Women’s History Month – The Origins and How to Celebrate

Beginning on March 1, Women’s History Month has been celebrated throughout America since 1987. The week of March 8 used to be marked as National Women’s History week, but it was later transformed into Women’s History Month where schools, organizations, and people everywhere celebrate the achievements of women throughout history. 

The National Women’s History Alliance explains how a school district named Sonoma, California sparked the beginnings of Women’s History week,  saying, “Over one-hundred community women participated by doing special presentations in classrooms throughout the country and an annual “Real Woman” Essay Contest drew hundreds of entries. The finale for the week was a celebratory parade and program held in the center of downtown Santa Rosa, California.” The event took on more popularity when the current president at the time, Jimmy Carter, issued March 8 as National Women’s History week and other states began adding Women’s History knowledge into their schoolwork and learning. During the year of 1986, fourteen different states had already turned March into National Women’s History month, and in 1987, Jimmy Carter made this official. 

During the month of March, people recognize many different female figures who created change throughout time. The news source, History.com, explains, “From Abigail Adams to Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth to Rosa Parks, the timeline of women’s history milestones stretches back to the founding of the United States.” For those in school, National Women’s History Month is important for adolescents to learn more about these powerful women. 

To celebrate, the news source, Ellevate, has a few very good suggestions. For one, they encourage supporting Women-owned shops and businesses. This is also a great way to encourage women entrepreneurs and explore different organizations. They also state, “Write a letter to a woman who inspires you saying thank you – and while you’re at it, take the time to write one for yourself. Showing love to women who inspire us is a beautiful thing, but we can’t stress enough the importance of self-love.” During Women’s History Month, celebrating and encouraging other Women, even including yourself, is so important. 

Another way to celebrate is by reading or watching films covering strong Women who have influenced the world. Educating yourself on women who have created change is a great way to honor their accomplishments and celebrate the month. PBS suggests a few great documentaries including Dolores, Solar Mamas, The Revolutionary Optimists, Half the Sky, Strong!, and more. All of these powerful documentaries cover women as strong heroines in their story. For books, CNN suggests ‘Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World,’ ‘My Own Words,’ ‘Hidden Figures,’ ‘Elizabeth the Queen,’ ‘Becoming,’  and more.

Most importantly, it’s a time to uplift other women. You can thank, compliment, or just find some way to encourage a woman you personally know to help celebrate. This month is a great time to express gratitude and encouragement to many women in history and those that are making change now. We hope that these suggestions and the knowledge of women’s history will help you celebrate!