Women’s History Month is a global celebration of women’s contributions to the economy, history, society, and culture. It’s observed annually in March in countries like United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Women have had remarkable accomplishments over the years and are not afraid to launch into careers dominated by men, thereby increasing the number of female doctors, lawyers, engineers, and entrepreneurs. They are becoming role models for future generations of leaders in this country. It is great to see women bringing a different perspective to these professions.
It all started in New York City in 1908 when thousands of women protested for better labor laws, conditions, and voting rights. One year later, on February 28, the Socialist party had a meeting with suffragists in Manhattan for what was called the first International Women’s Day. According to the BBC, the idea quickly caught up throughout Europe in March 1910, at the International Women’s Conference in Copenhagen, an idea introduced by German socialist Clara Zetkin. The 100 women from 17 countries all agreed. On March 8, 1911, International Women’s Day was then officially honored by Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Denmark.
Then, in 1978, International women’s day moved from a day to a weeklong celebration of women’s contributions to politics, culture, history, and society organized by the school district in Sonoma, California. A parade was held downtown Santa Rosa, they had presentations at schools, and several students participated in an essay competition on “Real Woman”.
The first presidential proclamation stating the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week, was issued by President Jimmy Carter in 1980. The following year, the United States Congress followed suit, passing a bill calling for a national holiday to be observed. The National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress six years later to extend the celebration to the entire month of March.
In 2012, during a celebration of the Women’s history month, Barrack Obama said, “We recall that the pioneering legacy of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers is revealed not only in our museums and history books but also in the fierce determination and limitless potential of our daughters and granddaughters. As we make headway on the crucial issues of our time, let the courageous vision championed by women of past generations inspire us to defend the dreams and opportunities of those to come.”
As we move forward into the 21st century, we must never forget the ways that women have positively altered our lives. Their words have carried the power to change state and federal policies. They have authored books that challenge each of us to strive to be excellent people. If we continue to value the contribution of women, our future will be brighter, and our lives forever changed. Leaders such as Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton are leading the way in government and our history-making Vice President Kamala Harris.
In homes across American, women have offered wise advice to children who become our future leaders. This is a part of history that is often ignored. Women also provide a compass for future generations to venture into new frontiers. Let’s make Women’s History Month a celebration of our past and our future.