Women's History Month -
Theme for 2017:
Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and in Business
March is Women’s History Month, when we focus on the long struggles of women for equality, safety and respect in the workplace. About 73 percent of California’s teachers are women, meaning that honoring the work of teachers is most often about honoring the work of women in our classrooms.
Among those women being honored this year by the National Women’s History Project is Kate Mullany (1845-1906), who formed the nation’s first bona fide all-female union. In 1864 she organized over 300 of her fellow Troy, New York laundresses into the Collar Laundry Union.
Born in England of Irish parents, Mullany immigrated to the U.S. with her family and, following her father’s death, went to work to support her mother and siblings. Mullany worked in one of Troy’s 14 collar laundries, where women worked 12 to 14 hour days washing, starching, and ironing. Although considered a good job, working conditions were dangerous and wages were low.
Inspired by the successful efforts of local tradesmen, Mullany organized her fellow laundresses. Organizing was challenging, as many of the women had family obligations after work and there was no large venue for them to meet, but Mullany was determined, and the Collar Laundry Union was born. Learn more about Mullany and other influential women in history.
The History of Women's History Month
This is How March Became Women's History Month
Resources from NEA
Library of Congress Resources for Teachers and Students
National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education
National Women’s History Museum
National Women's History Project
2016 Women's History Honorees
Posters, DVDs, Pins
Women's History Videos and DVDs
Women's History Lapel Pins
Send an eCard
Women's History eCards