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Women's History Month

2023 Theme: Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories

The National Women’s History Alliance, which spearheaded the movement for March being declared National Women’s History Month, has announced the women’s history theme for 2023, “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.”

Throughout 2023, the NWHA will encourage recognition of women, past and present, who have been active in all forms of media and storytelling including print, radio, TV, stage, screen, blogs, podcasts, and more. The timely theme honors women in every community who have devoted their lives and talents to producing art, pursuing truth, and reflecting the human condition decade after decade.

From the earliest storytellers through pioneering journalists, our experiences have been captured by a wide variety of artists and teachers.  These include authors, songwriters, scholars, playwrights, performers, and grandmothers throughout time. Women have long been instrumental in passing on our heritage in word and in print to communicate the lessons of those who came before us. Women’s stories, and the larger human story, expand our understanding and strengthen our connections with each other.

Source: The National Women's History Alliance

2022 Theme: Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope

The 2022 Women’s History theme, “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” is both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.

Source: The National Women's History Alliance

2021 Theme: Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced

A victory as important as women winning the right to vote deserves an extended celebration. That’s why the National Women’s History Alliance is leading the drive to celebrate women’s historic achievement throughout 2021.

Source: The National Women's History Alliance

2020-2021 Honorees

2020 Theme: Valient Women of the Vote

In recognition of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, we honor women from the original suffrage movement, as well as 20th and 21st century women, who have continued the struggle (fighting against poll taxes, literacy tests, voter roll purges, and other more contemporary forms of voter suppression) to ensure voting rights for all.

Source: The National Women's History Alliance

Living Honorees:

  • Maria Teresa Kumar - CEO, Voto Latino 
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton - Civil Rights Leader, Congressperson, Lawyer and Organizer
  • Terry Ao Minnis - Senior Director of the Census and Voting Programs, Asian Americans Advancing Justice
  • Edith Mayo - Suffrage Historian, Women’s History Movement Activist

Deceased Honorees:

  • Lucy Burns (1879-1966) - American Woman Suffrage Activist
  • Carrie Chapman Catt (1859-1947) - American Woman Suffrage Activist
  • Wilhelmina Kekelaokalaninui Widemann Dowsett (1861-1929) - Suffragist and Founder of the National Women’s Equal Suffrage Association of Hawai’i
  • Ana Roqué de Duprey (1853-1933) - Suffragist and Co-founder of the University of Puerto Rico  
  • Elizabeth Piper Ensley (1847-1919) - Educator and African-American Suffragist
  • Marie Foster (1917-2003) - Civil Rights Leader
  • Dr. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee (1896-1966) - Suffragist, member of the Women’s Political Equality League 
  • Virginia Louisa Minor (1824-1894) - American Women Suffrage Activist
  • Dr. Anna Howard Shaw (1847-1919) - American Woman Suffrage Activist

2019 Theme: Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Nonviolence

The women honored this year have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society. These Honorees embraced the fact that the means determine the ends and so developed nonviolent methods to ensure just and peaceful results. 

Source: The National Women's History Alliance

Living Honorees:

  • Kathy Kelly - Co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence
  • Zainab Salbi - Founder and Former CEO of Women for Women International
  • Graciela Sanchez - Co-founder and Director of the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center
  • Deborah Tucker - President of the Board of Directors of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Dr. E. Faye Williams - President/CEO of the National Congress of Black Women
  • Sister Alice Zachmann - Founder and former Director of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission USA

Deceased Honorees:

  • Elise Boulding (1920-2010) - Creator of Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Sarah Brady (1942-2015) - Gun Control Advocate
  • Dorothy Cotton (1930-2018) - Civil Rights, Activist
  • Peace Pilgrim (1908-1981) - Spiritual Leader and Peace Activist
  • Mary Burnett Talbert (1866-1923) - Anti-Lynching Activist, Orator, and Suffragist

2018 Theme: Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

Nevertheless She Persisted: This phrase was born in February 2017 when Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, was silenced during Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing for Attorney General. At the time, Warren was reading an opposition letter penned by Coretta Scott King (a past NWHP honoree) in 1986. Referring to the incident, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, later said “Senator Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless she persisted.” Feminists immediately adopted the phrase in hashtags and memes to refer to any strong women who refuse to be silenced. Fighting all forms of discrimination against women takes persistence. The 2018 honorees have all gotten the message to stop, either directly or indirectly, yet they have all continued to fight and succeeded in bringing positive change to the lives of diverse American women.

This content is from National Women's History Project.


2017 Theme: Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business

This year's theme honors women who have successfully challenged the role of women in both business and the paid labor force. Women have always worked, but often their work has been undervalued and unpaid. The 2017 Honorees represent many diverse backgrounds, and each made her mark in a different field. Additionally, the Honorees’ work and influence spans three centuries of America’s history. These women all successfully challenged the social and legal structures that have kept women’s labor under appreciated and underpaid. (National Women's History Project)


2016 Theme: Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government

The 2016 theme honors 16 women who have formed America's history or are currently affecting the future through their commitment to public service and government leadership. These women leaders faced great odds, but collaborated with others to create inclusive and non-partisan solutions. The tenacity of each Honoree underlines the fact that women from all cultural backgrounds and in all levels of public service and government are essential in the continuing work of forming a more perfect union.

Source: National Women's History Project


2015 Theme: Weaving the Stories of Women's Lives

The 2015 theme presents honorees that weave women's stories into the fabric of our nation's history. Accounts of the lives of individual women are important because they reveal role models who share a broader view of what a woman can do. Knowing women's achievements challenges stereotypes and upends social assumptions about who women are can what they can accomplish today.

The nine women nominated to be the 2015 National Women’s History Month Honorees have contributed to the work of, "writing women back into history." Collectively, these women have co-authored or edited more than 60 books and represent the depth and breadth of the multicultural female experience.

Source: National Women's History Project


1987-2014 Themes

1987: "Generations of Courage, Compassion, and Conviction"

1988: "Reclaiming the Past, Rewriting the Future"

1989: "Heritage of Strength and Vision"

1990: "Courageous Voices – Echoing in Our Lives"

1991: "Nurturing Tradition, Fostering Change"

1992: "A Patchwork of Many Lives"

1993: "Discover a New World"

1994: "In Every Generation, Action Frees Our Dreams"

1995: "Promises to Keep"

1996: "See History in a New Way"

1997: "A Fine and Long Tradition of Community Leadership"

1998: "Living the Legacy"

1999: "Women Putting Our Stamp on America"

2000: "An Extraordinary Century for Women 1900–2000"

2001: "Celebrating Women of Courage and Vision"

2002: "Women Sustaining the American Spirit"

2003: "Women Pioneering the Future"

2004: "Women Inspiring Hope and Possibility"

2005: "Women Change America"

2006: "Women, Builders of Communities and Dreams"

2007: "Generations of Women Moving History Forward"

2008: "Women's Art Women's Vision"

2009: "Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet"

2010: "Writing Women Back into History"

2011: "Our History is Our Strength"

2012: "Women's Education – Women's Empowerment"

2013: "Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination:Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics"

2014: "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment"