occasion when we have thechance to praise, thank and appreciate what the women of the past have done forfuture generations and what today’s women continue to fight for.