Marching For Their Rights


Photo Credit:

Women Gathered in Front of the White House in March 2017.

Eli Butler, Reporter

March first marks the start of Women’s History Month, a month dedicated to the celebration of strong and influential women in history, as well as the battle for equal rights. Each year, a theme is chosen by the National Women’s History Alliance (NWHA) as a point of focus for the whole of the month. For 2023, the chosen theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.”

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan designated March as Women’s History Month. He wished to set aside a month to appreciate women’s contributions to American society and commemorate the still ongoing fight for equal rights in society. March was decided as Women’s History Month because the women’s suffrage march occurred on March 13th, 1913, where more than 6000 women gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol building to fight for their right to vote. Nine days and fifty-nine years later, on March 22nd, 1972, the equal rights amendment or ERA was passed. It guaranteed equal rights for all, barring all discrimination by sex, race, or ethnicity, ensuring constitutional protection of women’s rights.

Now, Women’s History Month is celebrated nationally with events such as panels at the Library of Congress on topics ranging from women in technology to women in art or stories about important women run businesses. Here in Boise events are being hosted around town throughout the month such as: influential women speaking at BSU, a film festival highlighting indie female directors, and an exhibit at BAM highlighting local female artists.

While Women’s History Month is not an international celebration, International Women’s day has taken place on March 8th every year since 1911. A similar celebration to Women’s Month, on International Women’s Day people around the globe look back on important women, monumental achievements, and important movements in their respective countries.

Women’s History Month is important because it shows young women what can be possible. For all women, knowledge of women’s strengths and contributions builds respect and nourishes self esteem – crucial to all children and adults now, and in the years to come. Recently, Women’s History Month has helped highlight further movements for equal rights such as #metoo and protests surrounding the overturning of Roe V. Wade. It’s helped skyrocket awareness for these movements and the importance of them.