SEPTEMBER 3, 2019

Women of Achievement


In recent years, it has become painfully obvious that standard history books are lacking when it comes to women’s achievements.  There have been numerous influential women in history, many of whom have gone without acknowledgment. History owes a lot to these brilliant and brave women, and the world we live in today is shaped by their achievements.  

Generally, history books surveying certain eras or countries are known to not include important women in their lessons.  It’s a sad fact, but with more awareness of this issue, we hope that we can change how women are studied. To start, we need to realize why it’s important to learn about these remarkable women in history.

The Importance of Studying Women of Achievement

Women’s history.  Why is it important?  Is it truly something that we should focus on separately from “standard” history?  Aren’t men as important as women — so why should women have their own study of history?  Isn’t that exclusive to the men? First off, men and women are equally important. However, men and women have not been equally represented throughout standard history, with the majority of recollection and study being devoted to men.  If anything, women have been excluded from history.  Therefore, it’s only right to recognize the specific importance of women’s history.

Women have contributed to the development of our society, inventions, medicine, and more, alongside men.  Consequently, when these incredible women are left out from history textbooks in favor of their male colleagues, a piece of history is lost.  Per a survey conducted by the Smithsonian, for every three men mentioned in a history textbook, only one woman is studied.  More specifically, in a study of 737 historical figures, 559 were men, while only 178 were women.  This is not due to a lack of women making history or being influential individuals.  Further, when women are included in historical texts, if often comes across as an afterthought or a quick mention.

There is a chasm of missing information regarding the depth of women’s contributions to history.  The result of these hard-working women being overlooked leads to history being retold inaccurately.  Inspired literature has fallen unread, achievements for equality unnoticed, services such as war correspondents or financial stock leaders generally unknown, and more.  

Let’s change this cycle by taking time to study these amazing women of achievement.  Let’s teach our children about them. Let’s take time to consider why their successes are important to study, and even more worthwhile to uncover from the missing pages of history books.

Here are three great reasons why it’s essential to study women’s history:

  • Women in history inspire future generations.
    • But how will they know if these women are not studied?
  • Women have made history and gone unacknowledged.
    • We need to give credit to whom credit is due.
  • Women’s history is simply a more complete study of history itself.
    • History is left incomplete when women are left largely unmentioned.

Our 10 Favorite Historical Women Resources

To get started studying these incredible women, we have a great list of resources.  These can be used individually, as a supplement, or even as an addition to a unit study.  Together, we can change how history is written, and shine a light on these leading women.

Courtney Newman

Courtney Newman is a homeschool graduate and a freelance writer. Her favorite hobbies include reading, writing, and spending time with her husband and pets.