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U.S. celebrates Women’s History Month 2015

Published March 11, 2015

The United States celebrates Women’s History Month in March in order to highlight and celebrate the many historic and contemporary contributions of women to society. Every year the National Women’s History Project selects a unifying theme and this year’s theme “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives” presents the opportunity to weave women’s stories—individually and collectively—into the fabric of our nation’s history.

While the commemoration of women’s contributions to society can trace its roots back in the 1800s when female factory workers in New York City staged protests over working conditions, Congress only established Women’s History Month in 1987.  Every year since, Congress has passed a resolution for Women’s History Month and the President has issued a proclamation which honors the extraordinary achievements of American women.

2015 is also the 35th anniversary of the Women's History Movement and the National Women's History Project. After decades of dedicated research and technological advances, the stories of American women from all cultures and classes are accessible and visible as never before. Numerous scholars and activists helped shape the Women's History Movement, and also provided the research and energy which created and sustains the National Women's History Project. During 2015, we recognize and celebrate the many ways that women's history has become woven into the fabric of our national story.

   Interesting facts about women:

Women outnumber men in the U.S. There were 161 million females in the U.S. as of December 2013, compared to 156.1 males, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data.  Women outnumbered men 2 to 1 at age 85 and older.

Women in the U.S. earned 78 cents for every dollar than men earned in 2013. The median annual earnings of women 15 or older working fulltime was $39,157, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median annual earnings for men was $50,033.

Women held a record number of chief executive positions in the fourth quarter of 2014. In September, 25 of the “Fortune 500” company CEOs were female, the highest level ever reached, according to the research organization Catalyst.  At 5 percent of all chief executives, that achievement was small compared to women’s 47 percent share of the overall workforce, based on data from the last full U.S. Census count.

Women hold more positions of elected office in the federal government than ever before. Women currently hold 104 of the 535 seats in the 114th Congress, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey. That breaks down to 20 of 100 seats in the Senate and 84 of 435 seats in the House of Representatives.

Women were less than a third of workers creating the programming for broadcast TV networks. Over the last two years, women made up 27 percent of all show creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and directors of photography, according to a 2013-2014 study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film at San Diego State University in California. That represented a 1 percent drop from the previous study, but a 6 percent increase since 1998.