Women's History Month is widely observed in the US, UK and Australia throughout March. This period gives nations a dedicated time to celebrate women's rights, activism and iconic figures, as well as an opportunity to address big issues past and present. International Women's Day also falls in the month on 8 March annually.
But where did the month actually come from? And why is it always celebrated in March?
In the 1970s, the same decade in which International Women's Day was officially recognised by the UN, small groups of people started celebrating Women's History Week. According to the National Women's History Museum, the week-long observance began as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California, in 1978 to coincide with Women's Day - which had originally been celebrated on 28 February in honour of the 1908 garment workers' strike in New York.
The date was later moved to 8 March by the United Nations, which notes that the reason International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8 is "strongly linked to the women's movements during the Russian Revolution (1917)".
By the following year, the weekly celebration had spread to numerous communities throughout the country, eventually becoming so popular that President Jimmy Carter designated the first official National Women's History Week, beginning on March 8, in 1980.In 1987, Congress passed Public Law 100-9, officially designating the month of March "Women's History Month," with each president since 1995 issuing an annual proclamation that does the same.
How can you get involved?
Join us this March for Conversations on Women's History Month! We'll be discussing the various issues women face around the world, celebrating powerful people past and present, and debating the big news of the day.
Conversations gives you the chance to share your thoughts and experiences with the rest of the world in a meaningful way. Whether it's on current political changes, the latest TV shows and movies, or just your own personal experiences - we want to hear them. Here are some tips on getting your work on Conversations, with outstanding work having the chance to be featured on The Independent.
Have you got something to say about women's rights? Do you want to share your opinion with the rest of the world? Sign up to Conversations and submit a post today.