NPSD Celebrates Women's History Month

Women's History Month

Women's History Month

A Brief History


Since 1910, March 8th has been observed as International Women's Day by people around the world. In 1978, an education task force in Sonoma County, California, kicked off Women's History Week on this day. The goal was to draw attention to the fact that women's history wasn't really included in the K-12 school curriculum. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared the entire month of March as Women's History Month. The following year, Congress declared March as Women's History Month.

The National Women's History theme is "Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion".

Traditionally, history has focused on political, military, and economic leaders and events. This approach has often excluded women, both leaders and ordinary citizens, from the accounts. Women's history does not rewrite history, but rather provides a more complete picture of what the women were doing and experiencing during the well-known and lesser known moments in history.

A Few Fun Facts


1. February 28, 1909 marked the first Woman's History Day in New York City. It commemorated the one-year anniversary of the garment workers' strikes when 15,000 women marched through lower Manhattan. From 1909 to 1910, immigrant women who worked in garment factories held a strike to protest their working conditions.

2. The 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote, was signed into law on August 26, 1920. At that time, a number of other laws prohibited Native American women, Black women, Asian American women, and Latina women from voting. It wasn't until 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, that discriminatory tactics such as literacy tests were outlawed and all women could vote. 

3. In 2018, women-owned businesses were 24.7% of all businesses in Hawaii- the most in any state. Virginia had the second most, with women owning 23.7% of all businesses. California had the most businesses overall owned by women (149,927), but due to the large number of firms in the state overall, it's not among the top 10 states for businesses owned by women by percentage.

4. In 2021, 144 of 539 seats (27%) of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate were held by women. This represented a 50% increase from the 96 women who served in the 112th Congress a decade before. 

5. In 2022, Vermont elected Becca Balint to its only House of Representatives seat, becoming the last state to send a woman to Congress. Seventeen states have sent women to the House of Representatives, and Alaska, Mississippi, and North Dakota have sent women to the Senate. Thirty states have sent women to both houses of Congress.

Events and Activities in the Philadelphia Area


Resources Focusing on Women of Color

Resources Focusing on Women With Disabilities