The overarching theme for 2010 and our 30th Anniversary celebration is Writing Women
Back into History.
It often seems that the history of women is written in invisible ink. Even when recognized
in their own times, women are frequently left out of the history books. To honor our 2010
theme, we are highlighting pivotal themes from previous years. Each of these past themes
recognizes a different aspect of women’s achievements, from ecology to art, and from
sports to politics.
In the early eighties, the topic of women’s history was limited to college curricula,
and even there it languished. At that time, less than 3% of the content of teacher
training textbooks mentioned the contributions of women and when included,
women were usually written in as mere footnotes. Women of color and women in
fields such as math, science, and art were completely omitted. This limited inclusion
of women’s accomplishments deprived students of viable female role models.
When we began mobilizing the lobbying effort that resulted in President Carter issuing
a Presidential Proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980 as the first National
Women’s History Week, we had no idea what the future would bring. And then, in 1987,
another of our successful lobbying efforts resulted in Congress expanding the week into a
month, and March is now National Women’s History Month.
Today, when you search the Internet with the words “women’s +history + month,” you’ll
find more than 40,500,000 citations. These extraordinary numbers give testimony to the
tireless work of thousands of individuals, organizations, and institutions to write women
back into history.
Now, more than ever, the work of this movement needs to continue and expand.
Each new generation needs to draw information and inspiration from the last.
We invite you to join with us and other women’s and educational organizations as well
as women’s history performers, authors, historic sites, and museums, unions, military
units, universities, and women’s history programs and parents, grandparents, and
interested individuals to help write women back into history.