The theme for Women’s History Month 2022 is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope”. The theme this year not only pays tribute to the continual efforts of caregivers and frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic but also recognizes the numerous ways women of various cultures across the globe have been providing healing and hope all through human history.
Since ancient times, women have played a vital role as healers. As healers, women have transcended all sufferings transforming them into comprehensiveness. At the same time, they have been spreading the light of hope, revealing the infinite opportunities for the present as well as the future generations. Healing and hope together are the indispensable energy to recover from our miseries and fulfill our dreams.
During the past two years, the pandemic has reminded us of the value of caregivers and healers who are working ceaselessly to heal the needy and ensure that there is hope for the future. We, at WomELLE, encourage people across the world to honor women in their region and recognize the invaluable gift they bring to their families, neighborhood, and workplaces – often making great sacrifices. These women encompass everyone – women in our families, homemakers, doctors, nurses, teachers, lawmakers, artists, and our colleagues. They work, like Florence Nightingale, to ease our suffering, ensure our welfare, and restore our dignity.
History bears testimony that women have always been leading the way to heal wounds, mend divisions, and find peaceful solutions. They have been vociferous advocators for compassion as well as people’s physical and mental wellbeing. In so many ways and in addition to their other tasks, women have helped innumerable people to recover from their desolation and follow their dreams. Therefore, the theme for Women’s History Month 2022 honors every woman for the healing touch and promotes hope for a better future for all.
Prior to Women’s History Month, it was Women’s History Week. In 1981, Congress passed Public Law 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to declare the week beginning March 7, 1982, as “Women’s History Week.” The following year, President Ronald Reagan issued Presidential Proclamation 4903 which proclaimed the week beginning March 7, 1982, as the first “Women’s History Week.”
In 1987, through Public Law 100-9, the President was requested to issue a proclamation, Presidential Proclamation 5619, which encouraged the citizens of the United States to celebrate Women’s History Month with appropriate observance activities. This Proclamation also expanded the week-long observance to “Women’s History Month,” and further raised awareness of the achievements of American women.
The idea of celebrating Women’s History Month, however, did not spring from its Congressional sponsors. Instead, studies to recover women’s “lost” stories started on college campuses in the early 1970s. Despite this, women were outnumbered 11 to one in elementary and secondary school history books – a glaring imbalance no doubt.
The founders of the National Women’s History Project have been spreading awareness about the historic and contemporary contributions of women since 1978. Their efforts gained momentum as teachers, librarians, workplace planners, and many others responded strongly to incorporate the National Women’s History Month in their March calendars. Why March? This is because International Women’s Day is already being celebrated every year on March 8.
It is pertinent to note that women’s history does not essentially rewrite history. On the other hand, it adds very different viewpoints on what is significant historically. From the traditional point of view, history has always focused on political, military, and economic leaders and such events. This approach of history has virtually ignored women, both leaders as well as the common citizens. The history books had no mention of numerous women who either struggled to achieve their goal in a male-dominated society or sacrificed for the wellbeing of others. Other than reconnoitering the contributions of women leaders in the public domain, women’s history also takes a look at the activities of women in the private sphere. Women’s History Month, therefore, celebrates women’s experiences at the crossroads where the public and private spheres meet as well as interact.
Leave a Reply