March is Women's History Month
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WHM is an annual declared month in the United States that highlights Women's history contributions of women to the many events in history and contemporary society. March has been set aside as this month. In India, this month is celebrated in October and corresponds with the celebration of Persons Day, which is October 18.
The event traces its beginnings to the first International Women's Day in 1911.
In 1979, the school district of Sonoma, California, participated in Women's History Week, an event designed around the week of March 8 (International Women's Day).
In 1981, responding to the growing popularity of the event, Congress passed a resolution recognizing Women's History Week. This week was well received, and soon after, schools across the country began to have their own local celebrations. The next year, leaders from the local California group shared their project at the Women's History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. Other participants not only became determined to begin their own local Women's History Week projects, but also agreed to support an effort to have Congress declare a national Women's History Month.
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Alaska, New York, Oregon and even other states developed and distributed curriculum materials in all of their public schools, which prompted educational events such as essay contests. Within a few years, thousands of schools and communities got on the bandwagon of National Women's History Week. They planned engaging and stimulating programs about women's roles in history and society, with support and encouragement from governors, city councils, school boards, and the U.S. Congress.
In 1987 Congress expanded the focus to a whole month. In 2001, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) co-sponsored the first Joint Congressional Resolution proclaiming a "Women's History Month". Soon, other state departments of education began to encourage celebrations of National Women's History Week as a way to promote equality among the sexes in the classroom.
The popularity of women's history celebrations continues to spread as more people are becoming aware of the contributions of women and girls. A President's Commission on the Celebration of Women in History in America recently sponsored hearings in many parts of the country.
The Women's Progress Commission will soon conduct hearings to promote interest in preserving areas that are relevant in American women's history. Some of the groups promoting this interest are state historical societies, women's organizations, and groups such as the Girl Scouts of the USA. National Women's History Month for the year 2008 is visionary female artists. Honorees will be selected based on their impact in various media, from pottery to sculpture to any type of modern art.
March 8 rally in Dhaka, Bangladesh: Female members of the Australian Builders Labourers Federation march on International Women's Day 1975 in Sydney
The Silver Wattle is the symbol of the celebrations of Women's day in Italy. The first IWD was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. Among other relevant historic events, it came to commemorate the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The idea of having an international women's day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialization and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions.
By urban legend, women from clothing and textile factories staged one such protest on 8 March 1857 in New York City. The garment workers were protesting against very poor working conditions and low wages. The protesters were attacked and dispersed by police. These women established their first labor union in the same month two years later.
More protests followed on 8 March in subsequent years, most notably in 1908 when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. In 1910 the first international women's conference was held in Copenhagen (in the labour-movement building located at Jagtvej 69, which until recently housed Ungdomshuset) by the Second International and an 'International Women's Day' was established, which was submitted by the important German Socialist Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified.
The following year, 1911, IWD was marked by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, on March 19. However, soon thereafter, on March 25, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City killed over 140 garment workers. A lack of safety measures was blamed for the high death toll. Furthermore, on the eve of World War I, women across Europe held peace rallies on 8 March 1913. In the West, International Women's Day was commemorated during the 1910s and 1920s, but dwindled. It was revived by the rise of feminism in the 1960s.
Demonstrations marking International Women's Day in Russia proved to be the first stage of the Russian Revolution of 1917.
International Women's Day was declared as a non working day in the USSR "in commemoration of the outstanding merits of Soviet women in communistic construction, in the defense of their Motherland during the Great Patriotic War, in their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the rear, and also marking the great contribution of women to strengthening friendship between peoples, and the struggle for peace. But still, women's day must be celebrated as are other holidays."