International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world and is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.
International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labor movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. In 1909, the first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on February 28. In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th.
In the United States, the public celebration of women’s history began in 1978 as “Women’s History Week”. In 1981, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) co-sponsored a joint Congressional resolution proclaiming a national Women’s History Week. In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month, and March was declared Women’s History Month.