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Historical Women Witnessing a signing ceremony

March: Women's History Month

Celebrate Women's History Month

In 1909, first ever National Women’s Day was hosted in New York where women protested against working conditions. It grew into an international movement and the eventual founding of International Women’s Day where the world recognized women’s achievements on March 8th every year. 

In 1987, the United States Congress officially designated the month of March as National Women History Month. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights would like to take this chance to recognize the achievements of Minnesota women and dedicate this page to highlight the events and celebrations throughout the state. 

Amid the national conversation, this year National Women’s History theme is “Nevetheless She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.” MDHR has summarized a few critical moments in our state’s history:

  • WOMEN GRANTED FULL MEMBERSHIP IN JAYCEES
MDHR had previously found that the Jaycees was a public accommodation as defined by the Minnesota Human Rights Act and was subject to the anti-discrimination provisions of the law. The Supreme Court upheld the Act finding that the prohibitions against sex discrimination were not protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
 
  • FEMALE STUDENT SEXUAL HARASSED IN SCHOOL
The idea that school children, like adults, could be victims and perpetrators of sexual harassment began in Minnesota. A case involving a 15-year-old Duluth high school student introduced the idea of student-on-student sexual harassment, nearly a decade before the U.S. Supreme Court would take up the issue.
 
  • MINNESOTA SUPREME COURT RECOGNIZES SEXUAL HARASSMENT
In a 1980 court case, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled for the first time that the prohibition against sex discrimination in the Minnesota Human Rights Act included the concept of sexual harassment. The U.S. Supreme Court would not address the issue until 1986.
 
  • THE NATION’S FIRST SEXUAL HARASSMENT CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT
In 1984, Lois Jensen filed a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The dispute would eventually result in the filing of the nation’s first class action lawsuit relating to workplace sexual harassment. 

Events in Minnesota:

“La Mese delle Donne VI (Rochester)” 
The La Mese delle Donne exhibit showcases Minnesota’s women artists.
Rochester Art Center
Mar. 1 to Mar. 23
For more information: http://rochesterartcenter.org/

“UMN Women in STEM Wikithon”
The University of Minnesota is home to many accomplished women scientists. Help raise their profile by joining us for the first UMN Women in STEM Wikithon the day before International Women's Day! You don’t need a background in science or experience editing Wikipedia.
Meredith O. Wilson Library, Research Collaboration Studio, 309 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis.
Thursday, Mar. 7, 2019 5 pm
For more information: Free Registration

“Isuroon 2019: International Women’s Day for Women of African Descent Conference”
Learning from and with women of African descent, this special conference will tackle professional and personal growth from a position of strength and abundance rather than limits and scarcity.
American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis
Friday, Mar. 8, 2019 8 AM 
For more information: Registration

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