March is Women’s History Month and is devoted to celebrating women’s contributions to history, culture and society. What started as a weeklong occasion organized by the school district of Sonoma, California, in 1978 grew to be a nationally recognized celebration. The National Women’s History Alliance was the leading force in establishing this movement. With their mission to promote Women’s History and their commitment to recognizing the diverse and significant historical accomplishments of women, each year they select a theme for Women's History Month. The 2023 theme is "Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories."
In conjunction with this theme, we’re highlighting organizations that support and empower women and girls, and have hosted events at #RRBITC to amplify their message and mission.
With a network of more than 1.7 million girls and 750,000 adults, Girl Scouts believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risktaker, Leader)™ to change the world. Founded more than 100 years ago, Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low on March 1912, organized the very first Girl Scout troop in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia. The first troop was made up of 18 girls who all shared a sense of curiosity and a belief that they could do anything. Girl Scouts has evolved to be the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. With programs across the U.S. and around the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success.
This year on Girl Scout Day, there will be a special Girl Scout Takeover hosted in partnership with National Children’s Museum. Scouts in the Daisy, Brownie, and Junior levels will get to meet women in STEM careers and will have the opportunity to earn their STEM badges. Purchase tickets and learn more here.
Girl Up is a girl-centered leadership development initiative, focusing on equity for girls and women in spaces where they are unheard or underrepresented. In 2010, it was founded by the United Nations Foundation (UNF) as the first-of-its-kind initiative dedicated to supporting adolescent girls’ education, health, and safety. They have a global network of regional affiliates impacting 195,000 girls and youth leaders in 152 countries and all 50 U.S. states.
Girls can get involved by joining or starting a local club, enrolling in Girl Up Academy, applying for an internship or attending one of their Leadership Summits which has taken place at the Reagan Building in previous years. The summit gathers hundreds of participants and equips them with the knowledge, resources, and skills to become changemakers in their own communities. Learn more about their community and impact here.
Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA)
Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA) is the largest non-government funder of ovarian cancer research and has invested $110 million in research since its founding. OCRA fights ovarian cancer from all fronts, including in the lab and on Capitol Hill, and through innovative programs to help women navigate their diagnosis and support patients and their families.
The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) was formed by Ann Schreiber due to her own personal experience with stage three ovarian cancer in 1989. Her and her husband realized how limited the information was that was available to those affected by the disease. Determined to make a difference, they formed an organization that would educate and inform people about this disease and fund the research critical to making advancements in finding early detection tools and ultimately a cure.
One of their flagship fundraising events, Turn Up the Heat, has previously taken place at RRBITC. The culinary event brings together some of D.C.’s top female chefs and mixologists to benefit OCRA. Visit ocrahope.org to learn more about their mission and cause.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution
The Daughters of the American Revolution is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children. It was founded in 1890, when a group of pioneering women in the nation's capital felt the desire to express their patriotic feelings and were frustrated by their exclusion from men's organizations. Members across the country are involved in various projects like: restoring and maintaining historical sites, preserving genealogical records, artifacts and historical documents, providing scholarships and awards to outstanding students and more.
RRBITC has proudly hosted their luncheons and other gatherings. Learn more about DAR, their collections and other resources.
Women’s Democracy Network
Established in 2006, the Women’s Democracy Network empowers women around the world to participate in the political process and equips them with the skills needed to assume greater leadership roles in government, political parties and civil society. WDN connects aspiring and accomplished women leaders across the globe, creates forums for sharing ideas and experiences, and provides technical training and resource materials. Members learn communications, networking, campaigning and governing skills from WDN programs.
In 2015, RRBITC hosted the Diplomatic Courier and Women’s Democracy Network celebration for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, gathering a delegation of women leaders from around the world.
Presently, WDN has members in more than 80 countries and chapters in 14 countries. Learn more about their achievements and see how they are advancing women’s leadership in their respective countries.
Each of these organizations make a difference in the lives of many women and girls worldwide. This March, consider supporting or getting involved with these groups or any organization in your own community that aim to empower women and move the needle on gender equality.