5 Things to Know About Women’s History Month

by Tinu Abayomi-Paul on March 1, 2013

lights and crowdsHappy Women’s History Month! Do not be alarmed if you’re hearing both cheers and jeers from the rest of the web about this momentous month of… celebration. (I was looking for a word that matched my alliteration but alas…)

We’ll get to why you may be seeing what appears to be negative press about it shortly. In the meantime, you can enjoy these other factoids.

5  Women’s History Month Tidbits

1- It started today. :)

Simple right? Women’s History Month takes place in March. And today is March 1st, 2013 as I write this. Of course, if you’re reading this that same day and you’re not aware that it’s March, you have other problems.

Good thing it’s Friday – you have all weekend to work that one out.

2- Why Women’s History Month exists

Celebrated both worldwide and locally here in the United States, Women’s History Month exists to celebrate the achievements of women, as well as their impact and contribution to society throughout history. Like other groups that have time specially designated to celebrate them, it’s important to put the special recognition into historical context. Historically, the contribution of the female gender were not as recognized.

And while things are vastly better in modern days, arguably better than ever before, there’s still progress to be made. Continuing the celebration gives an opportunity to highlight the value of women in society, as well as to open dialogue about it.  Here’s a bit more about how Women’s History Month came to be in the US.

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.”

Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.”  In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.”  Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month.

Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”

3- International Women’s Day is March 8. (And there are more events all month).

We’ve written about International Women‘s Day here many times. The long and the short of it is that it’s a specific time to unite with women across the globe (maybe one day the galaxy! Or at least the 12 Colonies of Kobol.)

The emphasis on March 8th is on celebrating women in any time, including your lifetime, or any place across the globe. Many of the celebrations of the day are live gatherings. As we discussed last year, you can even create your own International Women’s Day awards, using the tools Oxfam has provided at their International Women’s Day awards center.

And of course there are lots of events during the entire month of March that celebrate Women’s History Month as well as International Women’s Day. To find them, try saving a search for events that mention that phrase on Facebook, Twitter or Google Alerts. The @WomensDay account on Twitter also retweets some great finds.

4- There’s a growing hope that it won’t be needed any longer.

You may recall that last month I went on a rant about whether we should still be celebrating black history month, given that in some cases it was devolving into nothing more than a trite excuse for some off-brand cable channels to show blaxploitation films. (Exaggerating!! Still.)

There’s some similar sentiment about Women’s History Month or the women’s movement  overall, for that matter.

Of course we’ve already discussed, many times, how valuable I believe it is to investigate ideas that are divergent from one’s own, so I won’t get into that here. For now I’ll just say, it’s helpful to examine all viewpoints before you make up your mind. What can a little information hurt?

5- How Women Grow Business is celebrating. 

This is the month I finally plan to do a series on our own Women Grow Business community, starting with our loyal readers and attendees of live events. If we’ve met in person and I can find sufficient bio information about you online, don’t be surprised if you see your face here this March.

We also hope to highlight much more content from outside the current community, including profiles of a couple of famous business women, and articles from our national and international audience. If you’d like to submit, remember to read the guidelines first.

The number one reason submissions are rejected is because they are outside our guidelines in some way.

Also keep in mind we have a backlog, so send me a quick tweet on the Women Grow Business account (@wgbiz) or hashtag (#wgbiz), to let me know you sent something that pertains directly to this month’s content.

See you — well, all month long!

Image courtesty of Flickr user gaspi *yg

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