History of women in the United States

The history of women in the United States encompasses the lived experiences and contributions of women throughout American history.

The earliest women living in what is now the United States were Native Americans. During the 19th century, women were primarily restricted to domestic roles in keeping with Protestant values. The campaign for women's suffrage in the United States culminated with the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. During World War II, many women filled roles vacated by men fighting overseas. Beginning in the 1960s, the second-wave feminist movement changed cultural perceptions of women, although it was unsuccessful in passing the Equal Rights Amendment. In the 21st century, women have achieved greater representation in prominent roles in American life.

The study of women's history has been a major scholarly and popular field, with many scholarly books and articles, museum exhibits, and courses in schools and universities. The roles of women were long ignored in textbooks and popular histories. By the 1960s, women were being presented more often. An early feminist approach underscored their victimization and inferior status at the hands of men. In the 21st century, writers have emphasized the distinctive strengths displayed inside the community of women, with special concern for minorities among women.


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