Printable Women's History Worksheets
Women are often overlooked and have throughout history been treated as a second-class citizen in many cultures throughout the world. Many women have made priceless contributions to humanity. In this set of printable we try offer just a small glimpse of their contribution.
- Acrostic Poem
- Crossword Puzzle
- Crossword Puzzle Answers
- Group Creative Writing Activity
- Multiple Choice Quiz Page 1
- Multiple Choice Quiz Page 2
- Multiple Choice Quiz Answers
- Spiral Puzzle
- Spiral Puzzle Answers
- Women Who Are Noteworthy
- VENN Diagram: Comparing Women's Rights
- Vocabulary Quiz
- Vocabulary Words and Definitions
- Biographical Data Form - Pick a woman who helped shape history and write a short biography about her life using the following guidelines.
- Word Scramble
- Word Scramble Answers
- Word Search
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What is The Women's Rights Movement?
Today America takes pride in being the land of the free. The core values that America's constitution stands on today, such as the right to life, liberty, economic freedom, and the pursuit of happiness, were once alien to women. Women were excluded from many matters, and confined to their homemaking duties only. A lot has changed since.
For a prolonged time, American society has pushed females to the sidelines and exploited them. In almost all spheres of life, American women faced unjust behavior and exclusion through the dominant system. These areas included family life, education, government, and religion. Society generally perceived females as the weaker gender, who was in every way lower than their male counterpart.
While now women in America have great liberty, there are still some areas that society needs to work on. This journey to freedom and equal life was never easy. Women have had to fight an extremely long and difficult battle against the patriarchal system and its values that have always undermined the entire gender.
Understanding the Movement
The women's rights movement is a socio-political movement driven by the need to revolutionize American society, aiming to achieve some groundbreaking goals for the women of America. The movement and its goals over the years have evolved; it has taken different approaches and different people. However, the essence of the movement remains the same.
First Wave of Feminism
Even though feminist movements had made an appearance throughout the western world, in 1848, women found the courage and stepped up against inequality and for their constitutional and social rights.
In July 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott, along with 300 people, mostly female, took to the streets of New York for women's rights. These 300 people signed a declaration of sentiments; essentially, this declaration demanded the end of discrimination against women, of course, on all grounds. This step by women of New York was the beginning of the world's formal exposure to the women's rights movement and the first wave of feminism.
The movement was revolutionary and encapsulated a wide range of goals for women. Women decided it was of utmost urgency first to secure their right to vote in elections because having the right to vote truly helped America acknowledge them as rightful citizens. However, the decision did not come early, but rather, after substantial delay. In August 1920, the American government decided to agree to their demand and granted them the rights of an American citizen, including the right to vote. The official approval of the nineteenth amendment to the American constitution was a major milestone for the women's rights movement, giving women their long-awaited acknowledgment as citizens of the United States of America.
On Tuesday, November 2, 1920, women voted for the first time in America. It was life-altering and monumental. On that day, the trajectory of women's lives in America shifted forever.
Achieving the goals of the women's rights movement was not something that happened overnight or over a few months. With the help of numerous women's rights movements, women could achieve their goals and find their rightful space and voice in society.
Second Wave of Feminism
This women's rights movement took place in the 1960s and the 1970s. In many ways, it was an extension of the demands of the first wave. Through this, feminists challenged what role women should have in society. This movement allowed women to actively question the different institutes of society that have played an integral role in holding women back.
Now the matter was to comprehend why the society so rigorously oppressed women. The institute of the family was also under scrutiny. The second wave of feminism highlighted the traditional gender and family roles. Women argued that these roles were embedded in deep-rooted and socially constructed patriarchal values. These gender roles only ever held women back, and to reiterate the idea that women did not add any value to the society, their roles were limited to the duties of their house and family.
Today all of these inequalities would sound strange, but back in the day, unfortunately this was the life of the average American woman.
Third Wave of Feminism
By the time the third wave of feminism arose, the women's rights movement had started to appear more often. There was an active dialogue regarding the varying social and political issues women faced in society. Something intrinsically changed in these women when they entered the 1990s. There was a strong sense of accomplishment, as they could practice their rights more freely, moving into the society with newfound power.
In this third wave, women talked about other aspects of their identity. In this era, the women's rights movement challenged the cultural perspectives regarding women. They were fighting for the right to be their authentic selves without the strains of the cultural expectations they have always had to be submissive towards. Women in this wave of feminism felt freer than ever, as they took control over their dressing, speaking, and general behavior, which the society and men before perceived as simply unacceptable. Women were now moving in and out of society per their wishes without any rules.
The history of the inequality women face is extensive; women across the world, not just in America, have faced some form of injustice at some point or the other. These women's rights movements and the waves of feminism have played a monumental role in changing the lives of many women. While today women still may face some problems, be it sexual harassment or the prevalent gender pay gap – in many ways, women have taken over their agency and successfully changed many stereotypical and misogynistic narratives about their gender.
Today women have found their well-deserved space in many spheres of life, from politics, business, and education, women are now more present and active, and the credit goes to the relentless fight of all their ancestors who took part in the women's rights movement, and changed the entire trajectory for the future women.
Who Were the Most Influential Women of All Time?
When we think of influential figures who have changed the world, we often think of men. History books are flooded with profiles of men who have influenced history. This archaic notion is untrue - women have contributed immensely to disciplines through the ages.
The biggest hurdle has been operating in a patriarchal society where they couldn't always participate freely. However, that didn't stop these women from standing up, breaking the rules, and leaving a mark to be forever remembered.
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)
If one were to imagine the world's first computer programmer, one would imagine a man. However, the English mathematician Ada Lovelace also has the honor of being that. She had a romantic poet for a father, Lord Byron, and was friends with Charles Dickens; despite her proximity to literature, she found her calling in numbers.
She is known for her contributions to Charles Babbage's proposed mechanical computer. She was the first person, not just a woman, to recognize that a computer could perform more functions than just calculation and eventually became the first person to publish an algorithm demonstrating this.
Marie Curie (1867-1934)
Marie Curie was born in Poland, where the country's political unrest made it a difficult place to survive. Although the daughter of a professor and headmistress, she was unable to pursue a university education as the women in her country at that time weren't allowed to do so.
She escaped Poland and found refuge, love, and science in France. She was intrigued by uranium emissions, and her research led her to coin the term radioactivity. For her work, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903.
Amelia Earhart (1897-1939)
Amelia Earhart defied the conventions of what was considered feminine at her time. She played basketball growing up, had a keen interest in auto repair, and was adamant about acquiring a pilot's license. In 1935, she became an aeronautical engineering advisor at Purdue University.
Before embarking on her solo flight as an aviator, she was the first passenger to fly across the Atlantic. Not wholly satisfied and refusing to let norms dictate her, she strived for her aviation license and became the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
Jane Austen (1775-1817)
Jane Austen was an English novelist who penned six of the most important pieces of literature. These novels are not just works of fiction but provide commentary on class, societal norms, gender roles, and the independence of women.
She published her work anonymously and gained modest success. However, her brother Henry published all of her work under her name after her death. That is when she was recognized not just for her literary talents but her thought-provoking critique of society and insights.
Rosa Parks (1913-2005)
Rosa Parks was an African-American woman who sparked an entire civil rights movement by simply refusing to give up her seat on a bus for a white man. This happened when segregation was the norm, and the bus had a "colored section." Her refusal inspired the black community to boycott the buses that were part of the same company for an entire year.
Parks became an international symbol of resistance against racial segregation. She joined forces with Dr. Martin Luther King. Today, she is recognized as Rosa Parks as the First Lady of Civil Rights and the mother of the freedom movement.
Anne Frank (1929-1945)
If you calculate the above numbers, she was just fifteen years old when she passed away. However, the impact that she has had on the world has not faded. Along with her family, she was a victim of the Holocaust and had to go into hiding. The world got to know about her posthumously when her diary was published. The Diary of a Young Girl recounts the horrors she and her family endured in hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands.
The book is honest and personal and narrates accounts of inhumane behavior and torture that the Jews endured. It has been translated into 70 languages and remains one of the most influential works to be published that shook the world.
Malala Yousufzai (1997- present)
Malala was only fifteen years old when she was shot in the face for speaking up for women's rights to education in Pakistan. She survived the assassination attempt and continued her academic journey with even more fervor in the UK. She was seventeen years old when she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, making her the youngest recipient.
Malala hails from the Swat Valley, where her father ran an all-girls school. She is a human rights activist for female education. She advocates for education as she firmly believes it is the first step towards diluting extremism and ending poverty.
Catherine the Great
A list of influential women would be incomplete without the mention of a queen, for she is the epitome of leadership and shattering the glass ceiling. At a time when the function of marriage was more of an alliance between two countries than two people, she did not let her loveless marriage by the end of her story. She was married to the King of Russia and successfully orchestrated a coup against him. This resulted in him being overthrown and her being established as the Empress of the Russian Empire.
She was not a power-hungry leader and founded the first all-girls school in Russia funded by the state. She was a visionary who modernized her empire by investing more in trade, the economy, and the arts.
Summing it up
Though men often dominate all disciplines and industries, there have been powerful and influential women in history who have defied expectations and gender norms. They have not just done this for personal development but also contributed significantly to the world that shaped history. It would be a disservice to them to overlook their contributions.