Women’s History Month 2024: Honoring Advocates of Change

Krystal DeVille

National Women's History Month.

This March, It’s Women’s History Month, an opportunity to honor the tireless efforts and incredible achievements of women across the globe. But have you ever wondered how this global celebration came to be? Or what does the 2024 theme “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion” truly signify? Buckle up for a journey through time as we explore the roots, evolution, and significance of Women’s History Month.

The Origins of Women’s History Month

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The origins of Women’s History Month traced back to the late 1970s in Santa Rosa, California. The week of March 8, 1978, was declared “Women’s History Week” by the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission.

The celebration, a blend of educational activities and community events, was a resounding success, sparking a wave of enthusiasm that rippled across the nation. The subsequent year saw communities nation-wide embracing the idea, organizing celebrations to honor women’s significant contributions to American history.

A landmark conference on women’s history at Sarah Lawrence College in 1979, chaired by the renowned historian Gerda Lerner, served as a beacon for the movement.

Historians and women’s activist groups, including women’s organizations, rallied for a National Women’s History Week, inspired by the National Women’s History Project.

Their voices echoed through the halls of power, culminating in President Jimmy Carter issuing the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980, as National Women’s History Week.

KinVibes Pro-Tip: During Women’s History Month, explore and honor local women’s contributions. Visit museums, read about area heroines, or host community events. This local focus makes the celebration more personal and highlights grassroots change.

National Women’s History Week

The inaugural National Women’s History Week was a tribute to the extraordinary contributions and accomplishments of women throughout history. The torch was lit in 1978 when a group of inspiring educators in Sonoma, California, collaborated with local school districts to launch the event. A spark ignited in Sonoma County and soon caught fire nationwide, with President Jimmy Carter officially designating the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week in 1980.

This uplifting event aimed to celebrate Women’s History Month by honoring women and acknowledging their remarkable contributions and achievements, laying the groundwork for the annual observance of Women’s History Month and the Women’s History Week Celebration.

Expansion to Women’s History Month

Six years after the initial Presidential Proclamation, National Women’s History Week it has evolved into a month-long observance known as Women’s History Month. This remarkable transformation was spearheaded by President Jimmy Carter and the United States Congress, who recognized the importance of women’s contributions to American history.

The public responded with immense enthusiasm to this milestone, recognizing women’s lives and celebrating the indispensable heritage of women’s contributions to building America.

Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: The 2024 Theme

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Annually, the National Women’s History Alliance selects a theme to steer yearly theme for the celebration of Women’s History Month. For 2024, the chosen theme is “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.”

The theme recognizes women throughout the country who understand that, for a positive future, we need to eliminate bias and discrimination entirely from our lives and institutions, as promoted by the National Women’s History Alliance.

This theme pays homage to the foundation established by the 1978 Women’s History Week celebration and acknowledges women who have been actively involved in storytelling and media.

Writing Women into History

The theme “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion” underscores the significance of including women in history. By actively including and highlighting women’s contributions, experiences, and achievements in historical narratives, we ensure that their stories are remembered and celebrated.

Incorporating women’s stories into historical narratives yields a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of history, challenging traditional male-centric narratives and offering a balanced and inclusive perspective.

Trailblazing Female Storytellers

Honor the pioneering female storytellers who have enhanced our world with their narratives. Through their words, these women have courageously challenged societal norms, delved into intricate topics, and provided a platform for unheard perspectives. Some of these remarkable women include:

  • Virginia Woolf
  • Maya Angelou
  • Jane Austen
  • Toni Morrison
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

They have used their words to shape society and inspire generations.

International Women’s Day and Its Connection to Women’s History Month

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International Women’s Day, commemorated on March 8th, holds a distinctive position within Women’s History Month. Both occasions serve as powerful opportunities to recognize and celebrate the incredible achievements and contributions of women, with March as women’s history being particularly significant.

The origins of International Women’s Day can be traced back to 1911, marking another empowering milestone in the history of women’s rights.

Origins of International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day originated in the early 1900s in New York City, where thousands of women rallied for improved working conditions. The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on the national week of February 28, 1909. The concept of a ‘woman’s day’ gained momentum in Europe, and on March 19, 1911, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated. In 1921, the date was officially changed to March 8.

Global Celebrations

International Women’s Day is a global event celebrated with immense passion and fervor. The day is marked by various events and activities worldwide, all aimed at promoting gender equality and women’s rights. Some of the activities include:

  • Recognition of women’s achievements
  • Social justice panels with female community leaders
  • Workshops and seminars on women’s empowerment
  • Art exhibitions showcasing women artists
  • Film screenings highlighting women’s stories

The celebrations are as diverse as they are inspiring.

Women’s History Month Activities and Events

A spectrum of activities and events enlivens the month of March, each crafted to engage communities in honoring women’s contributions. From museum exhibits and film screenings to panel discussions, Women’s History Month provides a platform to honor and reflect upon the undeniable impact of women in various fields.

Local Community Involvement

Local communities play a pivotal role in revitalizing Women’s History Month. By hosting events such as museum exhibits, film screenings, and panel discussions with community organizations, they honor women’s achievements and inspire involvement at a grassroots level.

Online Resources and Virtual Events

In the era of technology, Women’s History Month transcends geographical boundaries. Online resources and virtual events provide accessible ways for people across the globe to learn about and celebrate women’s history. From virtual scavenger hunts to team trivia, there’s something for everyone.

Inspiring Women Throughout History

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Across history, valiant women have made profound contributions in diverse fields, leaving a lasting imprint. Their stories, filled with courage, resilience, and innovation, inspire us to aim higher and push boundaries.

Trailblazers in Politics and Social Change

In the sphere of politics and social change, women have been instigators for major transformations, often through their own organizations or the impact of women’s organizations. Legendary figures like Susan B. Anthony and Rosa Parks have left indelible marks on the pages of history, shaping the course of women’s rights and civil rights across the globe.

Pioneers in the Arts and Sciences

In arts and sciences, women have been trailblazers, setting new precedents and standards. From Amelia Earhart’s pioneering spirit in aviation to Marie Curie’s revolutionary discoveries in science, these women have left a lasting influence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we celebrate Women’s History Month?

Women’s History Month is an opportunity to recognize and honor women’s pioneering and innovative contributions to our country and worldwide. It allows us to appreciate the progress made by those who have fought for equal rights and celebrate the many successes of inspiring female figures throughout history.

Is Women’s History Month in October?

Yes, Women’s History Month is celebrated in March every year since 1987 and it is a great way to recognize the contributions of women in our nation.

What is the theme of Women’s History Month 2024?

Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion during Women’s History Month 2024!

What is the current Women’s History Month?

Celebrate Women’s History Month this March – and every month! Embrace the important contributions of women, celebrate their achievements, and honor the ongoing fight for gender equality. Let’s come together and recognize the remarkable impact that women have had on our world.

Wrapping Up

As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we reflect on the enduring impact of women who have shaped history and society. This year’s theme, ‘Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion,’ underscores the importance of ongoing efforts for equality. Let’s continue to honor and draw inspiration from these remarkable women throughout the year, recognizing their contributions as fundamental to our shared human story.

About Krystal DeVille

Hello! I’m Krystal DeVille. By day, I wear many hats: a homeschool teacher, wife, and mother. By night, I’m a fervent journalist, pouring my thoughts and experiences onto paper. Parenthood, for me, has been an exhilarating roller-coaster filled with emotions, invaluable lessons, and moments of sheer joy. With three wonderful kids of my own, I’ve journeyed through the highs and lows — from sleepless nights to their very first steps and those unforgettable proud parent moments.

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