Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Celebrating Women Every March

Every March the U.S. commemorates Women’s History Month. Globally, March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day.   The commemoration in the U.S. started in 1981 when Congress passed a resolution which asked the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7 as Women’s History Week.”  Following a petition by the National Women’s History Project in 1987 Congress designated the month of March that year as Women’s History Month.  Several resolutions later it has come to stay.

The month provides an opportunity to focus on women's issues, their achievements and challenges and is normally celebrated worldwide by U.S. Embassies and consulates.   In honor of this year's celebrations the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama and Ambassador-at-large for Global Women‘s Issues Melanne Verveer hosted the International Women of Courage Awards, honoring remarkable women from around the world.  Those honored are advocates of women's issues and many have done so at great personal risk.  For example Honorable Maryam Durani, a member of the Kandahar Provincial Council in Afghanistan who has spoken out for the rights of Afghan women and girls in a province considered the most conservative and dangerous in Afghanistan.  She has survived multiple attacks on her life including a suicide attack that resulted in serious injury.