Women are powerful. Women are inspiring. And honestly, it seems like women are the glue that holds the world together. Every March, we celebrate Women’s History Month, including the contributions that women have made to society to the impact we’re making on the world around us. Let’s look at how the tradition started, some women of note, and the theme for 2023.
Looking Back at History
Women weren’t always celebrated for the full month of March; in fact, it first began as a single day. According to the International Women’s Day website, it all started in 1908 in New York City. That’s when thousands of women got together and marched through the streets, fighting for women’s rights, including the right to vote. This led to the first official National Women’s Day being celebrated on February 28, 1909.
In 1978, Women’s History Week was started in a school district in Sonoma, California. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter took that concept and turned it into a national week-long holiday, which took place the week of March 8. Finally, in 1987, Women’s History Month officially started, according to History.com.
Each year, the National Women’s History Alliance sets a theme for Women’s History Month. This year, it’s “Celebrating Women Who Tell Stories.” According to their website, the theme encourages us to recognize “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.” That seems especially meaningful to those of us at Prime Women who work to create content that tells the story of health, wellness, and empowerment to our audience.
We recently published an article about some prominent Black women poets for Black History Month. Check it out to learn more about women like Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison, who will undoubtedly go down as some of the greatest in the annals of time. And learn more about recent international phenom Amanda Gorman, who shot to fame after reading the poem for the 2021 presidential inauguration.
It’s not just in poetry that we’ve seen the rise of women. We’re witnessing history with Kamala Harris being elected the first female Vice President of the United States. We’ve got four female supreme court justices, and the 118th congress has a record number of women, with 153 total. While that only accounts for 28% of all seats, it’s a vast improvement over the numbers from just a decade ago. A record 128 women are serving in the newly elected House, accounting for 29% of the chamber’s total, and there are 25 women in the Senate – accounting for a quarter of the seats. While it’s still far below the share of women in the US population, it’s a move in the right direction.
How You Can Celebrate
If you took the time to watch the Golden Globe awards on January 10 (or saw replays or read about it), my favorite moment of the night was watching Jamie Lee Curtis celebrate her castmates’ accomplishments, notably Michelle Yeoh’s history-making win for Best Female Actor in a Leading Role. Her enthusiasm was contagious – it was a celebration that was pure and full of honest emotion – all in the name of celebrating exceptional women in her life.
This month: be a Jamie Lee Curtis. Celebrate those around you with enthusiasm and unbridled passion. Because while we’re strong on our own, we’re unstoppable when we join together.
Throughout the month of March (and beyond), we encourage you to celebrate women’s history by celebrating each other: empowering the women around you and building each other up. If you can, shop at female-founded businesses, especially on March 8, which is still officially International Women’s Day. Also, celebrate the motivating women around you and in your life. And most importantly, take a moment to recognize what a powerful woman you are and appreciate yourself a bit more.
Happy Women’s History Month!