Women’s History Month is a time for celebrating the achievements of women in all fields—the sciences, the arts, business, government, athletics, the community, etc. According to the National Women’s History Project (NWHP), the primary purpose of Women’s History Month is to “writ[e] women back into American history” because women’s history was not widely discussed or taught prior to the 1970s. Additional goals include emphasizing positive role models for girls and young women, promoting womens’ self-respect and encouraging respect for women among boys and men.
Women’s History Month grew out of Women’s History Week, which was established in 1978 by an education task force in Sonoma County, CA. The week was set to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8, which had been celebrated since the early 20th century. As schools began to host their own Women’s History Week celebrations, support grew for Congress to declare a national week-long celebration, which they did in 1981. The NWHP petitioned Congress to expand the week into a month-long observance in 1987, and Women’s History Month has had bipartisan support in Congress ever since.
This year’s theme is “Women’s Education—Women’s Empowerment.” Though some may feel that women have already won equality in every area, women still lag behind their male counterparts in pay, representation in business and politics and global educational access. Today, women outnumber men in American colleges, but widespread access to education for American women came only after Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 that prohibited gender discrimination in federally funded institutions.
DBRL will be holding several Women’s History Month events, and the library also has lots of great resources for learning about women’s history. Be sure to stop by the library and check out the links below!
Nonfiction about women’s history
DBRL Subject Guides:
Key Web Resources:
History.com–Women’s History Month
Library of Congress–Women’s History Month
National Women’s History Museum
National Women’s History Project
New York Public Library’s Women’s History Month Blog
New York Times’ Education Blog–Celebrate Women’s History Month
Smithsonian.com–Women’s History and Heritage Month