Women’s History Month: What about her story?

Women's History Month aims to empower women by discovering and celebrating women's lives and achievements and providing positive role models and inspiration.

Women’s History Month, which is being launched tonight in Westminster, sponsored by MPs Anne Begg and Jo Swinson, will run throughout March; here, Becky Ridgewell introduces the initiative

For too long women’s history and achievements have been forgotten, overlooked, erased and devalued. Simon Schama’s list of ‘What every child should learn’ demonstrates that there is a paucity of women’s history at the heart of history teaching. This problem would be exacerbated if history teachers were to follow this man-heavy list from this government history tsar.

In 2010 the UK did not have a nationwide Women’s History Month (WHM), even though the WHM has been running for several years in other countries, such as the US and India. This does not mean the UK lacks organisations that are passionate about celebrating women’s history, there is the magazine Herstoria and the Women’s History Network for example.

And for several years in East London there have been events celebrating WHM such as the Wise Words book fest.  But there has not been one overarching organisation promoting WHM events across the UK – until now.

WHM aims to raise awareness and empower women by discovering, documenting and celebrating women’s lives and achievements and providing positive role models and inspiration.

If these aims seem idealistic, consider Black History Month. An annual event since the seventies, Black History Month has been a mainstream fixture in museums, libraries and educational establishments for decades. WHM aspires to emulate that success.

Meanwhile, women are not the only marginalised group reclaiming their heritage and place in the history books. 2011 will see at least five history months in the UK: the long established LGBT History Month and Black History Month will now work alongside more recent additions like Women’s History Month, Disability History Month and Gypsy, Romany and Traveller History Month.

• Women’s History Month can be followed on twitter – @WomensHistMonth – and more infromation is available at womenshistorymonth.co.uk and the Women’s History Month Facebook group.

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8 Responses to “Women’s History Month: What about her story?”

  1. zohra moosa

    RT @leftfootfwd: Women’s History Month: What about her story? http://bit.ly/eeZPXm @WomensHistMonth

  2. Derrick Butler

    RT @DerrickButler Women's History Month: What about her story? | Left Foot Forward http://bit.ly/fTnhMA http://www.mydreamalive.com

  3. Éoin Clarke

    I have spent my last 6 years in the Women’s History research field. There is a dearth of coverage given to the topic in Britain but this can be overcome by establishing international liks. There are a variety of Women’s History Networks who organise conferences on different themese in women’s history. For a full schedule of the upcoming conferences relating to women’s history, see both of these links. 1) http://www.ifrwh.com/ 2) http://www.iisg.nl/w3vlwomenshistory/conferences.html

  4. Women'sHistoryMonth

    RT @leftfootfwd: Women’s History Month: What about her story? http://bit.ly/eeZPXm @WomensHistMonth

  5. CathElliott

    RT @leftfootfwd: Women’s History Month: What about her story? http://bit.ly/eeZPXm @WomensHistMonth

  6. Bethany W-Bradley

    RT @leftfootfwd: Women’s History Month: What about her story? http://bit.ly/eeZPXm @WomensHistMonth

  7. Ruth Colledge

    Yes I think we do need WHM especially in the light of recent reports of sexual discriminating comments by Sky broadcasters Andy Gray and Richard Keys and also of touchline reporter Andy Burton’s sexist remarks about assistant football referee Sian Massey. Other such remarks made by Gray and Burton during a womens F A cup football final in 1998 have now been highlighted. Also noted is BBC discrimination against older female presenters who are “retired” against their wishes but older male presenters remain in the same jobs. Women still have a very long way to go before overcoming sexism that is still prevalent in the 21st century.

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