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Issues and Events in Women's History

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Women have been active in a variety of ways throughout history, but their contributions and lives have been especially visible around certain issues and events. Here are some key issues and events in women's history to explore.
  1. Women's History Calendar and Timelines
  2. Issues in American History
  3. African American Women's History
  4. Women's Work
  5. Women and War
  1. Women and Social Reform
  2. Fashion History
  3. Theory and Practice of Women's History
  4. Myths of Women's History

Women's History Calendar and Timelines

Find out what happened on today in women's history -- or on any day. Or check out topic-specific timelines and chronologies to find out what happened when.

Issues in American History

Woman on the Prairie

Here are some key events, issues, and individuals in women's history that are major topics in the study of general American history.

African American Women's History

Sojourner Truth

Here are some key resources for the study of women in African American history. Check out the timeline and indexes of African American women to find many more resources on women in African American -- and African -- history.

Women's Work

Women Weaving - 2002 Smithsonian Folk Festival

Though "women's work" and women's role in the economy has been defined differently through the ages, there's truth to the slogan, "every woman is a working woman." An older saying, "men work from sun to sun, women's work is never done" expresses the reality that for almost all women through history, they have worked in the home at domestic chores and sometimes in the public work world, too. Here are some resources for further study of women's work through the ages, and women's participation in the public work sector in more recent years.

Women and War

Clara Barton and an injured soldier

Traditionally, men have gone to war, and women have "kept the home fires burning." They also took care of their families, took over the men's jobs, and sometimes went to war themselves -- in earlier times, sometimes disguised as a man. Some women rulers, and more recently some women heads of state, have led their people in or to war. Here are some resources on women and war:

Women and Social Reform

Jane Addams

Especially since the 19th century, women have been leaders in various movements to reform society. Originally, women (and men) conceived this as an extension of women's role as homemakers, calling reform "public housekeeping." Here are some resources on social reform movements which have had women in key roles:

Fashion History

Women's Clothing in the Time of Matilda and Stephen

Through most of history, cultures have differentiated male from female in part through what each wears. Here are resources on women's fashions through history.

Theory and Practice of Women's History

Rosie the Riveter

The discipline of women's history shares much with the general study of history, but is also different. Here are some key articles and resources on the theory and practice of women's history.

Myths of Women's History

Making the American Flag

It's hard enough to know, as a women's history student or teacher or researcher, that so much of the historical record ignored women, and so "her story" is hard to find. But then, sometimes, you run into information that "everyone knows" but it just ain't so. Here are some "Just Ain't So" stories, and my opinion on whether what "everyone knows" is true or not.

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