Women’s History Month

If you want something done, ask a woman. First Lady, Michelle Obama

Despite adversity and obstacles, women have blazed a trail for their equality and opportunity. March, proclaimed as Women’s History month, is a time for us to celebrate the many accomplishments women have had and also think about persistent inequalities.

The Cornell Library has vast resources related to women from both the domestic and international perspectives. A subject search can help you narrow geographically—simply type “women” and the location; for example, “women—united states.” For a specific time period, add that to the subject search; “Women United States History 18th Century.”

Women’s History is a vast topic and below are a few highlights. A Women’s History month display can be found in the library lobby which offers a more comprehensive view of the library’s collection related to this subject.

Women’s History in North America

Negotiators of Change: Historical Perspectives on Native American Women offers articles related women in ten tribal groups, from the seventeenth century to present day. The book challenges the notion that “colonization lead to a loss of Native American women’s power,” but instead offers a more complex interpretation of female subversion and adaptation to European ways.  Because there are few written records prior to European contact, historians and ethnographers must use creative strategies to reconstruct Indian women’s roles. Editor, Nancy Shoemaker touches on this subject, in addition to cultural bias in her introduction.E98.W8 N44 1995

Jane Addams did not fit neatly into the traditional female sphere as a mother or wife; instead, she was an organizer and co-founder of Hull House, the well-known settlement house in Chicago. She was also the first female recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. In Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy, Louise Knight, accounts Addams privileged upbringing, to her work with the poor.  At the same time, Knight explores how the meaning of democracy changed during the 19th century as a result of industrialization, immigration, and the expansion of suffrage to previously disenfranchised groups. HV40.32.A33 K59 2005

The Road to Seneca Falls: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the First Woman’s Rights Convention offers a “full-length account of the historical meeting in its contemporary context.” Of particular importance in Judith Wellman’s books, is the discussion of Seneca Falls and why the first women’s convention occurred in upstate New York of all places.HQ1413.S67 W45 2004

International Perspectives on Women’s History

In The Politics of Women’s Rights in Iran, Osanloo, by visiting various cultural hubs in Iran, documents how women’s rights are being created post-revolution. She also explores the hybrid creation of contemporary rights through the blending of Islamic principles and Western Liberalism. HQ1236.5.I7 O83 2009

Radical Women in Latin America: Left and Right is an anthology analyzing women’s movements throughout Central and South American through the lenses of materialism, feminism, and autonomy and across political boundaries. Articles include, “ A Feminist Reconstruction of Parenthood Within Neoliberal Constraints,” and “Defending Dictatorship: Conservative Women in Pinochet’s Chile and the 1988 Plebiscite.” HQ1236.5.L37 R33 2001

Women and the Law

Women and the Law Stories edited by Elizabeth Schneider and Stephanie Wildman features well-known and less well-known cases of anti-discrimination law which illuminate women’s diverse experiences with the law in various courts. The book reviews issues like sex discrimination, reproductive freedom, and family law. It concludes with articles specifically related to the struggles of today’s female legal professionals. KF478.A5 W645 2011

What does it mean to “have it all”? Do women have to choose between having a professional life and a personal life? In Women-at-Law: Lessons Learned along the Pathways to Success, Phyllis Horn Epstien explores the demands women face as lawyers in a male dominated field, in addition to fulfilling their roles as mothers, and wives. Epstein interviews many women about their thoughts on the profession and how they managed competing demands. The book explores issues like appearance, fair treatment, and part-time work. KF299.W6 E77 2004