Purple background with multicolored (dark purple, blue, green, white, yellow, orange, red, and pink) polka dots floating around. In the center are three images of women learning/organizing their plans, voting, and being activists for their cause.

Timeline of Women’s History Month Themes

By Allison Schroeder
Web Content Contributor

Since March 1987, the month has historically been known as Women’s History Month around the nation, but did you know that each year there is a theme to Women’s History Month? I surely didn’t. 

I’m surprised that every year we have a month that is dedicated to a theme of women, but some of us don’t even know that the month has a theme each year. 

I feel that it is important to recognize the themes of Women’s History Month over the past few years because the themes honor the struggles women have endured throughout history.  It is also important to commemorate the accomplishments women have achieved in the past and the present to remind ourselves that we too can rise to a challenge.

To recognize the importance of Women’s History Month since its founding, here are the themes from 1987 to 2021.

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 and Nonviolence”

2020 – “Valiant Women of the Vote”

2021 – “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced”

After discovering the themes of previous years’ Women’s History Month, I look forward to finding out what the theme for next year will be. Knowing that each year, the National Women’s History Alliance comes together to find a theme that reflects on our current times, I feel that it is necessary to recognize these themes. 

It is important to study these themes and the women who have walked so we can run.  From Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony helping women gain the right to vote, to Maya Angelou who fought against racism and prejudice, to Ruth Bader Ginsburg who was the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court until her death where she fought for women’s rights and gender equality.

Now let’s think, what’s next for women?

Featured image by Allison Schroeder.

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