Why We Have National Women’s Month and International Women’s Day
Some forget that March is actually National Women's Month. Some may also forget that today (March 8th) is International Women's Day. Why do we have both? Why do we celebrate them at all? Allow me to drop a knowledge bomb on your brain and explain why we do.
First let's discuss National Women's Month. The month was originally just a week that we celebrated women's history and achievements back in 1980. According to NWHP.org, President Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th as National Women's History Week. Then Representative Barbara Mikulski and Senator Orrin Hatch co-sponsored followed after Carter with a Congressional Resolution for National Women's History Week in 1981.
It didn't become an entire month until 5 years after the Congressional Resolution, but only 14 states recognized it. It took the rest of the country another year to follow along.
This month is a time of reflect on the achievements that women have done in our country and what they continue to do for science, industry, and many other fields.
Now, let's look at International Women's Day. All over the globe today, people are recognizing social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. According to International Women's Day website, "In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913."
International Women's Day was honored for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March in 1911. Through out the years it began to spread to other countries. Russian women got involved in 1913. This was the same year that it IWD (International Women's Day) was moved to March 8th. By 1975 the day of female recognition had pretty much spread all over the world with the United Nations participating in the recognition for the first time, according to the International Women's Day website.
Of course, today we see this as an opportunity to push for women's rights in the current political climate.