7 Ways You Can Celebrate Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month, an annual, nationwide recognition of the achievements and contributions of women throughout U.S. history. How did it start, and how can we honor notable women, past and present? Look below for seven ways to celebrate the month.
The Origin of Women’s History MonthWomen’s History Month traces back to Women's Day, a celebration of women’s rights held on the last Sunday of February beginning in 1909. Inspired by the US, a group of European countries began to celebrate an International Women’s Day several years later. By the mid-1970s the United Nations had passed a resolution to establish International Women’s Day in March.
In 1980, groups in the US lobbied for the expansion of Women’s Day into a full week. During February of that year, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation designating Women's History Week, which began on March 8.
“From the first settlers who came to our shore, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. 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.”– President Jimmy Carter
In 1987, Congress changed Women’s History Week to Women’s History Month. The month of March was chosen to coincide with International Women’s Day.
So how can we learn about and honor the achievements and contributions of American women, both past and present? Try one or more of the activities below, and invite some family and friends to join you.
7 Ways To Celebrate Women's History
1. Explore the history of women in the U.S.The history of women in America is a fascinating one. Learn more about it by watching a documentary (like one from this list), reading a history book (look here for some ideas), and getting to know more about some American women history-makers.
2. Explore something from a woman content creatorWomen contribute richly to the world in which we live. Celebrate by watching a movie from a woman filmmaker (find some ideas here), reading a book by a woman author, or creating and sharing a playlist of female musicians, composers, and songwriters.
3. Take a virtual tour of a museum about women.
There are several museums dedicated to chronicling the history of women in this country. Learn about trailblazing American women in business, sports, politics, science, the arts, and more by checking out the themed online exhibits at the National Women’s Museum or the Smithsonian’s new American Women’s History Museum.
4. Learn about, volunteer with, or support an organization that supports women and girls.
There are many to be found in the DFW area. Search online for listings like this one.
5. Support a woman-owned business.
Find some local businesses that provide goods and services here. For some more inspiration, watch this short story about one Dallas-based business that seeks to aid and empower refugee women.
6. Celebrate woman in leadership.Read a book by and for women leaders, listen to a podcast by a woman leader, and watch a TEDtalk given by a female speaker. Here are 10 that TED recommends.
7. Recognize women who have personally impacted you, and seek to uplift other women.Take some time thank the women who have had a significant influence in your life—write a heartfelt thank-you letter, or make a phone call or in-person visit.
Also, consider investing in another woman’s life, perhaps as a mentor or resource, or as a link to help connect a woman to a mentor. Mentoring isn’t limited just to the business world, either: check out this opportunity for moms of young children to learn from older women, or get some fresh ideas about mentoring here.