Women’s History Month 2020: Valiant Women of the Vote
Each year, the month of March is designated by presidential proclamation as a time to recognize and honor women’s contributions to American history.
Women’s History Month began as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California. The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County California Commission on the Status of Women planned and executed a Women’s History Week celebration in 1978. The organizers selected the week of March 8 to correspond with International Women’s Day. The movement spread across the country as other communities initiated their own Women’s History Week celebrations the following year.
In 1980, a consortium of women’s groups and historians—led by the National Women’s History Project (now the National Women’s History Alliance)—successfully lobbied for national recognition. In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8th 1980 as National Women’s History Week.
Subsequent presidents continued to proclaim a National Women’s History Week in March until 1987 when Congress passed Public Law 100-9, designating March as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the president to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, each president has issued an annual proclamations designating the month of March as Women’s History Month.
The National Women’s History Alliance selects and publishes a yearly theme. The 2020 Women’s History Month theme is “Valiant Women of the Vote,” which honors “the brave women who fought to win suffrage rights for women, and for the women who continue to fight for the voting rights of others.”
International Women’s Day 2020: #EachforEqual
International Women’s Day on March 8 is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.
The theme for 2020 is #EachforEqual. An equal world is an enabled world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions—all day, every day. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations, and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender-equal world.
Women Who Rock Our World 2020 Wall Calendar
It’s no secret that, throughout time, societies have emphasized men’s roles and rights. Laws were written by men, for men; education was developed with men in mind; and women were denied equal rights in nearly every aspect. But over the centuries, more and more women have stood up to say, “This isn’t right.” To those women, we raise a fist in reverence and gratitude. They have shown us how to change the world.
Each month of the Women Who Rock 2020 wall calendar highlights one revolutionary woman’s inspirational words paired with dynamic original art by Rachel Grant and a short biography. All of the women in this calendar faced obstacles. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was told she couldn’t be both a lawyer and a mother. Angela Davis was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Dolores Huerta was assaulted by police while protesting the conditions of farmworkers. Marie Curie’s passion for scientific knowledge eventually killed her. These women were not necessarily liked in their time. But instead of listening to the criticism, they focused on the voices of the people they were inspiring and, in many cases, saving. They stayed true to their values, acknowledged the risks they faced, and raised their voices even louder. We have so much to thank them for, from June Jordan’s powerful words of encouragement to Elizabeth Warren’s extraordinary persistence in making her voice heard.