March: Celebrating Women
March is Women’s History Month, and March 8 is International Women’s Day, which is a day that not only celebrates female achievements and the progress made toward women’s rights, but also brings attention to ongoing struggles for equality around the world. The roots of this celebration goes back to the late 1800’s and early 1900s. It grew from women’s socialist movements and early women’s trade union groups. The focus is upon women workers, and advancing women’s rights in the workforce, politics and society.
Women’s History Month was officially created by Congress in 1987, but the movement began with March 8, 1911 International Women’s Day as a global celebration of the achievements of women. In 1975 the United Nations sponsored International Women’s Day; and in 1975 the school district of Sonoma, California organized a weeklong celebration of women’s contributions to society. President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week. Since 1995, each president has made an annual proclamation to designate March as Women’s History Month.
The National Women’s History Alliance assigns a theme every year for the month of March. The theme for 2022 is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” This is “both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.”