Women’s History Month: How to celebrate the women you love

“I am woman, hear me roar!”

Empowering, isn’t it? A statement to recall in those moments when self-doubt creeps in. A declaration to speak out when you start second guessing yourself or fall victim to imposter syndrome.

This one-liner, taken from the 1972 song “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy (her legacy lives on) has been used by women all over the world as a personal pep talk. And we need it!

For centuries, women have been oppressed, denied the equivalent rights given to men and had our voices silenced. We’ve come far, but we still have a way to go. Much of our progress is thanks to women who have gone before us, who have spoken up, challenged norms and pioneered the change that needed to happen.

For the month of March, Women’s History Month, we celebrate them. We celebrate us.

Though our womanhood deserves more than a month to be celebrated (it’s a daily practice), embracing Women’s History Month is a step we take forward together as women.

But first, what is Women’s History Month?

Spotlight on women

It all began with large gatherings of women in the United States marching for their rights in the early 1900s. This movement had a ripple effect as women in other countries joined in the rallying for International Women’s Day on 8 March. The day wasn’t recognised globally until the United Nations deemed it official in 1975[1].

It didn’t stop there. The day evolved into Women’s History Week in 1978[2], a celebration created by a school teacher in Sonoma County California, after she noticed there weren’t many women in her students’ history textbooks. She saw the need for change and her efforts didn’t go unnoticed – in 1980, the week of 8 March was recognised as National Women’s History Week.

A few years later in 1987, March was declared Women’s History Month[3].  

Every year in March is a chance to acknowledge how women have contributed to and shaped history, culture, and society. Women have had to fight, and are still fighting, for a seat at the table.

This month, we celebrate the progress we’ve made as a gender in making real change. The last few months have given us many reasons to celebrate, including the first woman vice president of the United States (and she’s a woman of colour!) and the first women-empowering dating app going public.

 

Group of diverse women sitting together on stairs 
Photo credit: Joel Muniz via Unsplash

Women you admire

Women’s History Month isn’t just about recognising the pivotal women in history – those known across the world – it’s also about celebrating the everyday woman. Your best friend, your mother, the older lady next door, the woman who takes your coffee order every day. Each of these women deserve to be honoured for who they are and the impact they have on the lives of those around them.

You deserve to be celebrated.

So, take a moment to think about the women in your life who’ve helped shape the person you are today, or even those who just make your day that much sweeter. How can you honour each of these women in your own way? The smallest gestures can speak volumes!

Celebrating womanhood

There’s no time like right now to celebrate womanhood. Women’s History Month isn’t a month to sit back and let pass by. It’s a month to celebrate women across the world!

Here are a few ideas on how you can celebrate:

  • Show appreciation to a woman you admire – write her a letter, give her flowers, take her out for lunch; anything that will help her know you value her presence in your life
  • Support women entrepreneurs – support your local girl boss and buy from women-owned businesses as much as possible
  • Do something new – you know that thing you’ve put off because you feel inadequate? Now’s your time to be bold and take that step outside your comfort zone
  • Show yourself some love – this past year, we’ve been bombarded by “self-care” but it’s a legitimate thing to prioritise to help you be the best you can be

Don’t know where to start? International Women’s Day on March 8 is a good place to start. Give a shoutout to the women you love through a simple social media post and hashtag #IWD. Heads up, the International Women’s Day theme for 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge, highlighting the importance of challenging biases to create a more gender-equal world. How great is that!

 

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References

[1] KHOU 11 Staff, ‘The story behind Women’s History Month | Connect the Dots’, KHOU 11, 2021, https://www.khou.com/article/news/local/htownrush/womens-history-month-how-it-started/285-a35998a1-38b1-4b4a-8b8e-4a138861d64d#:~:text=The%20origins%20of%20women's%20history,district%20and%20the%20idea%20spread, (accessed 4 March 2021)

[2] National Women’s History Museum, ‘Women’s History Month’, Women’s History, 2021, https://www.womenshistory.org/womens-history/womens-history-month, (accessed 4 March 2021)

[3] As above

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