The Month of March Honors Women with Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day

Tiffany Buschman

Women all over the United States are being celebrated this month in honor of March being Women’s History Month. Women’s History Month has a long and challenging story much like the stories of the many women that are highlighted throughout the month. Women’s History Month’s official website shares the month’s purpose of celebration and history.

According to the Women’s History Month website, “Women’s History Month honors and celebrates the struggles and achievements of American women throughout the history of the United States.”

Even though women have had a long history full of immense challenges, Women’s History Month is a fairly new celebration.

According to the Women’s History Month website, “Women’s History Month had its origins in 1981 when Congress passed a legislation which authorized and requested the to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as ‘Women’s History Week.’ As requested by Congress, President Reagan issued Presidential Proclamation 4903 proclaiming the week beginning on March 7, 1982 as the first ‘Women’s History Week’ and recognizing the vital role of women in American history.”

Though Reagan definitely helped uplift women and helped shed more light on their contributions to the nation, it still took some time for “Women’s History Week” to become what is now “Women’s History Month.”

According to the Women’s History Month website, “In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project a non-profit organization founded in 1980 to ‘promote multicultural women’s history awareness,’ Congress passed a legislation which designated the month of March 1987 as ‘Women’s History Month.’ President Reagan then issued Presidential Proclamation 5619 proclaiming March 1987 as ‘Women’s History Month’ and calling upon all Americans to mark the month with observances to honor the achievements of American women”

Since Reagan, Presidents have been granted the authority to make proclamations regarding Women’s History Month and many have followed suit.

According to the Women’s History Month website, “Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, Presidents Clinton Bush Obama and Trump have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as Women’s History Month.”  

Women’s History Month was created to celebrate the accomplishments of American women, but naturally international women have also made a positive impact. International Women’s Day celebrates the accomplishments of women all over the world. In fact, International Women’s Day has been celebrated longer than Women’s History Month. Although, it was some time before International Women’s Day was recognized by a majority of nations.

According to the International Women’s Day website, “In 1911, International Women’s Day was honored for the first time in Austria Denmark Germany and Switzerland. In 1914, the Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day and discussions took place that resulted in the decision that International Women’s Day would be annually celebrated on March 8.”

While some continents started celebrating International’s Woman’s Day rather early, it still took several years for the holiday to be universally recognized.

According to the International Women’s Day website, “International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975.”

Since then, the United Nations has taken to celebrating the holiday in full stride making each year’s celebration unique.

According to the International Women’s Day website, “In 1996, the UN announced the first annual theme for International Women’s Day ‘Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future.’”

International Women’s Day has continued to produce annual themes for celebration of the holiday and this year is no exception. International Women’s Day is to be celebrated on March 8 of 2021 and has a new theme that that the International Women’s Day website is encouraging the spread of with the use of a social media hashtag.

According to the International Women’s Day website, “The International Women’s Day theme for 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge. A challenged world is an alert world. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.”

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