Women's History Month

womens history

Lessons and resources on key individual women's contributions to U.S. and world history, as well as movements that have aimed at equality for women.

World History

Margaret Thatcher and Conservative Politics in England
In a historic election in 1979, voters in the United Kingdom (UK) elected Margaret Thatcher to be prime minister. She was the first woman ever to be elected to that office. She went on to be the longest-serving prime minister in the 20th century. 

Queen Elizabeth I: Religion and the State 
Queen Elizabeth I, tried to establish her vision of an official English Protestant church. She faced many obstacles: Catholic plots, Protestant Puritans, a rival Catholic queen, and even the question of who would succeed her on the throne.

Who Was the Real Cleopatra?
Cleopatra was, for a time, the most powerful woman in the Roman world. However, her reputation was controversial then and is still debated today.

'Go Boldly!’: Joan of Arc and the Hundred Years War
Joan of Arc heard voices she believed originated from God, commanding her to lead the French army to victory over the English. She did just that, inspiring her soldiers to 'Go boldly!’ In the end, she faced trial for her actions.

Hatshepsut: How a Woman Took the Throne
Hatshepsut lived 3,500 years ago. Inspite of centuries of tradition that a pharaoh must be a male, she rose to be the leader of the Kingdom of Egypt and brough Egypt to a new peri of prosperity.

U.S. History

Ida B. Wells and Her Crusade for Racial Justice
The abolition of slavery after the Civil War became the foundation for Ida B. Wells’s life work as a teacher, journalist, anti-lynching activist, community organizer, and woman suffragist.

Harriet Tubman and the End of Slavery   
Nicknamed the ‘Moses of her people’ for leading runaway slaves to freedom in the north, Harriet Tubman was the most famous member of the Underground Railroad.  She became a celebrity in her lifetime and a hero of the Civil War.

How Women Won the Right to Vote
In 1848, a small group of visionaries started a movement to secure equal rights for women in the United States. But it took more than 70 years just to win the right for women to vote.

Have Women Achieved Equality?
In 1920 American women won the right to vote, but they did not attain legal equality with men in other areas. Since 1920, women have won many other rights, but some people argue today that women have not yet achieved equality.

A Different Voice: Women in the Congress
In 1992, voters elected more women to Congress than ever before in the nation's history. Twenty-four new congresswomen (21 Democrats and three Republicans) joined 23 other women who won re-election to the House of Representatives. In the Senate, 4 newly elected women senators brought the Senate's total to 6. For many the victory of these female candidates represented the American peoples' desire to end gridlock and politics as usual.

Women in the Military
American women have gone to war in various roles throughout U.S. history. Only since 1948, however, have women been slowly integrated into the armed services. Today, a debate centers on whether women should be in direct ground combat.

Rachel Carson and the Modern Environmental Movement 
In 1962, American biologist Rachel Carson wrote silent  spring. Her explosive book revealed To the public the potential dangers of pesticides and also helped spark the modern environmental movement.