March is Women’s History Month. Immediately following Black History Month, this month is in place to highlight yet another marginalized group in the United States: women. Women’s History Month is dedicated to celebrating the economic, social and political achievements of women. This month-long commemoration grew out of a mere week-long lesson organized by educators in California in 1978. The week was celebrated through special presentations and an annual “Real Woman” essay contest. The week then finished off with a large parade in Santa Rosa California. (NWHP.org) Within ten years, the whole month of March was dedicated to Women’s History nationwide through strong congressional support.
Women’s History Month now has a new theme every year. This year the theme is “Nevertheless, She Persisted” in dedication to women who fight all forms of discrimination against women. This goes beyond the bases of sexism as diverse women face more than gender discrimination. The 2018 theme honors inclusivity and acknowledges the struggles women face on the bases of race/ethnicity, class, disability, sexual orientation and more. The National Women’s History project annually highlights women who have dedicated their activism to the theme and they use their resources to educate the public on the influence these women have had on creating history and making a change for the future.
Now, what can we do to celebrate Women’s History Month? We can start by acknowledging that BEFORE every successful man there is a STRONG woman. Women are the life forces of the world. We bear the strength to reproduce and we create some of the most phenomenal beings just by birthing them. Take Women’s History Month to acknowledge the powerful women you know who have made you, you. Although the appreciation should be shown every day of the year, Women’s History Month is a chance to learn about womanhood from women you love or bond with them through it.
In regards to women of color, more specifically black women, walk into Women’s History Month with the previous month dedicated to the history of your people, feeling resilient. Women of color are double minorities; not only are they discriminated on basis of gender, but race/ethnicity as well. Women of these overlapping communities fight multiple battles and are marginalized from true equality in Eurocentric America. However, this month’s theme should speak volumes to women with overlapping identities as it is made to acknowledge OUR progression. Women’s History Month should be a tool of learning and inspiration for generations of women to come. Celebrate Women’s History Month through teaching and supporting women around you in order to overcome and eliminate disparities set among them. Historically, women have come a long way, but women are still history in the making as the battle for true equality reigns on for ALL women through their individual and collective struggles.