Women's History Month is an annual declared month worldwide that highlights contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. March has been set aside as this month in the United Kingdom and in the United States. In India, this month is celebrated in October and corresponds with the celebration of Persons Day, which is October 18.
The event traces its beginnings back to the first International Women's Day in 1911. In 1979, the school district of Sonoma, California, participated in Women's History Week, an event designed around the week of March 8 (International Women's Day).
In 1981, responding to the growing popularity of the event, the United States Congress passed a resolution recognizing Women's History Week. This week was well received, and soon after, schools across the country began to have their own local celebrations. The next year, leaders from the California group shared their project at the Women's History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. Other participants not only became determined to begin their own local Women's History Week projects, but also agreed to support an effort to have Congress declare a national Women's History Month.
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Alaska, New York, Oregon and other states developed and distributed curriculum materials in all of their public schools, which prompted educational events such as essay contests. Within a few years, thousands of schools and communities got on the bandwagon of National Women's History Week. They planned engaging and stimulating programs about women's roles in history and society, with support and encouragement from governors, city councils, school boards, and the U.S. Congress.
In 1987 Congress expanded the focus to a whole month. In 2001, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) co-sponsored the first Joint Congressional Resolution proclaiming a "Women's History Month". Soon, other state departments of education began to encourage celebrations of National Women's History Week as a way to promote equality among the sexes in the classroom.
In 2011, the Barack Obama administration released a report highlighting 50 years of progress.
References1. Wikipedia.(2011, March) Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_History_Month