Each year, since its official designation in 1987, Women’s History Month has been celebrated during the month of March. The month correlates with International Women’s Day on March 8th, and organizations across the US observe both celebrations. Women’s History Month is a way to commemorate the significant contributions of women throughout history in dozens of industries across the nation. Each year, the National Women’s Alliance selects a theme to center celebrations around. The official theme for Women’s History Month 2022 is ‘Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.’
Honor Healthcare Workers
This theme was meant to celebrate the women across our nation who have sacrificed time and energy throughout the pandemic to provide healthcare and services throughout trying times. It is also meant to look back on healthcare and health services workers who have made a lasting difference throughout history. In line with the purpose of Women’s History Month, these celebrations offer an opportunity to honor work that is often overlooked or minimized by the larger society. What are ways you can celebrate healthcare workers in your vicinity this month?
As we’ve experienced the pandemic the past few years, women in every industry have stepped up. So, in addition to honoring healthcare workers, there are ways that we can share the stories of women all over who have shown remarkable resilience, strength, and creativity. Just like women during the Great Depression came up with new ways to cook meals, unique fabrics to sew clothes from, and smart ways to conserve resources, women worldwide are still meeting challenges and hardships with great creativity and strength.
Over the past few years, there’s been an increased emphasis on elevating the voices of women of color and minorities. As a result, our nation has made strides in listening to the experiences of those who have not historically been heard. And since Women’s History Month comes right on the coattails of Black History Month, one way to honor women throughout history is by sharing these stories. So when we share the stories of people like Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Shirley Chisholm, Coretta Scott King, Katherine Johnson, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Wilma Rudolph, we honor their outstanding contributions which have shaped the world we live in today.
In the spirit of bringing awareness to unheard stories, this month can be an excellent time to research the problems women face today. For example, substantial medical research and testing discrepancies still lead to doctors not knowing how medications, diseases, or procedures affect female bodies. Complications and dangerous side effects are high because women are overlooked in this field. Women also tend to be ignored in STEM fields. So women training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics tend to have to fight harder to be taken seriously by colleagues. Additionally, apart from career and health discrepancies, more severe problems like sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking affect women at an alarmingly high rate compared to their male counterparts. Using this month to educate yourself in a topic you don’t feel knowledgeable about can benefit women you encounter in the future.
Invest in the Future
As we honor women throughout history and the contributions they’ve made, this month is also a time to invest in current and future generations of women who will make a difference. We can shop at a favorite women-owned business and share it with our friends. We can find a way to volunteer with youth and girls who need mentorship in our area. We can read books about women in history to our young daughters, nieces, or students. There might even be chances to create opportunities for young women in your career field or place of employment, so they have someone helping them climb the ladder.
It’s so easy to gloss over Women’s History Month as a non-event, especially because it doesn’t affect our daily life as other holidays would. It takes intentionality to choose a way to honor women from the past and celebrate the women in your life currently. However, this month is an opportunity to do just that: celebrate. In a world that so often feels grim and scary, we all need a few more reasons to celebrate. So why not pour yourself a glass of wine, invite a few girlfriends over, and celebrate the women who made you who you are and the difference you’re making in the world as women of influence!