March is National Women's History Month. The theme of the 2001 event, "Celebrating Women of Courage and Vision," encourages you to remember the women whose vision conjured images of a better world and whose courage made it happen. Introduce those women to your students with the activities below! Included: Five activities to help students honor "women of courage and vision"
On March 8, 1857, garment workers staged one of the world's first organized actions by working women, striking against the inhumane working conditions in New York City textile factories. More than 50 years later, on March 8, 1909, women garment workers in New York again struck for better wages and improved working conditions. More than 300 textile shops signed union contracts as a result. In February 1908, the first National Women's Day was organized to encourage women across the United States to demonstrate for political and economic rights. Two years later, U.S. and international delegates to the International Conference of Socialist Women unanimously endorsed a proposal that women throughout the world choose a particular day each year to press their demands for social, political, and economic equity. The date they chose was March 8 -- in recognition of the efforts of two groups of New York City garment workers. The first International Women's Day was held in 1911. In 1981, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the week incorporating March 8 National Women's History Week. In 1986, responding to pressure from the National Women's History Project, Congress declared March National Women's History Month. This year, Education World provides five activities you can use to introduce your students to the women who rocked the cradle and shaped the world. Be sure to visit The National Women's History Project for ideas for programs to involve the entire school and community. A brief description of each activity appears below. Click any headline for a complete teaching resource!