How March Became National Women’s History Month in the US

a collage of great women in history
How March Became National Women’s History Month in the US

March is National Women’s History Month, but why is it so? Is it because this month is important in women’s history, or was it just arbitrarily selected? The truth is that March is the month of women both because of its significance in the history of women and because of coincidence.

Women’s Day

A Women’s Day march
How March Became National Women’s History Month in the US

Women’s History Month is marked in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia in March. However, it began with just one day – International Women’s Day: March 8th. This day has been celebrated in some shape or form since 1911. However, it was officially recognized by the UN in 1977.

Women’s History Week

Local groups and municipalities began celebrating Women’s History Week in the 1970s. The movement was very popular, and in 1980, President Jimmy Carter announced the first official National Women’s History Week, beginning on March 8th of that year.

Educational and governmental institutions soon realized that this period allowed them to do more than celebrate the achievements of women. They could also explore critical topics such as equality and opportunities for women, as well as educate people on the history of women.

Women’s History Month

a drawing of Women’s Day march in the past
How March Became National Women’s History Month in the US

In March 1987, Congress announced the first official Women’s History Month.
Apart from International Women’s Day, March is known for a few more important milestones in women’s history:

  • Title IX was passed by the Senate on March 1st, 1972, and it prohibited sex discrimination in all federally funded education programs. The title was passed by the Senate on March 1st, 1972, and it became law later in that year.
  • The Equal Rights Amendment is a constitutional amendment guaranteeing rights regardless of sex past those assured by the 19th Amendment and was passed by the Senate on March 22nd, 1972.
  • Earlier in the 20th century, two important women’s suffrage events happened in March – The first major suffragist parade in Washington, DC, on March 3rd, 1913, and the formation of the National Woman’s Party, a political group dedicated to women’s suffrage.