Women’s History Month origins explained


As we begin Women’s History Month, many may wonder how this event became a part of our American heritage.
In the 1970s as the awareness of women’s contributions to history developed, an Education Task Force in California initiated a Women’s History Week in order to offset the lack of women’s history coverage provided in the public school curriculum.
The week of March 8 was selected, to correspond with the International Women’s Day. The goals were to commemorate the significant role of women in the workplace, develop a connection between all women and include a multicultural perspective.
The events of that week were overwhelmingly successful, and within a few years, numerous other schools developed similar programs honoring women.
In 1978, this successful idea was presented at a Women’s History Institute Conference. Women from all over the United States attended this conference and decided to endorse the idea of Women’s History Week in their own states and organizations.
In addition, they decided to work towards gaining a Congressional Resolution to declare that week National Women’s History Week.
Federal support for honoring women’s contributions to history came from President Jimmy Carter in March 1980. He advocated the recognition and celebration of women during the week of March 8.
By the year’s end, the idea took hold in the House of Representatives and the Senate, followed by a Joint Congressional Resolution establishing a National Women’s History Week.
In 1980, the National Women’s History Project was founded to encourage gender equality through education about women’s diverse lives and accomplishments.
Furthermore, the association launched programs, coordinated events and developed educational curriculums to assist national communities and schools. The activities they produced were unanimously supported by Congress, state legislatures and city councils.
In 1987, the organization lobbied Congress to broaden the national celebrations to include the whole month of March. With strong backing from both the House and the Senate, a National Women’s History Month Resolution was collectively accepted.
For information about this year’s celebration or if you are interested in becoming part of the Women’s History Month committee, contact Master Sgt. Elma Taylor at 480-5821 or the Ramstein Military Equal Opportunity Office at 480-2341.
(Courtesy of the Military Equal Opportunity Office)