Stay timely and learn more about March days to remember! Here’s Twanna’s curated list a wide variety of March holidays, awareness campaigns, cultural celebrations, and days of remembrance.
Women’s History Month, March 1 – 31, 2019
Happy Women’s History Month, everybody! We should acknowledge major accomplishments of throughout U.S. history, but we don’t always do that for women. That why, in 1978, Women’s History Week started in Sonoma, California. A year later, a group of advocates petitioned for official recognition of the week. By 1980, President Jimmy Carter formally proclaimed the national weeklong observance. By 1987, enough momentum had built for a month-long observance. Since then, every American president has made a formal proclamation that March should be recognized as Women’s History Month. This month, why not visit, support or donate to some women–focused museums?
National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, March 1 – 31, 2019
Colorectal cancer. Did you know it’s one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States? It’s also the second leading cause of death from cancers that affect both men and women. Per the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, the 2019 goal is to challenge misconceptions and “don’t assume” you know all the risks, affects, or prognoses for colorectal cancer. Visit the CCA to learn more.
Endometriosis Awareness Month, March 1 – 31, 2019
Join people around the world in raising awareness of this devastating disease. Although endometriosis may possibly affect almost 200 million women worldwide, many are misdiagnosed. Use your platform to get informed, tackle misconceptions, and support those who are affected. More information and support can be found here. Examples of previous awareness events can be found here. #EndometriosisAwarenessMonth
Vulva Health Awareness Month, March 1 – 31, 2019
While perhaps not as well known as some of the other awareness months listed here, Vulva Health Awareness Month has been around since 1999. The Foundation for Women’s Cancer established it to raise greater awareness of gynecologic cancers. Let’s educate ourselves on vulva specificities of this area, but to also pay a little more attention to it, whether for pleasure or for health.
Saturday, March 2
SheDecides Day 2019
Describing themselves as a “political movement with community support,” SheDecides began two years ago as a response to the Global Gag Rule. SheDecides Day is dedicated to ensuring that women and girls are enabled to make their own decisions regarding
- gender identity;
- choosing partners and relationship status;
- whether to have children; and
- and integrated health services.
Events are being held around the world. Visit the SheDecides Day site to learn more.
Sunday, March 3
Anniversary of the Woman Suffrage Procession
Frustrated by slow progress in the movement for national voting rights for women, activist Alice Paul and the National American Woman Suffrage Association organized an innovative suffrage protest event in Washington D.C. in 1913. During the March 3rd event, known as the Woman Suffrage Procession, an estimated 8,000 suffragists marched on Pennsylvania Avenue the day before Pres. Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration. Designed to attract as much attention as possible, the organizers stated they chose this particular day to march as “…a spirit of protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded.” Procession attendees included women around the world, as well as luminaries including Ida B. Wells, Helen Keller, and Nellie Bly. Learn more about this protest and check out some excellent pictures from the event itself.
International Sex Workers’ Rights Day
Originally organized by Indian sex worker collective Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (which translates to “Unstoppable Women’s Synthesis Committee”), the first International Sex Workers’ Rights Day came about in 2001. That year, over 25,000 sex workers are reported to have gathered in India for a festival despite the efforts of prohibitionist groups. Over the last 18 years, this event has grown into a day of advocacy for sex workers around the world.
Friday, March 8
International Women’s Day
First organized by socialist organizations within the U.S. and Europe, the United Nations adopted it as an official day of recognition in 1977. The purpose of the day is to reflect on and celebrate the various accomplishments of women worldwide and to advocate for gender equality in all areas. The UN has designated this year’s theme as ”think equal, build smart, innovate for change,” with a specific focus on the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.
Sunday, March 10
Daylight Saving Time Begins
If you live in the U.S., “spring forward” at 2 a.m. today. Losing an hour of sleep is no fun, but the tradeoff of increased daylight hours are worth it. Daylight Saving Time has been used throughout the history of this country (supposedly Ben Franklin introduced the concept, albeit as a joke), but it didn’t become law until 1966. Heads up: for folks in Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the USVI or certain U.S. territories, there’s no need to check the clocks — these areas have formally opted out of Daylight Saving Time. Time change affecting your sleep patterns? Here are some tips to get back on track.
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
According to the Office on Women’s Health (OWH), nearly 300,000 women in the United States are living with HIV. Sponsored by OWH, the goal of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is to support women and girls living with HIV and AIDS, as well as to share information regarding prevention, care, and treatment. Find resources and ideas on how to observe this day on the OWH website.
Tuesday, March 12
National Girl Scout Day
Celebrate the nation’s favorite cookie sellers today! The first official meeting of the Girl Scouts of America took place on this day in 1912. Fewer than 20 girls were present at that first meeting.l Now, the Girl Scouts count nearly four million members among their ranks. Learn more about the organization’s leadership development program. (#NationalGirlScoutDay)
Sunday, March 17
St. Patrick’s Day
The Saint Patrick of this well-known Irish holiday was not actually Irish by birth. Having been brought to Ireland as a slave, he is credited with bringing Christianity to the country. The holiday commemorates the day he is thought to have died. Historically, the Irish have observed this day as a Lenten celebration — these days, people of all nationalities are more likely to observe the day by attending a parade or spending the day socializing.
Wednesday, March 20
World Storytelling Day
Aligning with the yearly Spring Equinox (aka the first day of Spring), this day has existed since the 90s, with the first one taking place in Sweden. Now a global celebration, World Storytelling Day focuses on oral storytelling, with a different theme named every year. (2019’s theme is Myths, Legends, and Epics.) How you participate is up to you — an event can be as large and involved as organizing a local storytelling festival or as small as sharing a story with friends in your living room. Check out this Facebook group to learn more about upcoming events.
Thursday, March 21
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Established by the United Nations in 1966 to commemorate the Sharpeville Massacre, this day challenges governments and individuals worldwide to embrace the human rights of all by eliminating all forms of racial discrimination. The UN has chosen Mitigating and countering rising nationalist populism and extreme supremacist ideologies as this year’s area of focus. Show your support for this day by using #fightracism and #Standup4humanrights on your social media.
Sunday, March 24
Birthday of pill founder John Rock (1890)
An interesting but little-known fact — the man whose research led to the development of the birth control pill was a devout Catholic — and the Catholic Church currently bans birth control. Despite the resistance of the Church to the drug he helped create, Rock remained a staunch advocate for the rights of married women to control their reproductive destinies.
Monday, March 25
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (1911)
On this day in 1911 occurred one of the worst industrial disasters in American history, as 146 people, mostly women, died in a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York City. Considered a preventable tragedy, the likelihood of death increased as safety measures were ignored — exit doors locked from the outside or only opened inward; the fire escape was too narrow to truly be of use; a desperately needed fire hose didn’t work. Having long looked the other way at garment factory negligence, this tragedy spurred organizing efforts among garment workers and forced NYC to consider and pass a number of labor and safety laws.
Wednesday, March 27
Muslim Women’s Day
Created in 2017 by author, writer, and online activist Amani Al-Khatahtbeh to celebrate and center Muslim women, Muslim Women’s Day encourages Muslim women, girls, and allies to share both the challenges and the positives of being a Muslim woman in today’s climate, and to stand in solidarity with Muslim women around the globe. (#muslimwomensday)
Saturday, March 30
Support Women Artists Now Day (aka SWAN Day)
Developed by feminist arts activists Martha Richards and Jan Lisa Huttner, 2019 marks the 12th anniversary of this day dedicated to highlighting the diversity and power of women’s art and woman artists of all kinds. Learn more or attend an event.
Sunday, March 31
Transgender Day of Visibility
In response to a lack of positive public celebrations for the transgender community, Rachel Crandall Crocker, Executive Director and Co-founder of the organization Transgender Michigan, created the Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV). While the Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov. 20) is to memorialize those who have died, the purpose of TDoV is to celebrate the living, “…a day of empowerment and getting the recognition we deserve!” Here are some ideas on how to amplify TDoV and support the trans community generally. #TDOV