Women's Rights

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Women Who Shaped History

The Little-Known Story of the Women Who Stood Up to General Motors and Demanded Equal Pay

In the 1930s, Florence St. John and her co-workers at an automotive plant won a hard-fought victory for fairness

Attorney Gloria Allred (left) and Norma McCorvey (right), the anonymous plaintiff in Roe v. Wade, during a pro-choice rally in Burbank, California, on July 4, 1989

Women Who Shaped History

Who Was Norma McCorvey, the Woman Behind Roe v. Wade?

Dubbed "Jane Roe," McCorvey sought an abortion after becoming pregnant in 1969 but was thwarted by Texas' restrictive reproductive laws

Members of the Janes in 1972

History of Now

When Abortion Was Illegal, Chicago Women Turned to the Jane Collective

A new documentary spotlights the group that helped thousands seeking abortions in the 1960s and '70s

In a 1929 column, Amelia Earhart name-checked Keating as an example of a woman in aviation who had beaten the odds, writing, "She photographs from the air and helps make the beautifully accurate maps which compose aerial surveys."

Untold Stories of American History

In 1920s New York, This Woman Typist Became a Pioneering Aerial Photographer

Edith Keating survived the Halifax Explosion and eventually took to the skies, marking a path for other women to fly in her wake

The archive of written work and speeches delivered by suffragists simply doesn’t indicate that abortion was at the forefront of discussions about women’s rights during the mid-19th to early 20th centuries.

History of Now

What Did the Suffragists Really Think About Abortion?

Contrary to contemporary claims, Susan B. Anthony and her peers rarely discussed abortion, which only emerged as a key political issue in the 1960s

Before the critical 1965 Supreme Court ruling Griswold v. Connecticut, state and federal morality laws prohibited access to contraceptives, even to married couples (above: a picketer protests the opening of a new Planned Parenthood Center in New Haven, Connecticut).

The Revolutionary 1965 Supreme Court Decision That Declared Sex a Private Affair

A Smithsonian curator of medicine and science looks back to the days when police could arrest couples for using contraception

Demonstrators at a pro-choice march in April 1989

History of Now

In 1973, a Leak at the Supreme Court Broke News of an Imminent Ruling on Roe v. Wade

Nearly 50 years later, a similar disclosure revealed that the court is poised to overturn legalized abortion in the U.S.

Attorney, author, scholar and reverend Pauli Murray, pictured here on December 22, 1976

LGBTQ+ Pride

The Trailblazing, Multifaceted Activism of Lawyer-Turned-Priest Pauli Murray

New documentary tells the story of a Black and LGBTQ thinker who helped lay the legal groundwork for fighting gender- and race-based discrimination

Nobel award recipients are overwhelmingly white, male, and American, and this year was no exception.

No Nobel Prizes in Science Went to Women This Year, Widening the Awards' Gender Gap

Fewer than three percent of Nobel science winners are women, and only one woman of color has ever received the award

Mary Ware Dennett wrote The Sex Side of Life in 1915 as a teaching tool for her teenage sons.

The Sex Education Pamphlet That Sparked a Landmark Censorship Case

Women's rights activist Mary Ware Dennett was arrested in 1929 for mailing a booklet deemed "obscene, lewd or lascivious"

Del Martin, left, and Phyllis Lyon were officially wed June 16, 2008 in the first same-sex wedding to take place in San Francisco after legalization.

The Incredible Story of Lesbian Activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon

After first meeting in 1950, the couple was instrumental in founding the nation’s first organization for gay women

The statue is finally being unveiled this week after a seven-year fundraising effort and a three-year construction effort.

Women Who Shaped History

Chicago's First Monument to a Black Woman Will Commemorate Activist Ida B. Wells

Sculptor Richard Hunt designed the statue, which is called 'Light of Truth'

#FreeBritney activists protest at Los Angeles Grand Park during a conservatorship hearing for Britney Spears on June 23, 2021 in Los Angeles.

Britney Spears and the Age-Old History of Men Policing Women's Trauma

The singer's conservatorship, on trial this month, recalls the history of hysterectomies, insane asylums, forced contraception, among others

Historically, doctors have often treated women's pain as a sign of mental illness.

Myth and Misdiagnosis Have Plagued Women's Health for Centuries

A new book by scholar Elinor Cleghorn details the medical mistreatment of women throughout Western history

Astronaut Sally Ride (left) and poet Maya Angelou (right) will be the first individuals honored through the American Women Quarters Program.

Women Who Shaped History

Maya Angelou, Sally Ride to Be Among First Women Featured on U.S. Quarters

Between 2022 and 2025, the U.S. Mint is set to highlight up to 20 trailblazing American women

Some facets of the 1918 influenza pandemic echo today's crisis: There were mask mandates, campaigns against spitting and pleas for people to cover their mouths, and more than half a million Americans died. The decade that followed the pandemic, however, was marked by social change and economic prosperity—for some.

What Caused the Roaring Twenties? Not the End of a Pandemic (Probably)

As the U.S. anticipates a vaccinated summer, historians say measuring the impact of the 1918 influenza on the uproarious decade that followed is tricky

Gloria Steinem in her Upper East Side apartment

Virtual Travel

Take a Virtual Tour of Feminist Icon Gloria Steinem's Historic Manhattan Apartment

In honor of her 87th birthday, the speaker and activist is (digitally) welcoming visitors into her home

Ruth Bader Ginsburg would have celebrated her 88th birthday on March 15, 2021.

A New Sculpture in Brooklyn Honors Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The statue, unveiled to coincide with Women's History Month, is dedicated to the late Supreme Court justice

This month's picks include The Agitators, Beloved Beasts, and Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid.

Books of the Month

America's Original Gangster Couple, Trailblazing Women Explorers and Other New Books to Read

These March releases elevate overlooked stories and offer insights on oft-discussed topics

A copy of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique was gifted to the National Museum of American History and exhibited in a 2015 exhibition "The Early Sixties: American Culture."

The Powerful, Complicated Legacy of Betty Friedan's 'The Feminine Mystique'

The acclaimed reformer stoked the white, middle-class feminist movement and brought critical understanding to a “problem that had no name”

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