Women’s History Month was established to honor, acknowledge and celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The month was also founded as a call to action to accelerate gender-based equity. As part of Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on the 8th of March each year.
The first National Women’s Day in the United States took place on February 28, 1909. Organized by the Socialist Party of America in the thick of the women’s suffrage movement, women in the US were fighting for basic rights, including better working conditions and the right to vote. Clara Zetkin, a German activist, led the charge behind International Women’s Day being a global phenomenon. Zetkin initially proposed that “every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day”. Zetkin’s efforts eventually led to the recognition of the first International Women’s Day (IWD) in 1911. As of today, IWD is a national holiday in 27 countries worldwide.
After the U.S congress passed a law in 1987, the month of March was officially recognized as ‘Women’s History Month’. Gerda Lerner, a historian and scholar famously known as the founder of women’s history, collaborated with the National Women’s History Alliance to create the month-long observation. She said “Women’s History is women’s right. It is an essential, indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride comfort, courage, and long range vision.”
Women’s History Month and IWD can be celebrated in a variety of ways such as; donating, volunteering or supporting women-owned businesses. Spend time appreciating art, literature, and history. Learn about the women’s suffrage movement and Susan B. Anthony. Read poetry by Maya Angelou. Blast Beyonce on your morning commute. “Who runs the world? Girls!”
Here at Wayne Metro we celebrate and acknowledge Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. In-person and virtual events are happening throughout the Metro Detroit area. Visit https://www.detroitchamber.com/honor-and-celebrate-womens-history-month-with-these-8-events/ for a complete list of events in the metro Detroit area this month.