The Origin of Women’s History Month

March For Womens Rights

March For Women’s Rights

Kaaviya Baskaran, Staff Writer

March is Women’s History Month. A whole month dedicated to celebrating women’s contributions throughout history and each year a different theme is chosen by the Women’s History Project. This year’s theme is “valiant women of the vote: refusing to be silenced,” a continuation of 2020’s theme because of Covid-19. However, Women’s History Month wasn’t originally a month-long celebration. 

Women’s History Month actually started as a weeklong celebration of women’s involvement in history, culture, and society. This week-long celebration was organized by the school district of Sonoma, California in 1978. There would be presentations held in various schools, a parade, and a “Real Woman” essay contest to celebrate women. 

A few years later the idea started catching on in various other communities and the Women’s History Project started working towards creating a national Women’s History Week. Originally the committee wanted Women’s History Week to be the week of August 26, because that was the day women first got the right to vote. However, after some discussion, the date was changed to the week of March 8th, because March 8th is International Women’s Day. So on February 28th, 1980 President Jimmy Carter passed a bill to make Women’s History Week an official holiday. 

However, The Women’s History Project did not want the recognition of women’s contribution to society to end in just a week. So they kept pushing for the weeklong holiday to be expanded for the entire month of March. And after six years their wishes were granted and in 1987 Congress passed a proclamation establishing Women’s History Month as a national holiday.




Congress, T., Administration, N., Humanities, N., Art, N., Service, N., Institution, U., & Museum, U. (n.d.). Women’s history Month. Retrieved March 01, 2021, from Editors. (2009, December 30). Women’s history month 2021. Retrieved March 01, 2021, from

Women’s history Month. (n.d.). Retrieved March 01, 2021, from

Zorthian, J. (2018, March 01). March is Women’s history Month: How it started. Retrieved March 01, 2021, from