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Women in World History:  Where to start? 

John Maunu


     Merry Weisner Hanks' newest Gender in History:  A Global Perspective, 2nd edition (Oxford:  Blackwell, 2010) is about to hit the market joining Bonnie Smith's (ed.) four volume Women's History in Global Perspective (American History Society: 2005) and her Oxford Women in World History, five volumes (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008) as outstanding works in womens' and gender history.  Peter Stearns' Gender in World History, 2nd edition (Routledge, 2006) along with Judith Zinsser works, and Ulrike Strasser and Heidi Tinsman at UC-Irvine provide other outstanding research on this important and still new area of history.

     Classroom texts that are important are Pamela McVay's Envisioning Women in World History, Pt. 2, 1500-Present teamed with Pt. 1, by Catherine Clay, et. al (McGraw Hill, 2008), Jane Slaughter, et. al, Sharing the World Stage:  Biography and Gender in World
History (Cengage, 2007) and Stearn's Sexuality in World History (London and New York: Routledge, 2009) These are a few samples of great research on Women's history.  Some have concluded that there still is much to do with lower class women histories.

     Below are many links divided into categories of links, websites and articles, followed by
regional women history links and concluding with lesson plans to help classroom teachers.

Women's Studies articles, links, and websites:
Outstanding Women in World History site with many different links.  Great!!!
"A Woman's World"  I am woman hear me roar......Matriarchal societies.
Merry Weisner-Hanks' roaring about "Christine Columbus" in World History Connected
Bonnie Smith's edited Oxford Women and World History-5 Vols.- information on that work.
Women Studies sites
H-Net/Women listserv
Example of H-net/Women listserve discussion as to 100 Famous women with examples and bibliography.
Women's history and voting.
Women suffrage in World History.  Was New Zealand 1893, the first country to allow women's vote?
Matriarchal societies: return to divine balance?
Many Women sites
Emma Goldman's Declaration of Independence, published in Mother Earth magazine, 1909.
Many good sites...give this a chance....graze.
University of Wisconsin Library system on Women's Studies.
University of Iowa Women's Study resource site.
Virtual Library of World History-Scroll down to Women's studies.
George Mason University Women and World History website including lesson plans using primary sources.
George Mason website case studies. 
Economics and Women

Biographies Of Women:
Top 100 women in world history biographies.
Marc Gilbert's World History Connected article, "When Heroism is Not Enough: Three Women Warriors of Vietnam, Their Historians and World History."
Famous Women Scientists
Euro-centric Women rulers, etc. al..
World History biographies of women.
Biographies of Women who changed the world.
Distinguished women in world history.

Geographic regions and Women's History:
Many different women's Study sites—ALL cultures included.

Site dedicated to the Brave Women of the Pacific region.

Middle East:
Global Connections—Woman in modern Middle East with many links, resources, teacher sources, just a great site.
Middle East/Muslim women website
Dr. Fleiscel webpage-note two links on Women in Middle East history.
Short question/answer on famous Middle East women.

Europe: women in ancient world—Materials for study of Women and Gender-euro-centric.
Women in Ancient Greece—book
Examples of Women in antiquity—3 Classical Greek excerpts...
Mothers and Sons in European history-Margaret King.
Many great links and short video clips (Voting theme).  American and Euro-centric with World links parsed throughout.
Women and French Revolution
"Holocaust Women Remembered"
Jewish Women's Studies
Role of Women in Christianity from


Following are European Women and Gender Histories thanks to Rebecca Blankenship, MA Women and Russia. (Comments are Rebecca Blankenship's)

Anderson, Bonnie S. and Judith P. Zinsser, A History of Their Own: Women in Europe from Prehistory to the Present, vol. 2.

Scott, Joan Wallach. Gender and the Politics of History

I believe the Scott has a really good overview of historiography of women's history, but both are Western based. 

Russia's Women: Accommodation, Resistance, Transformation, ed with Barbara Evans Clements and Barbara Alpern Engel (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991)

Sheila Fitzpatrick and Yuri Slezkine, eds. In the Shadow of the Revolution: Life Stories of Russian Women from 1917 to the Second World War (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000).

There are many more really wonderful works, but the Clement is a collection highlighting much of the work on women and the patriarchy in late Imperial/Early Soviet and the Fitzpatrick is a fabulous collection of short memiors from various periods in Soviet history.


Asia for educators with many, many links, lessons, DBQ's and units on women in each time period. (lesson plan)
Confucianism and women
Women in China from Hyperlink World history with Biblical perspective—CCOT essay sample and some multiple choice.
Women and the Mongol court

Southeast Asia:
Three Women Warriors of Vietnam and Their Historians and World History, article by Marc Gilbert in World History Connected.
Bibliographies for women studies in southeast Asia.

Hinduism and Women:
American history and women:
Women's History in America from Women's International Center.
Firsts for American women timeline-two parts, 1587-1900 and 1900-Present.
Pacific NW

Native American and women:
Were some Native American cultures matriarchal, like the Iroquois tribes who's women decided when to go to war, when to move the tribe, and controlled the gardens?
Iroquois link to early feminists.
Cayuga gender study at time of White encounter.

Gender Studies
What is gender history, note Joan Scott comments.
Materials, etc. al for study of Women and Gender in Ancient World.
Judith K. Brown and gender study

Google book, Peter Stearns, Gender in World History
Blackwell's Gender history...a review by Merry Weisner Hanks
Women's Study Major..How to get prepared?

Women and Slavery
National Geographic story, "21st Century Slavery," note many links below story as to Women and slavery...,+The+

Cynthia Enloe book, The Morning After, Berkley 1993 on women after Cold War and in 1992 Gulf War.  Sexual assaults of Filipino, Kuwaiti woman and American servicewomen
Lesson Plans;jsessionid=nYhPKxcdCKvHT86MvHdgXKNs9Q

Collegeboard AP World Teaching Unit-$8.00:  Economic Role of Women in world history.
Abstract of Lessons from Patrick Manning and Deborah Smith Johnston World History Center.  This one from Linda Black.
PBS Global Connections' Lesson Plan on Mideast women. 
Various Women in World History Lessons
Women Lessons throughout world history focusing on women's rights.
National Women's History Project 
300 Women Who Changed the World
British centered "Genesis"  or index listing educational institutions, research "centres," and courses which focus on Women's History.
Numerous Women History lessons for all grades and note many lessons for other topics.
Hyperlinked World History with Biblical perspective—example of a China CCOT essay question and a few multiple choice questions.

John Maunu is a Collegeboard/AP World History consultant and Reader/Table Leader veteran of AP World History Reading currently teaching AP World and AP European history at Grosse Ile High School, Michigan.


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