3 Things You Need to Know About the History of Women's History Month

We're gearing up for Women's History Month here at Girls With Ideas and we just realized something we're a little embarrassed to admit...we don't know how it all started!!!  So, with girl-power on our minds and Google at our fingertips, let's talk about how Women's History Month began!

3 Things You Need to Know About the History of Women's History Month from  www.girls  withideas.com

Women's History Month: The Mission

According to history.com, Women's History Month "is a celebration of women's contributions to history, culture and society."

Women's History Month: A History Lesson

Women's History Month was inspired by what we now know as International Women's Day.

Long story short: it started as a day, developed into a week, and then Congress made it a whole month (um, we think a whole year isn't enough time to celebrate how amazing girls are, but we'll do what we can in 31 days!).  Every single year, a Presidential Proclamation is signed that declares March Women's History Month again!


1909: First observance of a Women's Day in New York

1911: First International Women's Day

1975: The United Nations adopts International Women's Day

1978: Women's History Week started by the School District of Sonoma, California

1979: A 15-day conference on women's history was sponsored by the Women's Action Alliance, the Smithsonian Institution, and Sarah Lawrence College

1980: A presidential proclamation declares National Women's History Week during the week of March 8

From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.
— President Jimmy Carter's Presidential Proclamation, founding National Women's History Week

1981: Women's History Week is passed through Congress for the first time. It is passed year after year for several more years.

1987: Congress is petitioned by the National Women's History Project and passes the first Women's History Month. The acting President has issued annual proclamations declaring March as Women's History Month ever since!

2011: President Obama released Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being, the first comprehensive report on women since 1963

Women's History Month: Themes

The National Women's History Alliance identifies a theme and honorees each year.

The 2019 theme is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.”

This theme was made to honor women that have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice through nonviolent strategies.

Here is a list of the incredible honorees for this year.

You can also download a crossword about influential women here.

“For generations, women have resolved conflicts in their homes, schools, and communities. They have rejected violence as counterproductive and stressed the need to restore respect, establish justice, and reduce the causes of conflict as the surest way to peace. From legal defense and public education to direct action and civil disobedience, women have expanded the American tradition of using inclusive, democratic and active means to reduce violence, achieve peace, and promote the common good.”
— National Women's History Alliance

Here are a few cool things you could pick up to celebrate this theme for you or the Idea Girl in your life.

The 2018 theme was “Nevertheless She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.”

We LOVED this theme last year! Celebrate this idea by picking up some awesome swag for yourself or for the girl you want to persist!

Themes By Year

  • 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"

  • 2015: "Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives"

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

  • 2017: "Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business"

  • 2018: "Nevertheless She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women"

  • 2019: “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence

Disclosure: This post incorporates affiliate links for the amazing items that we love. Girls With Ideas is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.