It is March so let's celebrate Women’s History month! At the drape, we’re all for empowering women, especially since over half our team identifies as female, myself included. This month I vowed to watch female-produced TV (Shonda Rhimes), read female authors (Brené Brown), and listen to female vocalists (Madonna—yes, I am of that age 😊) All of this is easy to do, but what about the WHY?
We are blessed with the ability to do endless research from the comforts of our homes so that is what I did. There are many fun lists and activities for the month, but I wanted to know more and share what I learned with you. Maybe then you will be curious enough to look deeper into Women’s History Month and how it started on your own!
Originally called National Woman’s Day, the annual celebration spread across the world starting in 1911, but it was Russia that set the March 8th trend. In 1913, it became an official holiday in Russia. Women in Russia suffered many difficulties due to the results of WWI. They dealt with food shortages and a government that would not listen to them. On March 8, 1917, tens of thousands of Russian women took to the streets demanding change and paved the way for their right to vote.
In 1975, the United Nations officially recognized International Women’s Day. According to womenshistory.org, the US movement started locally in Santa Rosa California in 1978 as Women’s History Week, coordinating with March 8th International Women’s Day. The following year, the movement spread across the country as communities organized and initiated their own events.
In 1980, a consortium of women's groups lobbied for national recognition, and in February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8, 1980, as National Women’s History Week.
In 1987, Congress passed a law, designating March as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. The proclamations have continued every year, most recently with President Biden’s proclamation issued on March 1, 2021.
Every year the National Women’s History Alliance selects and publishes a theme. This year’s theme captures the spirit of these challenging times. Since many of the women's suffrage centennial celebrations originally scheduled for 2020 were curtailed, the National Women's History Alliance is extending the annual theme for 2021 to "Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced."
We have the right to vote. We have had this right for 200 years, but it must be flexed and used. Not just for the “big” elections, but ALL elections. Take time this month to learn about women in politics. A good place to start is Emily’s List, Celebrate ALL women, your mom, aunt, sister, BFF, teacher, barista. Celebrate the famous and the soon-to-be-famous. Celebrate the legacies of all the women that have paved the way for us. Be an example for all the generations of girls to come. The possibilities are endless.
Here at the drape, we have worked hard to build a company culture based on equality! We ensure fair and equitable compensation, encourage a healthy work-life balance, and prioritize partnering with brands and companies that have similar values. Empower yourself and those around you, not just women, but also our allies. The world is changing and these are exciting times.