Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
Since 1987, March has been celebrated as Women’s History Month in remembrance of the achievements, struggles, and hopes for the future of equality. Though society has slowly progressed, it still need be reminded where and how the early movement began.
Women’s History Month started as only International Women’s Day, celebrated every year on March 8; however, it wasn’t until 1978, that a group of women in Sonoma County, Calif. came together to initiate “Woman’s History Week.” In doing so, the group hoped to raise awareness to the lack of women history being taught in schools. By 1980, the small movement grew and gained the attention of President Carter who officially declared the week of March 8 Women’s History Week. As support for and participation in the movement grew, 14 states declared the entirety of March, Women’s History Month, and by 1987 Congress officially declared it for all 50 states.
The National Women’s History Project, founded in 1980, was a major supporter behind the movement (then and now) as it continues to fight for women’s rights and contributions to society. On their official website, nwhp.org, they said, “We are retelling history. And changing the future. We believe that knowing women’s history gives all of us –female and male- the power and inspiration to succeed. We believe that Our History is Our Strength.”
With every passing year, Women’s History Month has a new theme which is meant to inspire and recognize women from diverse backgrounds. The theme for the 2018 Women’s History Month is “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.” The National Women’s History Project honors fifteen women throughout the month for their “unrelenting and inspirational persistence, and for understanding that, by fighting all forms of discrimination against women and girls, they have shaped America’s history and our future.” Some of the honorees include: Pat Maginnis, an abortion rights activist, Susan Burton, a criminal justice reform leader, and Marty Langelan, and anti-violence/anti-harassment activist.
Along with the chosen women to honor, there are events held across the U.S. to celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day throughout the month of March. Some of the largest events are being held in New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. In New Mexico, there is a celebration in Albuquerque at the AFSCME Council 18 on March 8, 2018. Participation in Women’s History Month doesn’t have to be done at a large event though. A few ways to participate include thanking a woman who has helped or inspired others, encouraging others, or even researching the women in history.