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Women's history

women's history month 2018, women's history month
Women's history is the study of the role that women have played in history and the methods required to do so It includes the study of the history of the growth of woman's rights throughout recorded history, the examination of individual and groups of women of historical significance, and the effect that historical events have had on women Inherent in the study of women's history is the belief that more traditional recordings of history have minimized or ignored the contributions of women and the effect that historical events had on women as a whole; in this respect, women's history is often a form of historical revisionism, seeking to challenge or expand the traditional historical consensus

The main centers of scholarship have been the United States and Britain, where second-wave feminist historians, influenced by the new approaches promoted by social history, led the way As activists in women's liberation, discussing and analyzing the oppression and inequalities they experienced as women, they believed it imperative to learn about the lives of their foremothers—and found very little scholarship in print History was written mainly by men and about men's activities in the public sphere—war, politics, diplomacy and administration Women are usually excluded and, when mentioned, are usually portrayed in sex-stereotypical roles such as wives, mothers, daughters and mistresses The study of history is value-laden in regard to what is considered historically "worthy" Other aspects of this area of study is the differences in women's lives caused by race, economic status, social status, and various other aspects of society


  • 1 Regions
    • 11 Europe
      • 111 Great Britain
      • 112 France
        • 1121 Pre-revolution
        • 1122 Education for girls
      • 113 Germany
    • 12 Eastern Europe
      • 121 Russia
    • 13 Asia and Pacific
      • 131 China
        • 1311 Tibet
      • 132 Japan
      • 133 Australia and New Zealand
    • 14 Middle East
    • 15 Africa
    • 16 Americas
      • 161 United States
      • 162 Canada
  • 2 Themes
    • 21 Rights and equality
    • 22 Capitalism
    • 23 Employment
    • 24 Marriage ages
    • 25 Sex and reproduction
    • 26 Clothing
    • 27 Status
    • 28 Roaring Twenties
    • 29 Great Depression
    • 210 Religion
  • 3 Warfare
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 Further reading
    • 61 World
      • 611 Primary sources
    • 62 Ancient
    • 63 Asia
      • 631 China
      • 632 India
    • 64 Europe
      • 641 Primary sources: Europe
    • 65 Canada
    • 66 United States
      • 661 Surveys
      • 662 US Historiography
      • 663 Primary sources: US
    • 67 Historiography
  • 7 External links



Changes came in the 19th and 20th centuries; for example, for women the right to equal pay is now enshrined in law Women traditionally ran the household, bore and reared the children, were nurses, mothers, wives, neighbors, friends, and teachers During periods of war, women were drafted into the labor market to undertake work that had been traditionally restricted to men Following the wars, they invariably lost their jobs in industry and had to return to domestic and service roles

Great Britain

Main article: History of women in the United Kingdom

The history of Scottish women in the late 19th century and early 20th century was not fully developed as a field of study until the 1980s In addition, most work on women before 1700 has been published since 1980 Several recent studies have taken a biographical approach, but other work has drawn on the insights from research elsewhere to examine such issues as work, family, religion, crime, and images of women Scholars are also uncovering women's voices in their letters, memoirs, poetry, and court records Because of the late development of the field, much recent work has been recuperative, but increasingly the insights of gender history, both in other countries and in Scottish history after 1700, are being used to frame the questions that are asked Future work should contribute both to a reinterpretation of the current narratives of Scottish history and also to a deepening of the complexity of the history of women in late medieval and early modern Britain and Europe

In Ireland studies of women, and gender relationships more generally, had been rare before 1990; they now are commonplace with some 3000 books and articles in print


Further information: Women in the French Revolution

French historians have taken a unique approach: there has been extensive scholarship in women's and gender history despite the lack of women's and gender study programs or departments at the university level But approaches used by other academics in the research of broadly based social histories has been applied to the field of women's history as well The high level of research and publication in women's and gender history is due to the high interest within French society The structural discrimination in academia against the subject of gender history in France is changing due to the increase in international studies following the formation of the European Union, and more French scholars seeking appointments outside Europe


In the Ancien Régime in France, few women held any formal power; some queens did, as did the heads of Catholic convents In the Enlightenment, the writings of philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau provided a political program for reform of the ancien régime, founded on a reform of domestic mores Rousseau's conception of the relations between private and public spheres is more unified than that found in modern sociology Rousseau argued that the domestic role of women is a structural precondition for a "modern" society

Salic law prohibited women from rule; however, the laws for the case of a regency, when the king was too young to govern by himself, brought the queen into the centre of power The queen could ensure the passage of power from one king to another—from her late husband to her young son—while simultaneously assuring the continuity of the dynasty

Education for girls

Educational aspirations were on the rise and were becoming increasingly institutionalised in order to supply the church and state with the functionaries to serve as their future administrators Girls were schooled too, but not to assume political responsibility Girls were ineligible for leadership positions and were generally considered to have an inferior intellect to their brothers France had many small local schools where working-class children - both boys and girls - learned to read, the better "to know, love, and serve God" The sons and daughters of the noble and bourgeois elites were given gender-specific educations: boys were sent to upper school, perhaps a university, while their sisters - if they were lucky enough to leave the house - would be sent to board at a convent with a vague curriculum The Enlightenment challenged this model, but no real alternative was presented for female education Only through education at home were knowledgeable women formed, usually to the sole end of dazzling their salons


Main articles: History of German women, Women in Germany, Feminism in Germany, and History of Germany

Before the 19th century, young women lived under the economic and disciplinary authority of their fathers until they married and passed under the control of their husbands In order to secure a satisfactory marriage, a woman needed to bring a substantial dowry In the wealthier families, daughters received their dowry from their families, whereas the poorer women needed to work in order to save their wages so as to improve their chances to wed Under the German laws, women had property rights over their dowries and inheritances, a valuable benefit as high mortality rates resulted in successive marriages Before 1789, the majority of women lived confined to society’s private sphere, the home

The Age of Reason did not bring much more for women: men, including Enlightenment aficionados, believed that women were naturally destined to be principally wives and mothers Within the educated classes, there was the belief that women needed to be sufficiently educated to be intelligent and agreeable interlocutors to their husbands However, the lower-class women were expected to be economically productive in order to help their husbands make ends meet

In the newly founded German State 1871, women of all social classes were politically and socially disenfranchised The code of social respectability confined upper class and bourgeois women to their homes They were considered socially and economically inferior to their husbands The unmarried women were ridiculed, and the ones who wanted to avoid social descent could work as unpaid housekeepers living with relatives; the most able could work as governesses or they could become nuns

A significant number of middle-class families became impoverished between 1871 and 1890 as the pace of industrial growth was uncertain, and women had to earn money in secret by sewing or embroidery to contribute to the family income In 1865, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Frauenverein ADF was founded as an umbrella organisation for women's associations, demanding rights to education, employment and political participation Three decades later, the Bund Deutscher Frauenverbände BDF replaced ADF and excluded from membership the proletarian movement that was part of the earlier group The two movements had differing views concerning women's place in society, and accordingly, they also had different agendas The bourgeois movement made important contributions to the access of women to education and employment mainly office-based and teaching The proletarian movement, on the other hand, developed as a branch of the Social Democratic Party As factory jobs became available for women, they campaigned for equal pay and equal treatment In 1908 German women won the right to join political parties, and in 1918 they were finally granted the right to vote The emancipation of women in Germany was to be challenged in following years

Historians have paid special attention to the efforts by Nazi Germany to reverse the political and social gains that women made before 1933, especially in the relatively liberal Weimar Republic The role of women in Nazi Germany changed according to circumstances Theoretically the Nazis believed that women must be subservient to men, avoid careers, devote themselves to childbearing and child-rearing, and be helpmates to the traditional dominant fathers in the traditional family But, before 1933, women played important roles in the Nazi organisation and were allowed some autonomy to mobilise other women After Hitler came to power in 1933, the activist women were replaced by bureaucratic women, who emphasised feminine virtues, marriage, and childbirth

As Germany prepared for war, large numbers of women were incorporated into the public sector and, with the need for full mobilisation of factories by 1943, all women were required to register with the employment office Hundreds of thousands of women served in the military as nurses and support personnel, and another hundred thousand served in the Luftwaffe, especially helping to operate the anti—aircraft systems Women's wages remained unequal and women were denied positions of leadership or control

More than two million women were murdered in the Holocaust The Nazi ideology viewed women generally as agents of fertility Accordingly, it identified the Jewish woman as an element to be exterminated to prevent the rise of future generations For these reasons, the Nazis treated women as prime targets for annihilation in the Holocaust

Eastern Europe

Interest in the study of women's history in Eastern Europe has been delayed Representative is Hungary, where the historiography has been explored by Petö and Szapor 2007 Academia resisted incorporating this specialised field of history, primarily because of the political atmosphere and a lack of institutional support Before 1945, historiography dealt chiefly with nationalist themes that supported the antidemocratic political agenda of the state After 1945, academia reflected a Soviet model Instead of providing an atmosphere in which women could be the subjects of history, this era ignored the role of the women's rights movement in the early 20th century The collapse of Communism in 1989 was followed by a decade of promising developments in which biographies of prominent Hungarian women were published, and important moments of women's political and cultural history were the subjects of research However, the quality of this scholarship was uneven and failed to take advantage of the methodological advances in research in the West In addition, institutional resistance continued, as evidenced by the lack of undergraduate or graduate programs dedicated to women's and gender history at Hungarian universities


Main article: Feminism in Russia

Women's history in Russia started to become important in the Czarist era, and concern was shown in the consciousness and writing of Alexander Pushkin During the Soviet Era, feminism was developed along with ideals of equality, but in practice and in domestic arrangements, men often dominate

By the 1990s new periodicals, especially Casus and Odysseus: Dialogue with Time, Adam and Eve stimulated women's history and, more recently, gender history Using the concept of gender has shifted the focus from women to socially and culturally constructed notions of sexual difference It has led to deeper debates on historiography and hold a promise of stimulating the development of a new "general" history able to integrate personal, local, social, and cultural history

Asia and Pacific

General overviews of women in Asian history are scarce, since most specialists focus on China, Japan, India, Korea or another traditionally defined region


Published work generally deals with women as visible participants in revolution, employment as vehicles for women's liberation, Confucianism and the cultural concept of family as sources of women's oppression While rural marriage rituals, such as bride price and dowry, have remained the same in form, their function has changed This reflects the decline of the extended family and the growth in women's agency in the marriage transaction In recent scholarship in China, the concept of gender has yielded a bounty of new knowledge in English- and Chinese-language writings

Ladies of a Mandarin's Family at Cards, Thomas Allom; G N Wright 1843 China, in a Series of Views, Displaying the Scenery, Architecture, and Social Habits of That Ancient Empire Volume 3 p 18

Zhongguo fu nü sheng huo shi simplified Chinese: 中国妇女生活史; traditional Chinese: 中國婦女生活史; pinyin: Zhōngguó Fùnǚ Shēnghuó Shǐ; literally: "Chinese Women's Life History" is a historical book written by Chen Dongyuan in 1928 and published by The Commercial Press in 1937 The book, the first to give a systematic introduction to women's history in China, has strongly influenced further research in this field

The book sheds a light on Chinese women's life ranging from ancient times prior to Zhou Dynasty to the Republic of China In the book, sections are separated based on dynasties in China Sections are divided into segments to introduce different themes, such as marriage, feudal ethical codes, education for women, virtues, positions, concept of chastity, foot-binding and women’s rights movement in modern China Inspired by the anti-traditional thoughts in New Culture Movement, the author devoted much effort to disclosing and denouncing the unfairness and suppression in culture, institutions and life that victimize women in China According to the book, women’s conditions are slightly improved until modern China in the Preface of the book, the author writes: since women in China are always subject to abuse, the history of women is, naturally the history of abuse of women in China The author revealed the motivation: the book intends to explain how the principle of women being inferior to men evolves; how the abuse to women is intensified over time; and how the misery on women’s back experience the history change The author wants to promote women’s liberation by revealing the political and social suppression of women

Mann 2009 explores how Chinese biographers have depicted women over two millennia 221 BCE to 1911, especially during the Han dynasty Zhang Xuecheng, Sima Qian, and Zhang Huiyan and other writers often study women of the governing class, and their representation in domestic scenes of death in the narratives and in the role of martyrs


The historiography of women in the history of Tibet confronts the suppression of women's histories in the social narratives of an exiled community McGranahan 2010 examines the role of women in the 20th century, especially during the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet She studies women in the Tibetan resistance army, the subordination of women in a Buddhist society, and the persistent concept of menstrual blood as a contaminating agent 1998


Japanese girl playing on gekin, Baron Raimund von Stillfried und Rathenitz 1839–1911

Japanese women's history was marginal to historical scholarship until the late 20th century The subject hardly existed before 1945, and, even after that date, many academic historians were reluctant to accept women's history as a part of Japanese history The social and political climate of the 1980s in particular, favorable in many ways to women, gave opportunities for Japanese women's historiography and also brought the subject fuller academic recognition Exciting and innovative research on Japanese women's history began in the 1980s Much of this has been conducted not only by academic women's historians, but also by freelance writers, journalists, and amateur historians; that is, by people who have been less restricted by traditional historical methods and expectations The study of Japanese women's history has become accepted as part of the traditional topics

Australia and New Zealand

Further information: Women's suffrage in Australia, Feminism in Australia, ], Women's suffrage in New Zealand, and Feminism in New Zealand

With a handful of exceptions, there was little serious history of women in Australia or New Zealand before the 1970s

A pioneering study was Patricia Grimshaw, Women's Suffrage in New Zealand 1972, explaining how that remote colony became the first country in the world to give women the vote Women's history as an academic discipline emerged in the mid-1970s, typified by Miriam Dixson, The Real Matilda: Woman and Identity in Australia, 1788 to the Present 1976 The first studies were compensatory, filling in the vacuum where women had been left out In common with developments in the United States and Britain, there was a movement toward gender studies, with a field dominated by feminists

Other important topics include demography and family history Of recent importance are studies of the role of women on the homefront, and in military service, during world wars See Australian women in World War I and Australian women in World War II

Middle East

In the 1980s scholarship began to appear on topics regarding the Middle East


Main article: Women in Africa

Numerous short studies have appeared for women's history in African nations Several surveys have appeared that put the sub-Sahara Africa in the context of women's history

There are numerous studies for specific countries and regions, such as Nigeria and Lesotho

Scholars have turned their imagination to innovative sources for the history of African women, such as songs from Malawi, weaving techniques in Sokoto, and historical linguistics


United States

Main article: History of women in the United States

Apart from individual women, working largely on their own, the first organized systematic efforts to develop women's history came from the United Daughters of the Confederacy UDC in the early 20th century It coordinated efforts across the South to tell the story of the women on the Confederate homefront, while the male historians spent their time with battles and generals The women emphasized female activism, initiative, and leadership They reported that when all the men left for war, the women took command, found ersatz and substitute foods, rediscovered their old traditional skills with the spinning wheel when factory cloth became unavailable, and ran all the farm or plantation operations They faced danger without having menfolk in the traditional role of their protectors Historian Jacquelyn Dowd Hall argues that the UDC was a powerful promoter of women's history:

UDC leaders were determined to assert women's cultural authority over virtually every representation of the region's past This they did by lobbying for state archives and museums, national historic sites, and historic highways; compiling genealogies; interviewing former soldiers; writing history textbooks; and erecting monuments, which now moved triumphantly from cemeteries into town centers More than half a century before women's history and public history emerged as fields of inquiry and action, the UDC, with other women's associations, strove to etch women's accomplishments into the historical record and to take history to the people, from the nursery and the fireside to the schoolhouse and the public square

The work of women scholars was ignored by the male-dominated history profession until the 1960s, when the first breakthroughs came Gerda Lerner in 1963 offered the first regular college course in women's history The field of women's history exploded dramatically after 1970, along with the growth of the new social history and the acceptance of women into graduate programs in history departments In 1972, Sarah Lawrence College began offering a Master of Arts Program in Women’s History, founded by Gerda Lerner, that was the first American graduate degree in the field Another important development was to integrate women into the history of race and slavery A pioneer effort was Deborah Gray White's 'Ar'n't I a Woman Female Slaves in the Plantation South 1985, which helped to open up analysis of race, slavery, abolitionism and feminism, as well as resistance, power, and activism, and themes of violence, sexualities, and the body A major trend in recent years has been to emphasize a global perspective Although the word "women" is the eighth most commonly used word in abstracts of all historical articles in North America, it is only the twenty-third most used word in abstracts of historical articles in other regions Furthermore, "gender" appears about twice as frequently in American history abstracts compared to abstracts covering the rest of the world In 1995, Garland Booker took oath, as the Chaplain, of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Inc, after being initiated into the Beta Alpha Chapter of DST, Fall 1991, at Florida A & M University

In recent years, historians of women have reached out to web-oriented students A pioneering effort and one example of these outreach efforts is the website "Women and Social Movements in the United States," maintained by Kathryn Kish Sklar and Thomas Dublin Another example is Click! The Ongoing Feminist Revolution, a digital women's history exhibit produced by Clio Visualizing History


Main articles: History of Canadian women and Feminism in Canada


Rights and equality

Main article: Women's rights

Women's rights refers to the social and human rights of women In the United States, the abolition movements sparked an increased wave of attention to the status of women, but the history of feminism reaches to before the 18th century See protofeminism The advent of the reformist age during the 19th century meant that those invisible minorities or marginalized majorities were to find a catalyst and a microcosm in such new tendencies of reform The earliest works on the so-called "woman question" criticized the restrictive role of women, without necessarily claiming that women were disadvantaged or that men were to blame In Britain, the Feminism movement began in the 19th century and continues in the present day Simone de Beauvoir wrote a detailed analysis of women's oppression in her 1949 treatise The Second Sex It became a foundational tract of contemporary feminism In the late 1960s and early 1970s, feminist movements, such as the one in the United States substantially changed the condition of women in the Western world One trigger for the revolution was the development of the birth control pill in 1960, which gave women access to easy and reliable contraception in order to conduct family planning


Women's historians have debated the impact of capitalism on the status of women Taking a pessimistic side, Alice Clark argued that when capitalism arrived in 17th century England, it made a negative impact on the status of women as they lost much of their economic importance Clark argues that in 16th century England, women were engaged in many aspects of industry and agriculture The home was a central unit of production and women played a vital role in running farms, and in some trades and landed estates Their useful economic roles gave them a sort of equality with their husbands However, Clark argues, as capitalism expanded in the 17th century, there was more and more division of labor with the husband taking paid labor jobs outside the home, and the wife reduced to unpaid household work Middle-class and women were confined to an idle domestic existence, supervising servants; lower-class women were forced to take poorly paid jobs Capitalism, therefore, had a negative effect on many women In a more positive interpretation, Ivy Pinchbeck argues that capitalism created the conditions for women's emancipation Tilly and Scott have Emphasize the continuity and the status of women, finding three stages in European history In the preindustrial era, production was mostly for home use and women produce much of the needs of the households The second stage was the "family wage economy" of early industrialization, the entire family depended on the collective wages of its members, including husband, wife and older children The third or modern stage is the "family consumer economy," in which the family is the site of consumption, and women are employed in large numbers in retail and clerical jobs to support rising standards of consumption


Main article: Women in the workforce

The 1870 US Census was the first to count "Females engaged in each and every occupation" and provides a snapshot of women's history It reveals that, contrary to popular myth, not all American women of the Victorian period were "safe" in their middle-class homes or working in sweatshops Women composed 15% of the total work force 18 million out of 125 They made up one-third of factory "operatives," and were concentrated in teaching, as the nation emphasized expanding education; dressmaking, millinery, and tailoring Two-thirds of teachers were women They also worked in iron and steel works 495, mines 46, sawmills 35, oil wells and refineries 40, gas works 4, and charcoal kilns 5, and held such surprising jobs as ship rigger 16, teamster 196, turpentine laborer 185, brass founder/worker 102, shingle and lathe maker 84, stock-herder 45, gun and locksmith 33, hunter and trapper 2 There were five lawyers, 24 dentists, and 2,000 doctors

Marriage ages

Marriage ages of women can be used as an indicator of the position of women in society Women´s age at marriage could influence economic development, partly because women marrying at higher ages had more opportunities to acquire human capital On average, across the world, marriage ages of women have been rising However countries such as Mexico, China, Egypt and Russia have shown a smaller increase in this measure of female empowerment than, for example, Japan

Sex and reproduction

In the history of sex, the social construction of sexual behavior—its taboos, regulation and social and political effects—has had a profound effect on women in the world since prehistoric times Absent assured ways of controlling reproduction, women have practised abortion since ancient times; many societies have also practise infanticide to ensure the survival of older children Historically, it is unclear how often the ethics of abortion induced abortion was discussed in societies In the later half of the 20th century, some nations began to legalize abortion This controversial subject has sparked heated debate and in some cases violence, as different parts of society have differing social and religious ideas about its meaning

Women have been exposed to various tortuous sexual conditions and have been discriminated against in various fashions in history In addition to women being sexual victims of troops in warfare, an institutionalized example was the Japanese military enslaving native women and girls as comfort women in military brothels in Japanese-occupied countries during World War II


Beauties Wearing Flowers, by Tang Dynasty Chinese artist Zhou Fang, 8th century

The social aspects of clothing have revolved around traditions regarding certain items of clothing intrinsically suited different gender roles In different periods, both women's and men's fashions have highlighted one area or another of the body for attention In particular, the wearing of skirts and trousers has given rise to common phrases expressing implied restrictions in use and disapproval of offending behaviour For example, ancient Greeks often considered the wearing of trousers by Persian men as a sign of an effeminate attitude Women's clothing in Victorian fashion was used as a means of control and admiration Reactions to the elaborate confections of French fashion led to various calls for reform on the grounds of both beauty Artistic and Aesthetic dress and health dress reform; especially for undergarments and lingerie Although trousers for women did not become fashionable until the later 20th century, women began wearing men's trousers suitably altered for outdoor work a hundred years earlier In the 1960s, André Courrèges introduced long trousers for women as a fashion item, leading to the era of the pantsuit and designer jeans, and the gradual eroding of the prohibitions against girls and women wearing trousers in schools, the workplace, and fine restaurants Corsets have long been used for fashion, and body modification, such as waistline reduction There were, and are, many different styles and types of corsets, varying depending on the intended use, corset maker's style, and the fashions of the era


The social status of women in the Victoria Era is often seen as an illustration of the striking discrepancy between the nation's power and richness and what many consider its appalling social conditions Victorian morality was full of contradictions A plethora of social movements concerned with improving public morals co-existed with a class system that permitted and imposed harsh living conditions for many, such as women In this period, an outward appearance of dignity and restraint was valued, but the usual "vices" continued, such as prostitution In the Victorian era, the bathing machine was developed and flourished It was a device to allow people to wade in the ocean at beaches without violating Victorian notions of modesty about having "limbs" revealed The bathing machine was part of sea-bathing etiquette that was more rigorously enforced upon women than men

Roaring Twenties

Main article: Roaring Twenties

The Roaring Twenties is a term for society and culture in the 1920s in the Western world It was a period of sustained economic prosperity with a distinctive cultural edge in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, particularly in major cities

Women's suffrage came about in many major countries in the 1920s, including United States, Canada, Great Britain many countries expanded women's voting rights in representative and direct democracies across the world such as, the US, Canada, Great Britain and most major European countries in 1917–21, as well as India This influenced many governments and elections by increasing the number of voters available Politicians responded by spending more attention on issues of concern to women, especially pacifism, public health, education, and the status of children On the whole, women voted much like their menfolk, except they were more pacifistic

The 1920s marked a revolution in fashion The new woman danced, drank, smoked and voted She cut her hair short, wore make-up and partied Sometimes she smoked a cigarette She was known for being giddy and taking risks; she was a flapper More women took jobs making them more independent and free With their desire for freedom and independence came as well change in fashion, welcoming a more comfortable style, where the waistline was just above the hips and loosen, and staying away from the Victorian style with a corset and tight waistline

Great Depression

Main article: Great Depression

With widespread unemployment among men, poverty, and the need to help family members who are in even worse condition, The pressures were heavy on women during the Great Depression across the modern world A primary role was as housewife Without a steady flow of family income, their work became much harder in dealing with food and clothing and medical care The birthrates fell everywhere, as children were postponed until families could financially support them The average birthrate for 14 major countries fell 12% from 193 births per thousand population in 1930, to 170 in 1935 In Canada, half of Roman Catholic women defied Church teachings and used contraception to postpone births

Among the few women in the labor force, layoffs were less common in the white-collar jobs and they were typically found in light manufacturing work However, there was a widespread demand to limit families to one paid job, so that wives might lose employment if their husband was employed Across Britain, there was a tendency for married women to join the labor force, competing for part-time jobs especially

In rural and small-town areas, women expanded their operation of vegetable gardens to include as much food production as possible In the United States, agricultural organizations sponsored programs to teach housewives how to optimize their gardens and to raise poultry for meat and eggs In American cities, African American women quiltmakers enlarged their activities, promoted collaboration, and trained neophytes Quilts were created for practical use from various inexpensive materials and increased social interaction for women and promoted camaraderie and personal fulfillment

Oral history provides evidence for how housewives in a modern industrial city handled shortages of money and resources Often they updated strategies their mothers used when they were growing up in poor families Cheap foods were used, such as soups, beans and noodles They purchased the cheapest cuts of meat—sometimes even horse meat—and recycled the Sunday roast into sandwiches and soups They sewed and patched clothing, traded with their neighbors for outgrown items, and made do with colder homes New furniture and appliances were postponed until better days Many women also worked outside the home, or took boarders, did laundry for trade or cash, and did sewing for neighbors in exchange for something they could offer Extended families used mutual aid—extra food, spare rooms, repair-work, cash loans—to help cousins and in-laws

In Japan, official government policy was deflationary and the opposite of Keynesian spending Consequently, the government launched a nationwide campaign to induce households to reduce their consumption, focusing attention on spending by housewives

In Germany, the government tried to reshape private household consumption under the Four-Year Plan of 1936 to achieve German economic self-sufficiency The Nazi women's organizations, other propaganda agencies and the authorities all attempted to shape such consumption as economic self-sufficiency was needed to prepare for and to sustain the coming war Using traditional values of thrift and healthy living, the organizations, propaganda agencies and authorities employed slogans that called up traditional values of thrift and healthy living However, these efforts were only partly successful in changing the behaviour of housewives


See also: Women as theological figures

The Hindu, Jewish, Sikh, Islamic and Christian views about women have varied throughout the last two millennia, evolving along with or counter to the societies in which people have lived For much of history, the role of women in the life of the church, both local and universal, has been downplayed, overlooked, or simply denied

  • Timeline of women's ordination in America
  • Timeline of women's ordination worldwide
  • Timeline of women in religion in America
  • Timeline of women in religion
  • Timeline of women rabbis in America
  • Timeline of women rabbis worldwide


Main articles: Women and war and History of women in the military See also: Women in the military by country, Women in combat, and Women in the military

Warfare always engaged women as victims and objects of protection During the twentieth century civilian women on the home front became increasingly important in supporting total warfare, as housewives, munitions workers, replacements for men in service, nurses, and combat soldiers

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See also

The following is a list of articles in Wikipedia and outside links where Wikipedia has no relevant articles which are either about women's history, or containing relevant information, often in a "History" section

Days and month of recognition
  • International Women's Day
  • Women's Equality Day
  • Women's History Month
  • List of American women's firsts
  • List of women's firsts
  • List of women's organizations
  • List of current and historical women's universities and colleges A women's college is an institution of higher education where enrollment is all-female Where formerly all-female institutions have become coeducational, this is noted, along with the year the enrollment policy was changed
  • List of feminists
  • List of 20th century women artists
  • List of women who sparked a revolution
  • Timeline of feminism
  • Timeline of feminism in the United States
  • Timeline of first-wave feminism worldwide
  • Timeline of second-wave feminism worldwide
  • Timeline of third-wave feminism worldwide
  • Timeline of women's colleges in America
  • Timeline of women's colleges in America historically for black students
  • Timeline of women in computing worldwide
  • Timeline of women in ancient warfare worldwide
  • Timeline of women in warfare in the Postclassical Era worldwide
  • Timeline of women in warfare in the early modern era worldwide
  • Timeline of women in warfare from 1750 until 1799 in America
  • Timeline of women in warfare from 1750 until 1799 worldwide
  • Timeline of women in warfare in the 19th century in America
  • Timeline of women in warfare in the 19th century worldwide
  • Timeline of women in warfare from 1900 until 1939 in America
  • Timeline of women in warfare from 1900 until 1939 worldwide
  • Timeline of women in warfare from 1940 until 1944 worldwide
  • Timeline of women in warfare from 1945 until 1999 in America
  • Timeline of women in warfare from 1945 until 1999 worldwide
  • Timeline of women in warfare from 2000 until the present in America
  • Timeline of women in warfare from 2000 until the present worldwide
  • Timeline of women hazzans worldwide
  • Timeline of women in dentistry worldwide
  • Timeline of women in education in America
  • Timeline of women in education worldwide
  • Timeline of women in mathematics worldwide
  • Timeline of women in science in America
  • Timeline of women in sports in America
  • Timeline of women in sports worldwide
  • Timeline of women in the history of America
  • Timeline of women lawyers
  • Timeline of women lawyers in the United States
  • Timeline of women suffrage in America
  • Timeline of women suffrage worldwide
  • Family history
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Political and legal
  • Equal Rights Amendment: a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution which would have guaranteed equal rights under law for Americans regardless of sex
  • Women's suffrage; Suffragettes: members of the women's suffrage movement
  • A History of Woman Suffrage: a history of the suffrage movement, primarily in the United States, composed of six volumes covering 1887 to 1922
  • Men's League for Women's Suffrage
  • Woman's Christian Temperance Union WCTU, the oldest continuing non-sectarian women's organization in the US and worldwide
  • The Subjection of Women
  • Sexuality and gender identity-based cultures: subcultures and communities composed of people who have shared experiences, backgrounds, or interests due to common sexual or gender identities
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  • GENESIS Guide to sources for women's history in the British Isles Leonore Davidoff, co-founder of The Feminist Library, and teacher of the first MA in the UK on women's history
  • Demography, the study of human population dynamics It encompasses the study of the size, structure and distribution of populations, and how populations change over time due to births, deaths, migration and aging
  • Herstory
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  • Women-led uprisings


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  2. ^ Norton, Alexander, Block, Mary Beth, Ruth M, Sharon 2014 Major Problems in American Women's History Stanford, Connecticut: CENGAGE Learning p 1 ISBN 978-1-133-95599-3  CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list link
  3. ^ Jutta Schwarzkopf, "Women's History: Europe" in Kelly Boyd, ed 1999 Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, vol 2 Taylor & Francis pp 1316–18 
  4. ^ Karen Offen, Ruth Roach Pierson, and Jane Rendall, eds Writing Women's History: International Perspectives 1991 covers 17 countries including Austria, Denmark, East Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Yugoslavia
  5. ^ Karen M Offen, European feminisms, 1700-1950: a political history 2000 onine
  6. ^ Catriona Kennedy, "Women and Gender in Modern Ireland," in Bourke and McBride, eds The Princeton History of Modern Ireland 2016 pp 361+
  7. ^ Françoise Thébaud, "Writing Women's and Gender History in France: A National Narrative" Journal of Women's History, Spring 2007, Vol 19 Issue 1, pp 167–172
  8. ^ Jennifer J Popiel, "Making Mothers: The Advice Genre and the Domestic Ideal, 1760-1830", Journal of Family History 2004 294: 339–350
  9. ^ Carolyn C Lougee, "'Noblesse,' Domesticity, and Social Reform: The Education of Girls by Fenelon and Saint-Cyr", History of Education Quarterly 1974 141: 87–113
  10. ^ Linda L Clark, Schooling the Daughters of Marianne: Textbooks and the Socialization of Girls in Modern French Primary Schools SUNY Press, 1984 online
  11. ^ Ruth-Ellen B Joeres and Mary Jo Maynes, German women in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: a social and literary history 1986
  12. ^ a b William W Hagen, German History in Modern Times 2012
  13. ^ John C Fout, ed German Women in the Nineteenth Century
  14. ^ Eva Kolinsky and Wilfried van der Will, The Cambridge Companion to Modern German Culture 1998
  15. ^ Renate Bridenthal, Atina Grossmann, and Marion Kaplan, When Biology Became Destiny: Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany 1984
  16. ^ Jill Stephenson, Women in Nazi Germany 2001
  17. ^ Campbell, D'Ann "Women in Combat: The World War Two Experience in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and the Soviet Union" PDF Journal of Military History April 1993, 57:301–323  online edition
  18. ^ Claudia Koonz, Mothers in the Fatherland: Women, the Family and Nazi Politics 1988
  19. ^ "Spots of Light: Women in the Holocaust" online exhibition, Yad Vashem 
  20. ^ Chris Corrin, Superwomen and the double burden: women's experience of change in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union Scarlet Press, 1992
  21. ^ Maria Bucor, "An Archipelago of Stories: Gender History in Eastern Europe," American Historical Review, 2008 113#5, pp 1375–1389
  22. ^ Andrea Petö and Judith Szapor, "The State of Women's and Gender History in Eastern Europe: The Case of Hungary," Journal of Women's History, 2007 19#1 pp 160–166
  23. ^ Barbara Evans Clements, A History of Women in Russia: From Earliest Times to the Present 2012
  24. ^ Natalia Pushkareva, Women in Russian History: From the Tenth to the Twentieth Century 1997
  25. ^ Lorina Repina, "Gender studies in Russian historiography in the nineteen‐nineties and early twenty‐first century" Historical Research 79204 2006: 270-286
  26. ^ Linda Edmondson, Gender in Russian History & Culture 2001
  27. ^ Dorothy Ko, "Women's History: Asia" in Kelly Boyd, ed 1999 Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, vol 2 Taylor & Francis pp 1312–15 
  28. ^ Danke K Li, "Teaching The History of Women in China and Japan: Challenges and Sources" ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts 21#2 2014 online
  29. ^ Gail Hershatter, Women in China's Long Twentieth Century 2007
  30. ^ Gail Hershatter, and Zheng Wang, "Chinese History: A Useful Category of Gender Analysis," American Historical Review, Dec 2008, Vol 113 Issue 5, pp 1404-1421
  31. ^ Shou Wang “The ‘New Social History’ in China: The Development of Women’s History” The History Teacher 2006 39#3: 315–323
  32. ^ zh:中國婦女生活史
  33. ^ Susan Mann, "Scene-Setting: Writing Biography in Chinese History," American Historical Review, June 2009, Vol 114 Issue 3, pp 631-639
  34. ^ Carole McGranahan, "Narrative Dispossession: Tibet and the Gendered Logics of Historical Possibility," Comparative Studies in Society and History, Oct 2010, Vol 52 Issue 4, pp 768–797
  35. ^ Hiroko Tomida, "The Evolution Of Japanese Women's Historiography," Japan Forum, July 1996, Vol 8 Issue 2, pp 189-203
  36. ^ Joanne Scott, "Women's History: Australia and New Zealand" in Kelly Boyd, ed 1999 Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, vol 2 Taylor & Francis pp 1315–16 
  37. ^ Karen Offen, Ruth Roach Pierson, and Jane Rendall, eds Writing Women's History: international Perspectives 1991 covers 17 countries Including Australia
  38. ^ Marilyn Lake, "Women's and Gender History in Australia: A Transformative Practice" Journal of Women's History 25#4 2013: 190–211
  39. ^ Christine Dann, Up from under: women and liberation in New Zealand, 1970–1985 Bridget Williams Books, 2015
  40. ^ Ian Pool, Arunchalam Dharmalingam, and Janet Sceats, The New Zealand family from 1840: A demographic history Auckland University Press, 2013
  41. ^ Angela Wanhalla, Matters of the heart: A history of interracial marriage in New Zealand Auckland University Press, 2014
  42. ^ Patsy Adam-Smith, Australian Women At War Penguin, Melbourne, 1996
  43. ^ Margaret Lee Meriwether, A social history of women and gender in the modern Middle East Westview Press, 1999
  44. ^ Elizabeth Thompson, "Public and private in Middle Eastern women's history" Journal of Women's History 151 2003: 52–69
  45. ^ Judith E Tucker, "Problems in the historiography of women in the Middle East: the case of nineteenth-century Egypt" International Journal of Middle East Studies 1503 1983: 321-336
  46. ^ Guity Nashat, and Judith E Tucker, edsWomen in the Middle East and North Africa: Restoring women to history Indiana UP, 1999
  47. ^ for brief guide to the historiography see HIST 4310, Twentieth Century African Women’s History by J M Chadya
  48. ^ Nancy Rose Hunt, "Placing African women's history and locating gender" Social History 1989 14#3, 359-379
  49. ^ Penelope Hetherington, "Women in South Africa: the historiography in English" International Journal of African Historical Studies 26#2 1993: 241-269
  50. ^ Kathleen Sheldon, Historical dictionary of women in Sub-Saharan Africa Scarecrow press, 2005
  51. ^ Margaret Jena Hay, "Queens, Prostitutes and Peasants: Historical Perspectives on African Women, 1971–1986," Canadian Journal of African Studies 23#3 1988: 431–447
  52. ^ Nancy Rose Hunt, "Introduction: Gendered Colonialisms in African History," Gender and History 8#3 1996: 323–337
  53. ^ Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, African Women: A Modern History 1997
  54. ^ ; MJ Hay and Sharon Stitcher, Women in Africa South Of the Sahara 1995
  55. ^ Bolanle Awe, Nigerian women in historical perspective IbDn: Sankore, 1992
  56. ^ Elizabeth A Eldredge, "Women in production: the economic role of women in nineteenth-century Lesotho" Signs 164 1991: 707–731 in JSTOR
  57. ^ Kathleen Sheldon, 'Women's History: Africa" in Kelly Boyd, ed 1999 Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, vol 2 Taylor & Francis pp 1308–11 
  58. ^ Gaines M Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy: Defeat, the Lost Cause and the Emergence of the New South, 1865-1913 1985 p 30
  59. ^ Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, "'You must remember this': Autobiography as social critique" Journal of American History 1998: 439–465 at p 450 in JSTOR
  60. ^ Bonnie G Smith, "Women's History: A Retrospective from the United States," Signs: Journal of Women in Culture & Society, Spring 2010, Vol 35 Issue 3, pp 723-747
  61. ^ Debra Taczanowsky "Debra Taczanowsky | Women making inroads, but still fighting for equality - The Tribune-Democrat: Editorials" Tribdemcom Retrieved 2015-11-02 
  62. ^ "Master of Arts in Women's History | Sarah Lawrence College" Sarahlawrenceedu Retrieved 2015-11-02 
  63. ^ Jessica Millward, "More History Than Myth: African American Women's History Since the Publication of 'Ar'n't I a Woman'" Journal of Women's History, Summer 2007, Vol 19 Issue 2, pp 161–167
  64. ^ Mary E Frederickson, "Going Global: New Trajectories in US Women's History," History Teacher, Feb 2010, Vol 43 Issue 2, pp 169-189
  65. ^ a b Block, Sharon; Norton, Mary Beth; Alexander, Ruth M 2014 "1" In Paterson, Thomas G Major Problems in American Women's History CT: Cengage Learning p 20 ISBN 978-1-133-95599-3 
  66. ^ Mary Lowenthal Felstiner, "Seeing 'The Second Sex' Through the Second Wave," Feminist Studies 1980 6#2 pp 247–276
  67. ^ Eleanor Amico, ed Reader's guide to women's studies 1998 pp 102–4, 306–8
  68. ^ Janet Thomas, "Women and capitalism: oppression or emancipation A review article" Comparative studies in society and history 30#3 1988: 534–549 in JSTOR
  69. ^ Alice Clark, Working life of women in the seventeenth century 1919
  70. ^ Ivy Pinchbeck, Women Workers in the Industrial Revolution 1930
  71. ^ Louise Tilly and Joan Wallach Scott, Women, work, and family 1987
  72. ^ Baten, Jörg 2016 A History of the Global Economy From 1500 to the Present Cambridge University Press p 242f ISBN 9781107507180 
  73. ^ The vote came years later in France, Italy, Quebec, Spain and Switzerland
  74. ^ June Hannam, Mitzi Auchterlonie, and Katherine Holden, eds International encyclopedia of women's suffrage Abc-Clio Inc, 2000
  75. ^ Bingham, Jane 2012 Popular Culture: 1920-1938 Chicago Illinois: Heinemann Library 
  76. ^ WS Woytinsky and ES World population and production: trends and outlook 1953 p 148
  77. ^ Denyse Baillargeon, Making Do: Women, Family and Home in Montreal during the Great Depression Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1999, p 159
  78. ^ Jill Stephenson 2014 Women in Nazi Germany Taylor & Francis pp 3–5 
  79. ^ Susan K Foley 2004 Women in France Since 1789: The Meanings of Difference Palgrave Macmillan pp 186–90 
  80. ^ Katrina Srigley 2010 Breadwinning Daughters: Young Working Women in a Depression-era City, 1929-1939 University of Toronto Press p 135 
  81. ^ Jessica S Bean, "'To help keep the home going': female labour supply in interwar London" Economic History Review 2015 68#2 pp 441–470
  82. ^ Ann E McCleary, "'I Was Really Proud of Them': Canned Raspberries and Home Production During the Farm Depression" Augusta Historical Bulletin 2010, Issue 46, pp 14-44
  83. ^ Tari Klassen, "How Depression-Era Quiltmakers Constructed Domestic Space: An Interracial Processual Study," Midwestern Folklore: Journal of the Hoosier Folklore Society 2008 34#2 pp 17–47
  84. ^ Baillargeon, Making Do: Women, Family and Home in Montreal during the Great Depression 1999, pp 70, 108, 136–38, 159
  85. ^ Mark Metzler, "Woman's Place in Japan's Great Depression: Reflections on the Moral Economy of Deflation" Journal of Japanese Studies 2004 30#2 pp 315–352
  86. ^ N R Reagin, "Marktordnung and Autarkic Housekeeping: Housewives and Private Consumption under the Four-Year Plan, 1936–1939," German History 2001 19#2 pp 162–184
  87. ^ Blevins, Carolyn DeArmond, Women in Christian History: A Bibliography Macon, Georgia: Mercer Univ Press, 1995 ISBN 0-86554-493-X
  88. ^ Ursula King, "A question of identity: Women scholars and the study of religion" Religion and Gender 1995: 219–244
  89. ^ Amy Hollywood, "Gender, agency, and the divine in religious historiography" Journal of Religion 844 2004: 514–528
  90. ^ Jean Bethe Elshtain, Women and War 1995
  91. ^ Jean Bethe Elshtain and Sheila Tobias, eds, Women, Militarism, and War 1990
  92. ^ Bernard Cook, ed, Women and War: Historical Encyclopedia from Antiquity to the Present 2 vol, 2006

Further reading


  • Clay, Catherine, Christine Senecal, and Chandrika Paul, eds Envisioning Women in World History: Prehistory to 1500 2008
  • McVay, Pamela Envisioning Women in World History: 1500-Present 2008
  • Helgren, Jennifer, and Colleen A Vasconcellos, eds Girlhood: A Global History Rutgers University Press; 2010 422 pages; interdisciplinary essays on girlhood on six continents since 1750
  • Offen, Karen M, ed Writing women's history: international perspectives Indiana UP, 1991 online edition
  • Stearns, Peter Gender in World History 2nd ed 2006 excerpt and text search

Primary sources

  • Hughes, Sarah S, and Brady Hughes, eds Women in World History: Readings from Prehistory to 1500 1995; Women in World History: Readings from 1500 to the Present 1997


  • Pomeroy, Sarah B Women's History and Ancient History 1991 online edition


  • Edwards, Louise, and Mina Roces, eds Women in Asia: Tradition, Modernity and Globalisation Allen & Unwin, 2000 online edition
  • Ramusack, Barbara N, and Sharon Sievers, eds Women in Asia: Restoring Women to History 1999 excerpt and text search


  • Ebrey, Patricia The Inner Quarters: Marriage and the Lives of Chinese Women in the Sung Period 1990
  • Hershatter, Gail, and Wang Zheng "Chinese History: A Useful Category of Gender Analysis," American Historical Review, Dec 2008, Vol 113 Issue 5, pp 1404–1421
  • Hershatter, Gail Women in China's Long Twentieth Century 2007, full text online
  • Hershatter, Gail, Emily Honig, Susan Mann, and Lisa Rofel, eds Guide to Women's Studies in China 1998 online edition
  • Ko, Dorothy Teachers of Inner Chambers: Women and Culture in China, 1573-1722 1994
  • Mann, Susan Precious Records: Women in China's Long Eighteenth Century 1997
  • Seth, Sanjay "Nationalism, Modernity, and the 'Woman Question' in India and China" Journal of Asian Studies 72#2 2013: 273–297
  • Wang, Shuo "The 'New Social History' in China: The Development of Women's History," History Teacher, 2006 39#3 pp 315–323 in JSTOR


Further information: Women in India §  Further reading
  • Borthwick, Meredith The changing role of women in Bengal, 1849-1905 Princeton UP, 2015
  • Brinks, Ellen Anglophone Indian Women Writers, 1870–1920 Routledge, 2016
  • Chakravarti, Uma 2003, Gendering Caste Through a Feminist Lens, Popular Prakashan, ISBN 978-81-85604-54-1 
  • Healey, Madelaine Indian Sisters: A History of Nursing and the State, 1907–2007 Routledge, 2014
  • Pande, Rekha "Women's History: India" in Kelly Boyd, ed 1999 Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, vol 2 Taylor & Francis pp 1318–21 
  • Sangari, Kumkum; Vaid, Sudesh, eds 1990, Recasting Women: Essays in Indian Colonial History, Rutgers University Press, ISBN 978-0-8135-1580-9 
  • Seth, Sanjay "Nationalism, Modernity, and the 'Woman Question' in India and China" Journal of Asian Studies 72#2 2013: 273–297


  • Anderson, Bonnie S and Judith P Zinsser A History of Their Own: Women in Europe from Prehistory to the Present 2nd ed 2000
  • Bennett, Judith M and Ruth Mazo Karras, eds The Oxford Handbook of Women & Gender in Medieval Europe 2013 626pp
  • Boxer, Marilyn J, Jean H Quataert, and Joan W Scott, eds ''Connecting Spheres: European Women in a Globalizing World, 1500 to the Present 2000, essays by scholars excerpt and text search
  • Bridenthal, Renate, Susan Stuard, and Merry E Wiesner-Hanks eds Becoming Visible: Women in European History 3rd ed 1997, 608pp; essays by scholars
  • Daskalova, Krassimira "The politics of a discipline: women historians in twentieth century Bulgaria" Rivista internazionale di storia della storiografia 46 2004: 171-187
  • Fairchilds, Cissie Women in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1700 2007 excerpt and text search
  • Fout, John C German Women in the Nineteenth Century: A Social History 1984 online edition
  • Frey, Linda, Marsha Frey, Joanne Schneider Women in Western European History: A Select Chronological, Geographical, and Topical Bibliography 1982 online
  • De Haan, Francisca, Krasimira Daskalova, and Anna Loutfi Biographical Dictionary of Women's Movements and Feminisms in Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe: 19th and 20th Centuries Central European University Press, 2006
  • Hall, Valerie G Women At Work, 1860-1939: How Different Industries Shaped Women's Experiences Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2013 ISBN 978-1-84383-870-8 excerpt
  • Herzog, Dagmar Sexuality in Europe: A Twentieth-Century History 2011 excerpt and text search
  • Hufton, Olwen The Prospect Before Her: A History of Women in Western Europe, 1500-1800 1996 excerpt and text search
  • Levy, Darline Gay, et al eds Women in Revolutionary Paris, 1789-1795 1981 244pp excerpt and text search; primary sources
  • Offen, Karen M European feminisms, 1700-1950: a political history 2000 online edition
  • Offen, Karen "Surveying European Women's History since the Millenium: A Comparative Review", Journal of Women's History Volume 22, Number 1, Spring 2010 doi:101353/jowh013
  • Smith, Bonnie Changing Lives: Women in European History Since 1700 1988
  • Stearns, Peter, ed Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000 6 vol 2000, 209 essays by leading scholars in 3000 pp; many aspects of women's history covered
  • Tilly, Louise A and Joan W Scott Women, Work, and Family 1978
  • Ward, Jennifer Women in Medieval Europe: 1200-1500 2003
  • Wiesner-Hanks, Merry E Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe 2008 excerpt and text search

Primary sources: Europe

  • DiCaprio, Lisa, and Merry E Wiesner, eds Lives and Voices: Sources in European Women's History 2000 excerpt and text search
  • Hughes, Sarah S, and Brady Hughes, eds Women in World History: Readings from Prehistory to 1500 1995, 270pp; Women in World History: Readings from 1500 to the Present 1997 296pp; primary sources


  • Brandt, Gail et al Canadian Women: A History 3rd ed 2011 online review
  • Cook, Sharon Anne; McLean, Lorna; and O'Rourke, Kate, eds Framing Our Past: Canadian Women's History in the Twentieth Century 2001 498 pp
  • Strong-Boag, Veronica and Fellman, Anita Clair, eds Rethinking Canada: The Promise of Women's History 3d ed 1997 498 pp
  • Prentice, Alison and Trofimenkoff, Susan Mann, eds The Neglected Majority: Essays in Canadian Women's History 2 vol 1985

United States


  • Banner, Lois Women in modern America: a brief history 1984
  • Brown, Kathleen M Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia 1996
  • Campbell, D'Ann Women at War with America: Private Lives in a Public Era, 1984, World War II; covers housewives, nurses, Wacs, war-workers
  • Daniel, Robert L American women in the twentieth century 1987
  • Dayton, Cornelia H, and Lisa Levenstein, “The Big Tent of US Women’s and Gender History: A State of the Field,” Journal of American History, 99 Dec 2012, 793–817
  • Degler, Carl At Odds: Women and the Family in America from the Revolution to the Present 1980
  • Diner, Hasia, ed Encyclopedia of American Women's History 2010
  • Feimster, Crystal N, “The Impact of Racial and Sexual Politics on Women’s History,” Journal of American History, 99 Dec 2012, 822–26
  • Kerber, Linda K; Kessler-Harris, Alice; and Sklar, Kathryn Kish, eds US History as Women's History: New Feminist Essays 1995 477 pp online edition
  • Kessler-Harris, Alice Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States 2003 excerpt and text search
  • Melosh, Barbara Gender and American History since 1890 1993 online edition
  • Miller, Page Putnam, ed Reclaiming the Past: Landmarks of Women's History 1992 232 pp
  • Mintz, Steven, and Susan Kellogg Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Family Life 1988, 316pp; the standard scholarly history excerpt and text search
  • Pleck, Elizabeth H and Nancy F Cott, eds A Heritage of Her Own: Toward a New Social History of American Women 2008, essays by scholars excerpt and text search; online edition
  • Riley, Glenda Inventing the American Woman: An Inclusive History 2001 vol 2 online edition
  • Woloch, Nancy Women and The American Experience, A Concise History 2001
  • Zophy, Angela Howard, ed Handbook of American Women's History 2nd ed 2000 763 pp articles by experts

US Historiography

  • Dayton, Cornelia H; Levenstein, Lisa "The Big Tent of US Women's and Gender History: A State of the Field," Journal of American History 2012 99#3 pp 793–817
  • Frederickson, Mary E "Going Global: New Trajectories in US Women's History," History Teacher, Feb 2010, Vol 43 Issue 2, p169-189
  • Hewitt, Nancy A A Companion to American Women's History 2005 excerpt and text search
  • Smith, Bonnie G "Women’s History: A Retrospective from the United States" Signs 353 2010: 723-747 in JSTOR
  • Traister, Bryce "Academic Viagra: The Rise of American Masculinity Studies," American Quarterly 52 2000: 274–304 in JSTOR

Primary sources: US

  • Berkin, Carol and Horowitz, Leslie, eds Women's Voices, Women's Lives: Documents in Early American History 1998 203 pp
  • DuBois, Ellen Carol and Ruiz, Vicki L, eds Unequal Sisters: A Multi-Cultural Reader in US Women's History 1994 620 pp


  • Amico, Eleanor, ed Reader's Guide to Women's Studies 1997 762pp; advanced guide to scholarship on 200+ topics
  • Bennett, Judith M and Ruth Mazo Karras, eds The Oxford Handbook of Women & Gender in Medieval Europe 2013 626pp
  • Blom, Ida, et al "The Past and Present of European Women's and Gender History: A Transatlantic Conversation" Journal of Women's History 254 2013: 288-308
  • Hershatter, Gail, and Wang Zheng "Chinese History: A Useful Category of Gender Analysis," American Historical Review, Dec 2008, Vol 113 Issue 5, pp 1404–1421
  • Ko, Dorothy, "Women's History: Asia" in Kelly Boyd, ed 1999 Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, vol 2 Taylor & Francis pp 1312–15 
  • Meade, Teresa A, and Merry Wiesner-Hanks, eds A Companion to Gender History 2006 excerpt and text search
  • Offen, Karen "Surveying European Women's History since the Millenium: A Comparative Review," Journal of Women's History, Volume 22, Number 1, Spring 2010, pp 154–177 doi:101353/jowh00131
  • Offen, Karen; Pierson, Ruth Roach; and Rendall, Jane, eds Writing Women's History: International Perspectives 1991 552 pp online edition Covers 17 countries: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, East Germany, Greece, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Yugoslavia
  • Petö, Andrea, and Judith Szapor, "The State of Women's and Gender History in Eastern Europe: The Case of Hungary," Journal of Women's History, 20070, Vol 19 Issue, pp 160–166
  • Scott, Joan Wallach Gender and the Politics of History 1999, influential theoretical essays excerpt and text search
  • Sheldon, Kathleen 'Women's History: Africa" in Kelly Boyd, ed 1999 Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, vol 2 Taylor & Francis pp 1308–11 
  • Spongberg, Mary Writing Women's History Since the Renaissance 2003 308 pages; on Europe
  • Thébaud, Françoise "Writing Women's and Gender History in France: A National Narrative" Journal of Women's History, 2007 19#1 pp 167–172

External links

Library resources about
Women's history
  • Timeline of women's history worldwide by the Encyclopædia Britannica
  • Click! The Ongoing Feminist Revolution
  • Today in Women's History
  • The Gerritsen Collection - Women's History Online
  • Feminist Majority Foundation timeline
  • Genesis: a mapping initiative to identify and develop access to women's history sources in the British Isles
  • Places Where Women Made History, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
  • Women in World History

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