Women’s History Month is an exciting time to celebrate all the incredible women in your life and in our city. Chicago has always been led by incredible, bold women like Ida B. Wells, Jane Addams, Bessie Coleman, Michelle Obama, Katharine McCormick, and Sandra Cisneros.
From stopping by the Chicago Women’s History Center which aims to open dialogues about women’s history in Chicago through scholar sessions, community activists, and public programming. To shopping at women-founded stores and more, this month, we’re celebrating the achievements of women socially, economically, culturally, and politically. It also marks an official call to action to champion gender equity.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of events, businesses, and organizations to support as we honor Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day this year.
1. Visit the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
Jane Addams was an IL activist who co-founded the world-famous Hull-House social settlement on Chicago’s Near West Side in 1889. The museum now serves as a memorial to Addams, the first American woman to receive a Nobel Peace prize but was once Addam’s private home and was also a place where immigrants and other marginalized communities gathered to learn, eat, and create a community. Now, its programs continue Addam’s legacy of promoting education, social engagement, and community organizing.
2. Attend a Chicago-based art exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center
To celebrate Women’s History Month, attend a series of month-long collaborative artists-in-residence programs. Each aims to focus on creating awareness for missing and murdered Black girls and women. The Artist-in-Residence: A Long Walk Home premieres at the Chicago Cultural Center and spotlights the local art organization’s founders Scheherazade Tillet, Leah Gipson, and Robert Narciso, and their work to end violence against women. Check out the full schedule here.
Address: 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602
3-9. Support women-owned businesses in the area
One of the best ways to celebrate women’s history is to invest in women’s future. Supporting women-owned businesses is important because, according to Bossy Chicago, “women control over 80% of consumer spending in the United States. But women-owned businesses only make 4% of our country’s business revenue.” Put your money where your mouth is by shopping at women-owned businesses.
- Cultivate Urban Rainforest, Plant shop, 704 Main St, Evanston, IL
- Big Chicks, Bar, 5024 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL
- Choc Choc Cosmetic, Korean cosmetics, 614 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL
- Scratch Goods 847 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL
- Bark N’ Bites, Pet boutique, 702 W 35th St, Chicago, IL
- Brewja Co, Art, Coffee, Pop-Up Markets
10. Celebrate Women’s History Month at the Field Museum
This month, the Field Museum is celebrating the women that have shaped natural sciences. Hear from an array of guest speakers as they explore their personal experiences and contributions to the sciences. From in-person meetings with Dr. Maria Valdes to discovering iconic contributors, the museum is hosting a series of seminars that celebrate staff and scientists. They’re also helping to overcome bias against women with a series of ongoing Women and Girls in STEM programs.
11. Shop women-founded finds at the International Women’s Day Market
On Sunday, March 12, head to Lincoln Square for the second annual pop-up market featuring local women-owned goods and endless vendors. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can shop local women-owned businesses like curated jewelry, beauty products, and home goods, alongside food and drinks options. https://www.lincolnsquare.org/international-womens-day-market
12. Take a tour of incredible art murals that pay homage to remarkable women
There are some seriously inspiring Chicago street art murals that celebrate remarkable women and pay tribute to their personalities and achievements. These murals are a statement and a fight for justice that champions equality. From Michelle Obama to RBJ and more, there are some must-see murals featuring remarkable women around our city.
13. See Mary Bonnet’s new play at the Greenhouse Theater
Mia: Where Have All the Young Girls Gone? Is premiering Mary Bonnett’s play at the Greenhouse Theater this month. The show is inspired by real interviews and research and shines a needed spotlight on missing girls and women. The show starts on March 9th and goes through April 9th.
14. Spend time outside at the Chicago Women’s Park and Garden
Take time out of your busy schedule to plan a nice day in this tranquil green space. The park honors historical contributions women have made to the city of Chicago with statues like ‘Helping Hands’ dedicated to Jane Addams and other historically significant figures.
Address: 1801 S. Indiana Ave. Chicago, IL 60616
15. Find a women-founded bookstore to support
From Volumes Bookcafe to Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery and Women and Children First, there are so many incredible women-owned bookstores to support in Chicago.
- Women and Children First: 5233 N Clark St, Chicago, IL
- Volumes Bookcafe: 1373 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL
- Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery: 515 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL
- The Underground Bookstore: 1727 E 87th St, Chicago, IL
- The Book Cellar: 4736 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 6
- RoscoeBooks, 2142 W Roscoe St, Chicago, IL