Women's History Month: The 2023 theme, why we celebrate and everything else you need to know
Women's History Month is observed every March. Although it has not always been a month-long celebration, it now takes place from March 1 through the end of the month.
Women's History Month is a time to honor the women who have made important sacrifices and contributions to society in both the past and present.
Each year, a different theme is named for the celebration that is chosen by the National Women's History Alliance.
Here is everything you need to know about Women's History Month, from why it's recognized to how it first began.
- Why do we celebrate Women's History Month?
- What were the past themes for Women's History Month?
- Who started Women's History Month?
- Why is Women's History Month in March?
- What are the colors for Women's History Month?
1. Why do we celebrate Women's History Month?
Women's History Month is celebrated as a way to honor the contributions women have made to society throughout history. It is a month that is focused on educating people about the important impacts powerful women have made, in both the past and the present.
Though the list is long, some popular historical figures who are often studied and recognized during the month of March are Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart and Maya Angelou.
International Women's Day is on March 8.
2. What were the past themes for Women's History Month?
Each year, there is a theme for Women's History Month that is created by the National Women's History Alliance.
The 2023 theme is "Celebrating Women Who Tell Stories," which recognizes "women, past and present, who have been active in all forms of media and storytelling including print, radio, TV, stage, blogs, podcasts, news and social media," according to the National Women's History Alliance website.
In past years, some of the themes include:
- "Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope"
- "Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced"
- "Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence"
- "Nevertheless She Persisted, Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women"
- "Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business"
- "Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government."
3. Who started Women's History Month?
Women's History Month was not officially started until 1987, according to History.com.
Although the month-long celebration did not start until later, a week-long celebration took place prior to 1987.
In 1978, a school district in Sonoma, California, started Women's History Week. This concept was then made into a national week-long holiday by former President Jimmy Carter in 1980.
The holiday took place during the week of March 8.
Then, in 1981, the U.S. Congress made the week a national celebration. It was not until 1987 that the week turned into a month-long celebration.
4. Why is Women's History Month in March?
Even before the week-long celebration was established by the California school district, the holiday began as National Women's Day. The International Women's Day website says it was in 1908 when thousands of women got together and made their way through the streets of New York City in a march.
They were fighting for women's rights, including women's voting rights.
The following year, in 1909, the first official National Woman's Day was celebrated, but instead of it being in March, it was on February 28.
Other countries started recognizing a day for women in March, while Americans continued to celebrate on the last Sunday in February until the 1970s.
Though the month of March is dedicated to women's history, International Women's Day is still held on March 8 each year.
While women's contributions to society are remembered year round, there are numerous key dates with historical value that occurred in March.
The National Park Service website says that on March 3, 1913, the Women's Suffrage Parade took place in Washington, D.C., where thousands of women came together to fight for women's rights to vote.
It was not until March 1916 that the National Woman's Party was formed, the Library of Congress says.
On March 22, 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment was passed in the Senate, the History Channel says.
5. What are the colors for Women's History Month?
Purple, green and white are all colors that represent Women's History Month, according to Today. The colors were also those of the Women's Suffrage and Political Union, the same site says.
These colors are often worn in celebration of International Women's Day and in observance of the entire month of March.
This article first appeared on foxnews.com