How Did Women’s History Month Begin?
What started the celebration was International Women’s Day, which commemorated the meeting between socialists and suffragists that took place on February 28, 1909, in Manhattan, NY.
On March 8, 1910, Clara Zetkin, a German activist, suggested that International Women’s Day be recognized in Copenhagen at an International Conference of Working Women. All 17 countries in attendance agreed.
On March 8, 1911, Austra, Switzerland, Denmark, and Germany celebrated their first International Women’s Day. In the U.S., International Women’s Day wasn’t officially celebrated until 1975 when the United Nations began sponsoring it.
In 1977, the state of California passed Title IX which created Women’s History Week. That’s when they celebrated the many women’s accomplishments. In March of 1980, Present Jimmy Carter officially declared March 8th to be the start of National Women’s History Week.
In 1987, Congress declared that the entire month of March to be Women’s History Month.
Why Is It Celebrated?
Women’s History Month is celebrated to remind people of the accomplishments of women over the years in our society and culture. These accomplishments range from politics to science. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the many trailblazing women that lead the way for change.
There are key dates to keep in mind that take place during Women’s History Month. These include:
- March 1, 1972: The first Women’s History Week was started
- March 3, 1913: The first big march on Washington by suffragists
- March 8th: International Women’s Day
- March 22, 1972: The U.S. Senate passed The Equal Rights Amendment