Women’s History Month
[ wim-inz his-tuh-ree muhnth ]
What is Women's History Month?
Women’s History Month is a month-long observance dedicated to education about and celebration of women’s contributions to history, society, and culture.
The setting aside of a month to recognize women’s history is based on the idea that it is important to give special attention to such stories because they are often and have historically been erased, excluded, ignored, or under-appreciated due to misogyny.
International Women’s Day takes place during Women’s History Month on March 8.
Where does Women’s History Month come from?
International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900s. In the 1970s, weeklong observances were held around the day involving education about women’s history. These events spread and, in 1980, the week of March 8 was officially made National Women’s History Week nationwide. In 1987, the observance was extended to the entire month of March throughout the US.
Today, Women’s History Month is observed in many countries. The existence of Women’s History Month—like other months dedicated to marginalized groups, such as Black History Month—is not intended to imply that women’s history is only worthy of a single month of attention. Instead, it is often thought of as a way to emphasize that women and their contributions should be given more attention.
Examples of Women’s History Month
More information and context on Women's History Month
Did you know … ?
- The weeklong event that is often credited with popularizing the observance of a period recognizing women’s history was held in 1978 by a school district in California.
- Each Women’s History Month has a specific theme. Past themes include “Valiant Women of the Vote” and “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Nonviolence.”
What are other words used in discussion of Women’s History Month?
This is not meant to be a formal definition of Women’s History Month like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Women’s History Month that will help our users expand their word mastery.