Women’s History Month 2023 (March). Women’s History Month 2023 Theme “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories
Ronning Against Cancer in March 2023
Women's History Month, in March, is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and their accomplishments throughout history and in contemporary society.
Growing out of a small-town school event in California, Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society. The United States has observed it annually throughout the month of March since 1987.
Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Storiesis the theme for National Women’s History Month 2023.
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.
As in previous years, the Alliance, which is centered in Santa Rosa, California, will encourage local communities throughout the country to use the year’s theme to guide their own celebrations. The NWHA will popularize national efforts through on-line celebrations, a special magazine and thematic products that recognize and honor these brave, accomplished and influential women who told – and continue to tell – our stories. Today and over the years ahead, their dedication and shared desire to give voice to the voiceless are critical to keeping us informed, entertained and aware.
Women’s History Month 2020 theme celebrates the women who have fought for woman’s right to vote in the United States. In recognition of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, we will 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.
The National Women’s History Alliance selects and publishes the yearly theme. The theme for Women's History Month in 2021 captures the spirit of these challenging times. Since many of the women's suffrage centennial celebrations originally scheduled for 2020 were curtailed, the National Women's History Alliance is extending the annual theme for 2021 to "Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.”
The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women's constitutional right to vote. This historic centennial offers an unparalleled opportunity to commemorate a milestone of democracy and to explore its relevance to the issues of equal rights today. The Women's Vote Centennial Initiative, a collaboration of women-centered institutions, organizations, and scholars from across the US, works to ensure that this anniversary, and the 72-year fight to achieve it, are commemorated and celebrated throughout the United States.
2017 National Women’s History Month Honorees
Ronning AgainstCancer in March 2017
Maria Teresa Kumar CEO, Voto Latino
Maria Teresa Kumar is a Hispanic American Political rights and voting rights activist. Kumar was born in Bogota, Colombia and grew up in Sonoma, California. She attended college at Harvard’s Kennedy University School of Government and the University of California Davis.
Kumar witnessed first-hand how Latinos lack access to services in California and while attending college, Kumar discovered that technology provided a real opportunity to engage youth in civic projects and voting. Specifically, Kumar incorporated social media to connect young voters to the vital information they needed to stay politically conscious. In 2004, Voto Latino was founded and Kumar became the president and CEO of the non-profit, non-partisan organization that was to increase voter registration in Hispanic and Latino communities. With Kumar as president, Voto Latino has registered over a quarter million voters and increased Latino voter turnout. This year the organization announced they are committed to registering 1 million voters by the 2020 election. Recently, Voto Latino has expanded their platform and now provides resources for young people on topics of immigration, healthcare access, and professional development.
Eleanor Holmes Norton Civil Rights Leader, Congressperson, Lawyer and Organizer
Eleanor Holmes Norton is a civil rights leader and political organizer. Her work on voting rights dates back to the 1960s and continues today. Norton earned a bachelor’s degree from Antioch College and master’s and law degrees from Yale University. She currently serves as the Congressional Representative for the District of Columbia.
Norton became active in the civil rights and voting rights movements as a college student. She was an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and participated in Mississippi Freedom Summer, a campaign to register the state’s disenfranchised African American citizens to vote, in 1964.
Terry Ao Minnis Senior Director of the Census and Voting Programs, Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Terry Ao Minnis is a voting rights activist who has dedicated her career to fight for the right to equal access to the ballot. Ao Minnis attended the University of Chicago where she earned her bachelor’s degree in economics. She then continued her education at American University’s Washington College of Law where she received her law degree. She is a key leader on campaigns reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act and has written numerous articles and amicus briefs in support of voting rights.
Edith Mayo Suffrage Historian, Women’s History Movement Activist
Edith Mayo is a historian of the women’s suffrage movement and an activist of the women’s history movement. She is the current curator Emerita for Political History at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Mayo has dedicated her career to making women’s history more accessible and inclusive and to making sure women receive balanced representation in museums. She is well known and widely respected for her work in documenting African American suffragist history.
Lucy Burns (July 28, 1879 – December 22, 1966) American Woman Suffrage Activist
Lucy Burns was an American suffragist and women’s rights advocate. Burns left her studies at Vassar College to join the British suffrage movement as a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). During her time oversees, Burns perfected her suffrage protest tactics.
Carrie Chapman Catt (January 9, 1859 – March 9, 1947) American Woman Suffrage Activist
Carrie Chapman Catt was an activist from Iowa who advocated for suffrage during the second generation of suffragists. Catt was trained in political activism under Susan B. Anthony and played a pivotal role in helping women gain the vote. In 1900, Catt succeeded Susan B. Anthony as President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).
Wilhelmina Kekelaokalaninui Widemann Dowsett (Mar 28, 1861 - Dec 10, 1929)
Suffragist, founder of the National Women’s Equal Suffrage Association of Hawai’i
Wilhelmina Kekelaokalaninui Widemann Dowsett was a fierce advocate for the enfranchisement of all women. After the forced annexation of Hawai’i, suffragists from the mainland saw an opportunity for the newly acquired United States territory to grant women the right to vote.
Ana Roqué de Duprey (April 18, 1853 – 1933)
Suffragist and Co-founder of the University of Puerto Rico
Ana Roqué de Duprey, also known as “Flor del Valle” (Flower of the Valley), was educated in elementary and secondary school teaching. Duprey showed a gift for writing at a very young age and by the age of thirteen had written a textbook on universal geography. Duprey was also recognized for her insight into astronomy and was named an honorary member of the Paris Society of Astronomers. In 1893 she founded Puerto Rico’s first feminist newspaper, La mujer [Woman].
Elizabeth Piper Ensley (1847-1919)
Educator and African-American suffragist
Elizabeth Piper Ensley was a champion of the Woman Suffrage Movement and became a leader in Civil Rights activism. Ensley lived in Washington D.C. and was a professor at Howard University. She eventually moved to Boston where she continued to teach and helped to build a library.
Marie Foster (October 24, 1917 – September 6, 2003)
Civil Rights Leader
Marie Foster was born in rural Wilcox County, Alabama. Because of the overt and non-ending racism Marie Foster faced daily, she became a courageous and unrelenting leader in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s. She worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders in Alabama to secure the right to vote for African Americans.
Dr. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee (1896-1966)
Suffragist, member of the Women’s Political Equality League
Mabel Ping-Hua Lee was born in 1896 in Guangzhou, China. Lee emigrated to the United States and attended Barnard College and Columbia University. Upon earning her Ph.D. in economics in 1921, she became the first woman to obtain a PhD. from Columbia University.
Virginia Louisa Minor (March 27, 1824 – August 14, 1894)
American Women Suffrage Activist
Virginia Louisa Minor was a courageous activist who took an active role in founding the Woman Suffrage Association of Missouri. It was the first organization in the United States to focus on the women’s rights, even predating the National Woman’s Suffrage Association (NWSA) founded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Anna Howard Shaw (February 14, 1847 – July 2, 1919)
American Woman Suffrage Activist
Dr. Anna Howard Shaw was a leader of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States who was especially known for her affiliation with the National American Woman’s Suffrage Association (NAWSA).
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