By Isabella Dominesey | Idominesey@radford.edu
Many festivities and holidays occur during March; however, the month itself is designated as Women’s History Month in the United States.
So, what’s Women’s History Month all about, and how can Radford University students celebrate?
Origin of Women’s History Month
During the early 1970s, Women’s History Month was a week-long celebration in Santa Rosa, Ca. In 1980, Congress and President Jimmy Carter passed resolutions specifying a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” However, five years later, in 1987, Congress decided to extend the week to a month by passing Public Law 100-9, thus creating “Women’s History Month.”
Yes, women’s history can and should be celebrated any day or month throughout the year. However, the month of March was particularly chosen due to the many milestones for women that have historically occurred during March.
March 8, 1911 – International Women’s Day was established.
March 3, 1913 – First March on Washington for women’s suffrage.
March 1, 1972 – Title IX passed in Congress.
National Women’s History Alliance
The National Women’s History Alliance is a non-profit organization “dedicating to honoring and preserving women’s history.”
According to their website, the Alliance was started in the 1980s by the same women who lobbied for Congress to create National Women’s History Month. The founders saw that most children and adults saw women as less valued and important than men and many young girls had few, if any, women role models.
The Alliance wanted to create an alliance to highlight women’s contributions and achievements in the U.S. Today.
The Alliance’s goal is to “teach as many people as possible about women’s role in history.”
The 2021 Mission
Each year the National Women’s History Alliance chooses a theme to focus on during March’s monthly celebration.
The 2021 selected theme: “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced.”
The mission of the 2021 theme is to celebrate the suffrage centennial.
The year 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote through the 19th Amendment. This year, the National Women’s History Alliance wants to shed light on this milestone while also promoting the work that still needs to be done to create gender equality.
Radford’s Women’s History Month Festivities
To commemorate this month, Radford University planned several virtual events.
From March 1 through March 31, students have the opportunity to subscribe to “Her-Story Listserv.” The virtual experience highlights different presentations each week by women presenters of Radford University.
Many presenters are professors; however, some are students, giving those listening different perspectives to consider.
Topics range from “Women in Finance” to “History of Women’s Hairstyles Throughout the Centuries.” The events are hosted by Radford’s Women’s and Gender Studies program.
Other programs and events are being held all over campus by different organizations for the remainder of the month.