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Women's History Month

Women's History Month is a nationally recognized month of observance intended to highlight the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. In the United States, March was officially designated by Congress as Women’s History Month in 1987.

Background History

In 1979, the public school district of Sonoma, California, inaugurated the first national Women's History Week, a celebration designed to take place 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 formally recognizing Women's History Week. Soon after, schools across the country began to have their own local celebrations. The following year, leaders from the California group shared their project at the Women's History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. Other participants decided to initiate their own local Women's History Week projects, and also agreed to support an effort to lobby Congress to 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 were celebrating National Women's History Week. They planned and delivered engaging and educational 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 of the celebrations to last a whole month.

Calendar of Local Events for Women’s History Month 2015

Saturday, March 7, 2015
"Recovering Indigenous Womanhood: Tradition, Tragedy, Justice" by Dr. Jan Johnson
Nez Perce National Historical Park Visitor's Center in Spalding, ID
1:00 pm
This presentation explores Native American women's traditional roles and power, and the legacy of patriarchal settler colonialism in the U.S. Dr. Johnson is particularly interested in Native American literature's role as historical witness and activist force in contemporary efforts to restore safety, power, and justice to Indigenous women and their families.


Thursday, March 5, 2015
International Women's Day celebration
Idaho Commons Food Court, UI-Moscow campus
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
International Women's Day is a global day aimed at celebrating the economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present and future. Join us for a dynamic line-up of performances and displays by students, both international and from the U.S. All are welcome!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

LunaFest Women's Film Festival
Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre, 508 S. Main Street, Moscow
Reception 6:30 pm, Films 7:30 pm
A national touring film festival showcasing original short films by, for, and about women. Preceded by a reception and social with beverages by Camas Prairie Winery, and appetizers by Nectar. Tickets on sale starting March 2 at the Women's Center. Cost: $6 (films only), $12 (reception and films). Students: $3 (films only), $6 (reception and films).

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Benefit film screening: "She's Beautiful When She's Angry"
Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre, 508 S. Main Street, Moscow
7:00 pm
The Moscow chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) will host the Idaho premiere of this critically-acclaimed documentary about the birth of the women's liberation movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted to benefit the Women's Center.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Women's Leadership Conference: "Yes, And... The Power of We"
Bruce M. Pitman Center and Idaho Commons, UI-Moscow campus
8:00 am to 6:00 pm
The Women’s Leadership Conference provides an opportunity for women in the region to engage in dialogue and professional development around issues impacting their work, personal goals, skills, and journeys. Register online today!