Women have always been part of history. But for centuries, their participation in it was overlooked: Early history texts often excluded women altogether, aside from accounts of powerful women like queens. Historians—who were almost entirely men—often saw the past through the lens of the “great man” theory, which holds that history is largely shaped by male heroes and their struggles.
That changed in the 20th century, with the birth of women’s history as an academic discipline, a push to recognize the achievements of women—and a movement to ensure women had equal access to the academic institutions where their history might be taught. In the United States, the result was National Women’s History Month, an annual celebration born from the