Springtime is fast approaching! March always seems to be the forgotten month, since so many major holidays fall around the month but hardly ever within it. Yes, there’s Saint Patrick’s Day, and sometimes Easter falls during it. But, you may or may not know that the whole month is actually known as National Women’s History Month! We here at KaBloom were fascinated by this and wanted to learn a little more about how this important month came to be, so we opened up our history books and figured we’d share a little history with you!
National Women’s History Month only dates back to 1981, when Congress passed an act for the President to deem the week of March 7th, 1982 to be Women’s History Week, to coincide with International Women’s Day, which was taking place annually since 1909. Prior to the formal establishment of the week, schools and smaller organizations would deem the week Women’s History Week—the first of which is said to have taken place in California—and it continued to gain popularity. The President proceeded with the request, and for the next five years, the celebration continued on. However, in 1987, the National Women’s History Project, an organization striving to preserve and promote women’s history, petitioned Congress to expand the week to last the entire month of March. This passed as well, and each year, the tradition has continued. Since 1987, the National Women’s History Project has released a yearly theme for each celebration. To coincide with the months, the current President of the United States has released proclamations in support of the celebrations.
As word began to spread regarding the newly-established month-long celebration, schools saw this as the chance to use this as a teaching moment to strive for equality in the classrooms. Teachers and school boards worked to integrate lessons into their curriculum relating back to the holiday and its goals, which increased its popularity.Universities began to offer courses relating to this material, which is seen as a development of Women’s Studies. The whole concept behind the month came from the realization that much of history that was taught in schools was male-centric. But, people began to see gaps in these teachings, seeing that the women who played important roles in these events were under-represented, or female-centric events were being neglected despite their importance. There were too many women who were going under the radar, and the establishment of the month hoped to eliminate the uneven distribution and bring many significant women to the public eye.
It seems strange to think of history without some of the amazing women who played prominent roles in it. But, it’s also strange to think that they were under-represented for far too long a time. Hopefully this gave you a little insight to National Women’s History Month, but if you’re still curious about learning more, check out http://womenshistorymonth.gov! On March 8th, make sure to show the women in your life how appreciated and important they are. Stay tuned for more updates!