Women's History Month—What It Is, Why It Matters & How to Celebrate
FEB 2ND, 2022
Happy Women’s History Month! Each March, we celebrate the history of women in our country–those who fought for our rights and those who trailblazed paths for millions of women and girls. As the spring weather makes its way into our communities, so does the annual celebration of women’s history month.
But where did it come from, and why do we celebrate Women’s History Month? Sometimes people even ask why do we need Women’s History Month in the first place. Well, we believe it’s an important time to celebrate, and here’s why.
What Is Women’s History Month?
Women’s History Month began in 1987–but before we celebrated all month long, it was actually just a single day, then a week, and now an entire month.
How Women’s History Month Began
International Women’s Day was named in 1909 on March 8, to honor and commemorate the meeting is suffragists in Manhattan. In 1909 women did not have the right to vote, so a group of activists AKA the suffragists was planning to fight for their right to vote. While noble, it’s still important to point out that segregation and racism existed in the suffragist movement–the group mostly consisted of white women fighting for their right to vote.
Women’s History Week
And then, for a while International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 8 only. Until the late 1970s, when an education advocacy group in California decided to celebrate women and girls all week long in their schools. The celebration honored women’s contributions throughout history and was a strategy in order to gain more exposure to the recently passed Title IX law. The Title IX law prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools. It says girls cannot be excluded from any publicly funded educational program.
Schools quickly began to celebrate the week throughout the country and in 1980 President Jimmy Carter declared that March 8 was officially the start of Women’s History Week.
Women’s History Month
People around the country celebrated Women’s History Week for a while, but the nonprofit group Women’s History Project petitioned for a month-long celebration. And finally in 1987, the entire month of March was designated to Women’s History. And since then we’ve been celebrating each month.
Why Women’s History Month Matters
Women’s History Month matters because, for decades, women’s contributions weren’t highlighted or acknowledged. Think about all the great NASA astronauts who walked on the moon in the 1960s—none of that could have been accomplished without the computing skills of women at NASA.
Honoring the women who have made triumphant contributions around the world matters. It matters because little girls and women will gain courage, resilience, and hope to know that others like them came before.
Bringing to light the contributions of women throughout the world allows us to understand how far we’ve come in the fight for women’s equality. It’s easy to look around and forget that it wasn’t always the case. There were women like Sojourner Truth who both fought for enslaved Black women and for the right to vote. And the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who helped women gain the freedom to have a bank account without a man.
There are thousands of women who stand to be honored this month. And while it may seem overwhelming, we’ve put together some suggestions for you to celebrate this March.
How to Celebrate Women's History Month With Kids in 2022
Each year, the National Women’s History Alliance designates a theme for Women’s History Month. This year, the theme is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” Here are some ways in which you can celebrate Women’s History Month in 2022.
Head over to a museum
Many museums throughout the country have exhibitions in honor of Women’s History Month. Check out your favorite museum’s website to see what they’re offering this month and bring the family along for a day trip of education and women’s history.
Check out books by and about women at the library
Head over to your local library and check out some great books written by or about important women throughout history. Your library might also have some fun events for the kids, so be sure to check their calendar, too.
Build girls’ confidence with an activity book
Check out some of the Hopscotch Girls activity books aimed to empower young girls to be confident, brave, and kind.
Make a craft about your favorite woman in history
Check out some fun DIY crafts in honor of Women’s History Month. Make a flower crown like Frida Kahlo or a paper roll airplane in honor of Amelia Earhart!
Celebrate all year long
Celebrating and honoring women’s history doesn’t have to happen only in March, we can celebrate all year long! These activities don’t have to be limited to these four weeks – we know everyone is busy! So be sure to honor the contributions made by women throughout history all year long.