Women’s History Month traces its origins to the early 1980s when Congress authorized President Ronald Reagan to announce “Women’s History Week.” The inaugural celebration occurred during the week of March 7, 1982. For the next five years, Congress would pass annual resolutions outlining Women’s History Week. In 1987, following petitions from the National Women’s History Project (now the National Women’s History Alliance), Congress declared March of 1987 as Women’s History Month. They subsequently requested that the President establish March as Women’s History Month until 1995 when President Clinton began a series of proclamations that formally designated March as Women’s History Month.
Women’s History Month is an international event dedicated to celebrating the achievements and impact of women throughout history, with many nations celebrating March 8th as “Women’s Day.” Every year the National Women’s History Alliance selects and publishes a theme. This year’s theme is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” a tribute to the hard work of frontline workers and caregivers during the pandemic.
Women’s History Month remains significant to both Winsor and Belmont Hill students. Ella Pascucci ’23 states, “Women’s History Month means appreciating and celebrating hardships unique to women. To quote Fleabag, ‘Women are born with pain built-in.’ Although she was referring to physical pain–menstrual cycles, childbirth, etc.–I think it is true for the mind as well. I believe women are passionate thinkers and build intimate relationships with the world around them, and we should all celebrate this. I take a lot of pride in being a woman.” Natalie Cooper ’24 talked about the intersectionality within Women’s History Month, saying “Women’s History Month means a lot to me because being a woman is a major part of my identity. At Winsor, I have learned to celebrate the beautiful differences between women of all races, cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Women’s History Month is a time when we can continue to celebrate those differences and to learn even more about the diverse history of women around the world.” Luke Hogan ’22 reflected on the importance of the month, expressing that “Women’s History Month is a time for all of us to reflect on the accomplishments of Women throughout history, even when they faced great adversity from a patriarchal society. This month is also a time for me to further appreciate the role women have in my life.” Recently, the Belmont Hill senior class expressed their gratitude for the women in their school community. On March 1st, the seniors assembled to compose cards for every woman at Belmont Hill. The notes were passed out on the 8th.
Women’s History Month ensures further discussion surrounding the impact women have on American society, whether in the past, present, or future. Despite this allotted time, discussion surrounding women’s issues and the impact of women on American society should not be strictly limited to the month of March. The achievements of women should be celebrated throughout the year.