Did you know Women’s History Month started off as Women’s History Week? The idea originated in 1978 in California, by the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County. Their goal was to coincide with International Women’s Day, a day to bring attention to the social, political, economic, and cultural issues that women face, and to advocate for the advance of women within all those areas. They thought the ideas behind the day deserved more than just a day of recognition.
As the years went on the concept of Women’s History Week caught on within communities, school districts and organizations across the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8th as National Women’s Week. The following year Congress passed a resolution establishing a national celebration. Six years later, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand the event to the entire month of March.
Present day the month is still celebrated in classrooms, workplaces, and communities. The month is given a theme every year. Themes help us recognize and honor specific groups of women each year. The theme for 2019 is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” The theme honors women who have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society.