Women’s History Month is quickly coming to a close. If you’ve heard about this month but don’t know the history behind it or how to celebrate it, this article is for you.
Women’s History Month owes its start to a joint resolution co-sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Representative Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) in 1981. This bill spearheaded the national celebration of Women’s History Week starting on March 7, 1982. For years after this bill passed, Women’s History Week was celebrated across the country, especially in educational settings.
Women’s History Month, as it is currently celebrated, was a result of a 1987 petition by the National Women’s History Project that asked Congress to pass Pub. L. 100-9. This bill was the start of the month-long celebration that we now observe annually. As a result of that resolution, the sitting president gave a proclamation declaring March to be National Women’s History Month.
Now that you know about the history of this powerful month, here are some suggestions on how to celebrate women in history and the influential women in your life.
Recognize the women who have positively influenced your life.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that Women’s History Month only celebrates famous women. While many of the women who come to mind have indeed made grand contributions to society, it is the continuous, small, innumerable impacts that women have on those around them that make the biggest differences. If you have a woman in your life who encourages you or inspires you, be sure to thank her.
Read about trailblazing women.
Some good books to start with would be Narrative of Sojourner Truth by Sojourner Truth, My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor, and Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox. Don’t recognize the names of any of the women mentioned here? That’s all the more reason to pick up one of these books. Other empowering books by female authors to check out include Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, and The Myth of the Nice Girl by Fran Hauser.
Get a group together to talk about women’s rights and share stories.
If you’re a woman, get together with a group of friends or female family members to talk about womanhood. This could be a listening session where each person talks about the struggles they have faced. It could also be a lunch or dinner gathering. Everyone should share something positive about each woman present and promise to support each other. If you’re a man, pitch this idea to a woman in your life and ask if there’s anything you could do to help.
While women deserve celebration and appreciation all the time, reminders like Women’s History Month help reset our thinking. Let us know in the comments below how you prefer to honor the influential women in history and your life.
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