Women's History Month is underway, and we're excited to celebrate the ground-breaking contributions of amazing women to communities nationwide. Originating as Women's History Week in 1981, March was officially dedicated to honoring women's achievements in 1987. And AARP joins in the nation in celebrating women for their leadership, mentoring, and dedication to their communities in ways that have changed the course of history.
Notable Women Within AARP
On a long list of ground-breaking women, we're honored to look within AARP to recognize our founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. In 1958, Dr. Andrus established AARP with the belief that older individuals had the power to improve their lives and lead social change, and she gave a voice to a generation that often struggled to be heard. She considered aging to be a victory and a goal to achieve. Her determination to amplify the presence of older adults has since transformed AARP into one of the largest nonprofits in the world.
Another honorable woman within AARP is our current CEO, Jo Ann Jenkins, who became the first Black woman to lead the organization. Since joining the organization’s leadership team in 2010 and leading AARP since 2014, Jo Ann has helped redefine its vision, challenge outdated beliefs and spark new insights on health, wealth and self that allow people to adapt to the new realities of aging and personal fulfillment.
She's also responsible for spearheading AARP's Disrupt Aging effort, which has helped redefine what being 50 and older looks like in America. Jo Ann helps to change the stories we tell ourselves about aging through new solutions that help us age differently.
"This whole notion of what you should or should not do at 50 or 60 or 70 should be left up to the individual, not to societal expectations," she says.
The National Women's History Alliance
Every year for Women's History Month, the National Women's History Alliance (NWHA) designates a yearly theme to celebrate the dynamic achievements of women. The 2023 theme, "Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories," recognizes women in every community who have devoted their lives and talents to producing art and pursuing truth. These women of the past and present have been active in all forms of media and storytelling, including print, radio, TV, stage, screen, blogs, podcasts, news and social media.
How You Can Celebrate
There are events taking place across the country that honor the heroic women who have changed the world. No Longer Hidden, a virtual event powered by AARP, highlights pioneering women who have fought for women's rights, racial equality and defined the worlds of science, mathematics, aviation and more.
Check your AARP local events calendar for activities in your community and state.
JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR