First recognized in 1987, Women’s History Month is an annual celebration of the often-overlooked contributions that women have made to society, history, and culture. It began as a week-long celebration in 1978 in the school district of Sonoma, California.
It was such a success that other school districts held their own celebrations, and in 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared a week-long national celebration. In 1987, the National Women’s History Project was successful with its petition to extend it to the entire month of March.
There are thousands of women who have played a pivotal role in shaping history, but here are four notable women who have shaped, or are still shaping, history.
Dr. Angela Davis is a distinguished professor emerita in History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies Departments at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is an internationally renowned activist, scholar, and writer. In the 1960s and 1970s, she took part in the Civil Rights Movement and Radical movements.
Unfairly imprisoned for 16 months in the early 1970s because of her political activism, Dr. Davis was eventually acquitted in 1972 after a huge national campaign. Since then, she has been an outspoken critic of racism in the criminal justice system.
Madam C J Walker
Madam C J Walker was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire with her specialized hair care products created for African American hair.
As well as being a successful businesswoman creating products designed to help black women, she was also a philanthropist who created a network of clubs for her employees and encouraged them via bonuses to give back to their local communities. She was also a staunch supporter of female talent. Her company charter even specified that only a female could be president.
Michelle Obama was the first African-American First Lady of the United States. She is also a lawyer, a writer, a powerful role model for women and an advocate for education for international adolescent girls. In 2015 she launched Let Girls Learn, a U.S. government-wide initiative to help girls around the globe go to school and stay in school.
A staunch supporter of equality of all kinds, Michelle Obama has been vocal about encouraging tech companies to make room for women. She has also called out the lack of diversity in American politics on several occasions.
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery, which she escaped in 1849 and became a leading abolitionist. She led hundreds of family members and other enslaved people to freedom along the Underground Railroad. In the process, she heroically risked her own life.
During the American Civil War, Tubman helped the Union Army by working as a spy. After the Civil War ended, Tubman dedicated her life to helping improve the lives of former slaves and the elderly.
These are just four women out of thousands who have made or are still making history. For Team Clean, Women’s History Month is a celebration close to our hearts. As a woman-owned business that believes in uplifting and empowering women, we love celebrating inspirational and influential women past and present.