Women's History Month

Mois de l'histoire des femmes

Previous Women's History Month Themes

2013

Canadian Women Pioneers: Inspiring Change Through Ongoing Leadership

The theme - Canadian Women Pioneers: Inspiring change through ongoing leadership - highlights the history of women's participation in various fields, such as science, technology and trades, as well as in sectors as diverse as natural resources and construction.

2012

Strong Girls, Strong Canada: Leaders from the Start

The theme for Women's History Month 2012 recognized the important roles that Canadian girls have played as leaders and innovators throughout our history. From community activists to hockey players, entrepreneurs and inventors, girls have been Leaders from the Start.

There is also a growing recognition around the world that support for girls and their basic human rights is a vital ingredient in healthy communities. In other words, Strong Girls will help build a Strong Canada, one that is safe, innovative and prosperous.

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations declared October 11, 2012, the world's first International Day of the Girl. This day aims to make a difference in the lives of girls and young women as citizens and powerful voices for change within their families, their communities and their nations. The Government of Canada led the international community in establishing this day.

La première Journée internationale des filles a inspiré le thème du Mois de l'histoire des femmes de 2012. Pendant tout le mois d'octobre, la population canadienne aura l'occasion d'en apprendre un peu plus sur l'apport des filles à notre pays, de même que sur les défis et possibilités qui ont parsemé leur chemin d'hier à aujourd'hui.

2011

Women in Canadian Military Forces: A Proud Legacy

Women's History Month 2011 recognized women's invaluable contributions to the military in Canada over the years.

Whether as serving members of the armed forces or as civilians providing support roles, women have worked on every front -- on the battlefield, in the air and on the sea; as pilots and peacekeepers; nurses and physicians; war artists and war correspondents; in espionage and engineering. Regardless of the challenges and the risks, women have stepped up to answer the call and Canada's military history is rich with their stories.

During Women's History Month 2011, we honoured Canadian women, past and present, who have done incredible work within and outside the Canadian Forces, taking on great challenges and opening doors so that others may follow.

2010

Recognizing Canadian Women in Business

In 2010 Women's History Month theme celebrated women's important contributions, now and throughout history, to Canadian business. From the earliest farmers, trappers and traders to today's courageous innovators and business leaders, women played a crucial role in our country's prosperity.

The theme acknowledged the full range of women's contributions to our economic growth and development as a nation. As leaders, decisions makers, motivators of change and generators of prosperity, women from all backgrounds profoundly and irreversibly changed the way we do business in Canada.

Canadian women in business are - without a doubt - a driving force behind our country's economic recovery.

Recognizing Canadian Women in Business - honoured the contributions of women in the private sector, and their pivotal role in economic growth and job creation in Canada.

2009

Women in the Lead: Winter Sports

In 2009, our country was in the final stages of preparing to host the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Vancouver. Inspired by the women and girls, past and present, who excel in winter sports, the Government of Canada chose the theme Women in the Lead: Winter Sports.

With the Winter Olympics and Paralympics around the corner, we honoured the women athletes who have followed their dreams to become champions and charted the course for other women athletes to follow - skiers, speed skaters, hockey players, wheelchair curlers, bobsledders, to name just a few.

2008

Women in the Lead

To honour the girls and women in Canada, past and present, who have gone first, who opened doors for others to follow, the Government of Canada chose Women in the Lead as the theme for Women's History Month 2008.

Women in the Lead is an over-arching theme, honouring girls and women of all ages and all backgrounds in virtually every area of human endeavour: sports, agriculture, technological innovation, aeronautics, scholarship and academia, politics and government, the arts and business, to name just a few. By drawing attention to the many extraordinary achievements, past and present, of ordinary girls and women in Canada, we hope not only to raise awareness among Canadians but to inspire future generations to make history.

2007

Celebrating Immigrant Women in Canada

The objectives of Women's History Month 2007 are to make Canadians aware of women immigrants to Canada and of the significance of citizenship to women in Canada - a theme that reflects the fact that 2007 is the 60th anniversary of Canadian citizenship.

The Government of Canada, with Citizenship and Immigration Canada taking the lead, is recognized this milestone with special events and activities throughout 2007. In honour of this anniversary, Women's History Month 2007 celebrated the achievements of immigrant women in Canada and their contributions to building this country.

2006

Aboriginal Women: The Journey Forward

The objectives of Women's History Month 2006 were to make Canadians aware of Aboriginal women's contributions to Canada, to their communities and to their families. It was also intended to promote understanding of the realities of Aboriginal women's lives and the unique challenges they face.

This year marked a number of significant anniversaries: the 25th anniversary of Canada's ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and the 10th anniversary of the release of the final report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, People to People, Nation to Nation.

2005

Women and War: Contributions and Consequences

This year marked the 60th Anniversary of Victory in Europe and Victory in Japan Day, the end of World War II. As part of this commemoration, the Government of Canada has declared 2005 the Year of the Veteran.

Throughout history, the women of Canada have made countless contributions to both the war effort and the peace movement. Knowing all too well the consequences of war, women have made great strides in providing a voice for victims - the majority of whom are often women and children. This year's Women's History Month theme examined the role of women in Canada, in times of war, conflict and peace-making: as they strive for recognition as contributing members of Canadian society; as they work toward peaceful solutions to conflict; and as they struggle to become world leaders in advancing human rights.

2004

Yes, Women are Persons!

It is such an obvious statement, yet in 1929, "women as persons" was a hotly contended issue, giving rise to the Persons Case, headed up by the Famous Five. Although the results of the case only recognized women as "persons qualified" for appointment to the Senate, the media at the time declared "Women are Persons!" With those words emblazoned on broadsheets across the country, more and more women began to question their role in society and their contributions to Canada. Following the example of the Famous Five, women become involved in roles that were not traditionally their own.

The 75th Anniversary of the Persons Case is an excellent opportunity to highlight the important contribution of women to Canadian society and the vital role that they play in shaping the country's future.

2003

What do you mean, women couldn't vote?

Today, the lives of Canadians are filled with many examples of the gains that women have made throughout history. Women have access to higher education; they can work, earn money and own property; they have the right to counseling about, and the use of, contraception; and they have the right to vote and to run for elected office. However, sometimes these liberties and rights that our foremothers struggled to win are taken for granted. Women's History Month is an ideal opportunity to encourage young Canadians to look back at the past and understand how far we've come. Tomorrow's leaders need to ask the question "What would it be like if no one had ever stood up for women's rights?" By becoming familiar with our history and taking pride in women's accomplishments, all Canadians can work together to achieve the goal of full equality for women.

2002

Women and Sports - Champions Forever!

The theme for Women's History Month 2002 was Women and Sports - Champions Forever! Today, more than ever before, girls and women are free to participate in all kinds of sports. Just think of the number of medals brought home by our female athletes from the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and Paralympics in Salt Lake City. However, we must not take this success for granted because not too long ago, running shoes and playing fields were for men only. In 2002, SWC invited Canadians to take a journey of discovery through the fascinating history of women in the world of sport and to celebrate the achievements of Canada's pioneer sportswomen.

2001

In Praise of Canadian Women Volunteers

The theme for Women's History Month 2001 was In Praise of Canadian Women Volunteers. The United Nations declared 2001 International Year of Volunteers. The 2001 WHM theme celebrated key accomplishments in Canadian history by women volunteers. It also acknowledged outstanding volunteer women's organizations who influenced the evolution of Canadian society through volunteering.

2000

Making History, Building Futures: Women of the 20th Century

The theme for Women's History Month 2000 was Making History, Building Futures: Women of the 20th Century. With this theme, Status of Women Canada (SWC) honoured women across the country for their outstanding contributions to the evolution of Canadian Society and the conditions of women over the past century.

1999

Yesterday and Today, Francophone Women in Canada.

The theme for Women's History Month 1999 was Yesterday and Today, Francophone Women in Canada.

1998

Canadian Women - Making an Impact

The theme for Women's History Month 1998 was Canadian Women - Making an Impact.