Since 1911, Women's History Month has accentuated the many great accomplishments of women. The day emphasizes their contributions to society, and the many sacrifices made during the struggle for equal rights that made it all possible. International Women's Day falls of March 8. Although the month is celebrated in March in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, Canada waits until October.
Over the past century, women have been celebrated in a variety of ways. Occasionally, a specific timeframe for conferences detailing women's history is set aside apart from the normal proceedings or outside of March. Eventually, the celebration came to encompass the entire month. Over time, March has been used to study various statistics which elaborate the differences between men and women in the home, family, and workplace. These studies show how the status of women in society has catapulted forward over the past century, but cleanly suggest that it has far to go if true equality is to be reached.
Women's History Month was not officially celebrated in Canada until 1992, nor in Australia until 2000. Still, it should be noted that most countries do not see fit to acknowledge the contributions of women to society at all. In many regions of the world, women are still openly oppressed by their male counterparts, and seen as inferior or submissive. Women's Rights Worldwide is an organization created to fight for equality around the globe, ensuring that the issue is never forgotten by world leaders.
For those that have women in their lives (i.e. all of us), the month remains a great time to show support and appreciation for the differences they live through each day. Traditional households may want to consider a role reversal for the month of March. Reverse or share chores. Use the experience to teach one another new or skills not often used. Share hobbies and interests. The month can be used to fuel healthy relationships forward, and to foster better understanding of the opposite sex.
Of course, more traditional methods of showcasing appreciation will always be available. Women's products are easily found. Find the right hair care product. A hair straightener, a curling iron, a new blow dryer. Consider buying a brand new towel warmer, and then surprise her when she leaves a shower or bath with a steaming hot towel.
Although it can be easier to focus on our own struggles, sometimes one needs to step into the shoes of another and think from another perspective. Each of us finds a different path, but oftentimes the obstacles are the same. We should continue to strive to accept our differences, and part of that may be done by embracing Women's History Month.