The history of Women’s History Month

Ashtyn Harter, Reporter

In the United States, March is recognized as Women’s History Month; a time to honor the women who came before us, who helped us get to where we are today. Women have come from being stay-at-home mothers and wives to being independent, working, and talented individuals. 

Each year, Women’s History Month has a different theme designated by The National Women’s History Alliance. This year’s theme is a continuation of last year’s: “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.” 

According to, this theme’s purpose is to recognize the battle for women’s suffrage. It reminds us of the time when women did not have the right to vote until they were given suffrage in 1920, thanks to the 19th amendment. 

Originally, Women’s History Month started as just a day-long event, that is now known as International Women’s Day on March 8. The day has been celebrated in some shape or form since 1911, according to CNN. One of the most notable celebrations of International Women’s Day took place in Santa Rosa, California. 

According to, The Educational Task Force of Sonoma Country, (California) Commission on the Status of Women had planned to celebrate a “Women’s History Week”, which began on March 8. By doing so, it was planned that the week would correspond with International Women’s Day. 

Soon after, the movement spread across the country, and gained President Jimmy Carter’s attention in 1980. That year, he designated the first official National Women’s History Week, which began March 8.

 But it did not stop there. Within a few years, states began declaring all of March to be Women’s History Month, says a National Women’s History Alliance article. People continued to push this idea until Congress declared the first National Women’s History Month in March 1987.

In 1980, President Carter spoke to the nation after declaring March to be Women’s History month, he voiced his support for the recognitional month.  

From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation,” Carter said, in a speech. “Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength, and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”

This month, we celebrate the women who came before us. The women who helped form our country, the women that fought for our rights, and women in general. We use this time to honor those who have fought for where we are today and their accomplishments that got us here.