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Women's History

Read about the history of women including books, eBooks, articles, media, primary and open access sources.

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Overview of Women's History

Women's HistoryWomen's lives had been presented largely through the eyes of men: a woman was someone's wife, daughter, sister, mother - she did not exist as a person or focus of interest in her own right.

Thus women were hidden by those who wrote down information (the sources) and then by the way in which historians did not interrogate these sources to ask questions relevant to women's experience. Writing from an avowed political stance (“women's oppression and the fight against it”).

Under the impact of the women's liberation movement, the second wave of feminism (since the 1960s), and the general broadening of social history which made topics previously considered ahistorical, such as the family and sexuality, the legitimate concerns of historians, the initial challenge was to restore women to the historical process. This has sometimes been referred to as “contribution” or “topping up” history - a women's history that would add women to the historical process without changing the fundamental conceptions of male-centred history.

Gender Guides