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Celebrating Women's History Month
 
First lady Michelle Obama, with actresses Kerry Washington, left, and Sarah Jones, right, welcomes guests to the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, March 19,2009, as she hosted a series of events in celebration of Women's History Month.

First lady Michelle Obama, with actresses Kerry Washington, left, and Sarah Jones, right, welcomes guests to the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, March 19,2009, as she hosted a series of events in celebration of Women's History Month.

In March, the world observes International Women’s Day, and, in the United States, Women’s History Month.

Women's Day was first celebrated in the United States in 1909. In 1911, more than 1 million people attended events in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland during the first International Women's Day. Now, it is national holiday in a few countries to commemorate the achievements women have made and to highlight the varieties of obstacles they still confront in work and life.

The origins of National Women’s History Month can be traced to Sonoma County, California, where in 1978 the Commission on the Status of Women initiated Women’s History Week. Two years later, President Jimmy Carter asked Americans to celebrate women's historic accomplishments in conjunction with International Women's Day. Congress established the first National Women’s History Week in 1981 and expanded it to a month in 1987.

Useful Links

International Women’s Day Shows How Women Can Help Women Succeed

World Reflects on Women’s Progress, Remaining Obstacles

U.S. Celebrates Women’s Contributions to the World Every March

Women of Influence

Women of Influence

  • Thread

    This collection chronicles how 21 notable American women broke new ground, some by championing equal rights for all and others by their accomplishments in fields such as government, literature, and even in war. Read it here.