Women's History Month at UNI

March 2023

Women's History Month

Why we celebrate

Each March, we celebrate the accomplishments and contributions made by women around the world. The month-long celebration/observation began in Santa Rosa, Calif., in 1978, when the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women planned a week-long event to recognize women. Their event was to correspond with March 8 which was known as International Women’s Day.

It didn’t take long for the concept to spread, and local women’s groups came together to lobby for a national day of recognition. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a proclamation declaring the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week. Such proclamations continued until 1987. That’s when Congress passed legislation that designated the entire month of March as Women’s History Month.

Information sourced from multiple locations.

Women’s & Gender Studies

The University of Northern Iowa has been home to a Women’s Studies program (now the Department of Women’s & Gender Studies) since the late ‘70s when a minor was established. Eventually, a master’s program was developed in the ‘90s, and in 2000 was awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to fund programming that would reduce violence against women. A full history, including a timeline of directors, can be found on the Women’s & Gender Studies homepage.

Women's & Gender Studies at UNI

Additional Resources