women's history month

Women’s History Month – why is it important?

March 1st marks the beginning of Women’s History Month, with the 8th considered as an International Women’s Day. Throughout this whole month, we celebrate women whose contributions are often overlooked and remember those who helped to shape this world into a more inclusive place. But why exactly do we celebrate Women’s History and why is it so important?

Firstly, let’s take a glance at the history of Women’s History Month.

The history behind Women’s History Month

I’m sure everyone remembers the suffrage movement from history. Women started fighting for their rights to vote in the early 20th century, which slowly started being implemented in many countries around the world.

International Women’s Day had been celebrated around the world on March 8th since 1911, however, the holiday only started being recognized in the late 1970s when the Sonoma county commission in the United States organised a week-long celebration of women and they selected the week that corresponds with the International Women’s Day.

Then in 1980, the National Women’s History Project lobbied for national recognition and it wasn’t until February that year when the president of the USA, Jimmy Carter, officially declared the week of March 8th as National Women’s History Week. 6 years later, the same organisation petitioned for the expansion of the celebration and in 1987, congress passed public law proclaiming March as Women’s History Month.

From that day, we celebrate women every March, all month long!  

Why is it so important to celebrate Women’s History Month?

Women’s rights were not recognised until the 20th century and there are still many countries around the world where they do not possess full freedom. There is no doubt that our right to education, voting and general participation in everyday life has not always been acknowledged – hence, it is really important to learn about accomplished women to remind the world that we are capable of achieving great things.

Over the years, history has been written mainly by and about men and the majority of the accomplishments we learn about at school are those of men, not women. But there were countless extraordinary women who contributed greatly to our society and we need to learn about them, in order to get a full picture of the history. We need to show young boys and girls that both genders are equal in terms of being strong, smart, and brave.

Examples of great women

Women have always contributed greatly to culture, history, and society. Let’s now take a moment to discover some inspiring roles that revolutionised their niches.

1. Madam C.J. Walker

An entrepreneur and activist who became one of the wealthiest African American women of her time and she used her position to advocate for black Americans.

2. Brownie Wise

A businesswoman who revolutionised marketing tactics, introducing the new popular household item – Tupperware.

3. Elizabeth Blackwell

First woman in America to receive a medical degree. She opened her own medical college for women!

Women’s History Month is a great opportunity to reflect on all the wonderful and brave women who made a difference in our world.

If you wish to learn more about the amazing accomplishments of women, check the Women’s History Museum’s website!

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