The Road That Took “Women’s Day” to “Women’s History Month”

In America, the month of March is a time that society celebrates women’s astounding contributions to the nation’s history and evolution.

But women didn’t always have a full month to get the recognition they deserve. It started as a single day and over the years, different women’s interest organizations worked hard to build it up to an entire month.

Smiling women standing together
The Road That Took “Women’s Day” to “Women’s History Month”

Why Wasn’t a Day Enough?

Nowadays, thanks to social media and global mediatization, almost everything has a “day” to celebrate it. Some causes, however, are more important and have a larger impact on society, and remembering women’s roles in American and world history is one of these causes.

Every year, March 1st marks the beginning of Women’s History Month. But how did women get from a single day to the entire month?

Calendar pointing the date of 8th of March
The Road That Took “Women’s Day” to “Women’s History Month”

The first International Women’s Day was held in March of 1911. It was celebrated by an estimate of one million people around the world. Six decades later, the United Nations officially recognized March 8th as International Women’s Day. It took various groups more than 60 years to be heard and acknowledged but it was worth it. Women were finally getting a small piece of what they deserved.

Then, Came Women’s Week

Soon after, American female educators and activists started advocating for an official week-long commemoration of women’s history. The National Women’s History Project movement got the attention of President Jimmy Carter.

Poster showing three female hands celebrating Women's Week
The Road That Took “Women’s Day” to “Women’s History Month”

In 1980, he issued a proclamation that made the first week of March, Women’s History Week. His successor, President Ronald Reagen, issued an annual proclamation from 1982 to 1986 and continued what President Carter had started.

By 1986, the movement had grown bigger and 14 states had already recognized March as Women’s History Month. The following year, Public Law 100-9 was issued. It officially recognized March as Women’s History Month.

Women’s History Month Poster
The Road That Took “Women’s Day” to “Women’s History Month”

Since then, women in American are rightfully celebrated by their peers for their incredible contribution to their nation.