Women’s History Month 2021

Source: The University of Akron

The History of Women’s History Month


Every March is a designated Women’s History Month by Presidential proclamation to honor women’s contributions in American history.


Women’s History Month first began as a week-long, local celebration in Santa Rosa, CA. The week of Mar 8 was chosen in order to correspond with International Women’s Day. The next year, the movement spread across the nation, and others began their own Women’s History Week celebration.


However, in 1980, led by the National Women’s History Project (now the National Women’s History Alliance), a collection of women’s groups and historians were successful in lobbying for nation recognition. That February, President Jimmy Carter declared the Week of Mar 8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week.


Following Presidents continued the annual week until 1987, in which Congress passed Public Law 100-9, which designated March as Women’s History Month.” Then up until 1994 Congress passed an additional resolution authorizing the President to proclaim March each year as Women’s History Month. Every president has done so since 1995.


This Year’s Women’s History Month Theme


Each year, the National Women’s History Alliance chooses a theme. Since many women’s celebrations from 2020 were cut short, the Alliance is extending the annual theme for 2021 to “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.”


In 1920, Congress ratified the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibited the government from denying the right to vote of citizens strictly based on their gender. This Women’s History Month, we continue the celebration of 100 years of women’s right to vote.


This Women’s History Month emphasizes recognizing valiant women who refused to be silent. Valiant is a fitting word for the Women’s Suffragist Movement and the actions of those women who refused to be silent in their fight for gender equality. Today, women continue to demand their voices through their vote are heard and respected. 


While women have been very successful in their fight for gender equality in the U.S., there is still work to be done. Today, women are continuing their fight for equal wages and treatment in the workplace, along with safety again sexual assault and objectification.


Women's History Month: Re-writing the Narrative - InStepp, Inc.
Source: InStepp


Historical Figures Who We Celebrate as Women Who Built America


  • Susan B. Anthony helped lead the way for women’s right to vote.
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the leading figures in the early Women’s Rights Movement. 
  • Madam C.J. Walker was the first self-made woman millionaire. She did this by launching her own hair product business. 
  • Marie Curie was a scientist who discovered Polonium and Radium. She also proved that atoms are not indivisible. Her work earned her two Nobel Prizes. Marie Curie is the first and only person in history to win two separate Nobel Prizes for two separate fields. 
  • Shirley Chisholm was the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress and she was the first Black woman to run for U.S. President. 
  • Misty Copeland became the first Black woman to be named a principal dancer in the 75-year history of the American Ballet Theater.
  • Rosalind Franklin discovered the density of DNA and determined that the molecule existed in a helical conformation. Her work to make clearer X-ray patterns of DNA molecules laid the foundation for James Watson and Francis Crick’s suggestion that DNA is a double-helix polymer.


Women Who Have Continued to Pave the Way to a Better Tomorrow


  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the court’s second female justice and first Jewish female justice, and she was a co-founder of the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU. She presented a strong voice in favor of gender equality, the rights of workers and the separation of church and state. In her words, “Women’s rights are an essential part of the overall human rights agenda, trained on the equal dignity and ability to live in freedom all people should enjoy.”
  • Vice President Kamala Harris is the first Black, and Southeast-Asian-American, woman Vice President of the United States. 
  • Greta Thunberg is the Swedish teenager who inspired an international movement to fight climate change.
  • Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland are the first Indigenous women to be elected to Congress. 
  • Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history.