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Category: Women's History
  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of picture books about trailblazing girls and women throughout history.

    If you flip through a typical history book, you might think, as historian Gerda Lerner once wrote, that "ostensibly one-half the human race is doing everything significant and the other half doesn’t exist." Far too often, women's contributions have been neglected in history books and school curriculums — fortunately, there are growing numbers of wonderful books being published for young readers about girls and women who made their mark on history. And, there's no better time to share these stories and make sure that the next generation — girls and boys alike — appreciates the important and diverse roles that women have played in history!

    In this blog post, we've collected the best picture book on remarkable girls and women throughout history, ranging from new releases to long-time favorites. These books feature girls and women who excelled in science, politics, the arts, athletics, and other fields. And, they serve as an excellent reminder that girls and women's stories deserve to be told — all year round. Continue reading Continue reading

  • From soldiers to spies to peacemakers, these remarkable women made tremendous contributions during "The Great War."

    This year marks a solemn anniversary: 100 years since the armistice agreement was signed that ended World War I. For people around the world, it is an opportunity to remember the nine million soldiers and the seven million civilians who died during the Great War which was deemed, at the time, the "war to end all wars."

    When stories are told of wartime heroism, most focus on the brave men who fought in the trenches along the front lines, but heroes played many roles during that long and devastating war. Since women were not usually allowed in military service at the time, their important contributions to the war effort have too often been neglected in history books. To remedy this, in this blog post, we're introducing nine remarkable women who deserve broader recognition for their efforts ranging from smuggling wounded soldiers to safety, spying for the Allies, establishing hospitals, and negotiating for peace. May their heroic work be remembered, and serve as a reminder of the horrors of war and the necessity of ensuring that a world-wide conflict never occurs again. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Women are vastly underrepresented in Congress but research has found they are superior at governing.

    The average American likely knows that there are more men than women in the U.S. Congress, but few realize how vastly underrepresented women truly are, how progress has been stalled for an entire generation, and how poorly the U.S. fares in terms of women's representation compared to the rest of the world. As of 2018, women hold only 20% of the seats in the U.S. Congress. Not only has this percentage barely budged for years, it's essentially akin to the representation of women in Saudi Arabia, a country famous for its poor record on women's rights. On a global scale, women's representation in the US lags far behind many other countries, ranking 104 out of 193 in the world. Continue reading Continue reading

  • The best books for kids, teens, and adults about women who dared to fly!

    From the earliest days of aviation, women have played a role — but few people know the stories of the daring women who opened the throttles, pulled back on the stick, and soared into history! Even when a name like Amelia Earhart or Bessie Coleman comes to mind, many kids don't know exactly how they made history, and few of them have heard of other groundbreaking women like Sophie Blanchard or Jerrie Mock. So it's time to celebrate these women who founds ways to take flight, even when the world told them they were reaching too high.

    In this blog post, we've featured our favorite books for all ages about trailblazing female pilots throughout history. Whether they were on the cutting edge of the development of flight, breaking records and testing the limits of what newer and better airplanes could do, or thrilling crowds with their daredevil maneuvers, these airwomen were bold and daring. And, for the Mighty Girls that read them, these books might just be the inspiration for their dreams of a life in the clouds! Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of books for children and teens about real-life girls and women who fought for a more just, equal, and peaceful world.

    When people think about what it means to love their country, some assume patriotism requires unwavering support, and that questioning or disagreeing with their government's choices is unpatriotic, disruptive, and even dangerous. But the truth is that dissent makes countries stronger: when citizens demand the best from their leaders and their countries — justice, accountability in government, and equal rights for all — everyone benefits. In fact, throughout history, progress for every country has come from people's willingness to stand up for what they believe in and insist on being heard, even if their beliefs counter those of the people in power. In other words, dissent isn't distracting or divisive: it's patriotic!

    To explore this topic with children and teens, we've showcased 40 of our favorite books about girls and women who resisted —  who dared to stand up against the laws and social norms of their day to fight for societies that were more just, tolerant, and equal. These people, from all walks of life, fought hard for causes they believed in, including women's suffrage, labor rights, civil rights, environmental protection, and more. They argued, they disagreed, and they protested — and today, we hail them as heroes whose courage and determination led to positive change and helped create a better future for everyone. Continue reading Continue reading

  • From Wi-Fi to Kevlar: Twenty Female Inventors Who Changed the World!

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    Around the world and across history, innovative women have imagined, developed, tested, and perfected their creations, and yet most of us would be hard pressed to name even a single woman inventor. In fact, women inventors are behind many of the products and technologies used every day! From life rafts to disposable diapers to rocket fuel, women have invented amazing things — but they're also responsible for some of the things we use for day to day life. In fact, if you use GPS on your cell phone, turn on windshield wipers when you drive in the rain, or eat a chocolate chip cookie, you can thank the woman behind them!

    In honor of the remarkable women whose breakthroughs have advanced technology and the ease of our day to day lives, we're sharing the stories of twenty ingenious women whose inventions have changed the world. Whether they were scribbling designs two centuries ago or are still working today, these clever creators deserve to have their stories told. We've also included a few stories of modern-day Mighty Girls who have taken up the challenge of becoming the inventors of today — and tomorrow.

    If you'd like to learn more about any of the featured women or introduce them to children and teens, where possible we're also sharing reading recommendations for both children and adults, as well as other resources that celebrate these innovative women. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Our top picks of books for children and teens about the girls and women who fought for workers' rights.

    For many children today, Labor Day is just a holiday marking the end of the summer; what they often don't know is that this special day commemorates the history of the struggle for workers' rights — one in which girls and women played important and too often forgotten roles. Held on the first Monday in September in the U.S. and Canada, Labor Day celebrates the contributions of workers and remembers the hardships they endured in their fight for justice.

    To introduce children and youth to the struggles and achievements of working girls and women, the fiction and non-fiction books recommended in this post will open their eyes to the tremendous efforts and sacrifices made by those in the early days of the labor movement who won workers the right to fair wages and safe working conditions. These stories will also give young readers a greater understanding of struggles that continue today, especially in countries where the fight continues for even the most basic worker rights.

    This post features twenty of our favorite books, from picture books to young adult novels to adult historical fiction, focused on the involvement of girls and women in labor movement struggles. For more books about labor issues, visit our collection of books about Work & Labor in our Social Issues book section. Continue reading Continue reading

  • The Trailblazing Mathematician Celebrated Her 100th Birthday This Week


    When President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Katherine Johnson in 2015, few people had even heard her name — but today, thanks to the smash success of the book Hidden Figures and its movie adaptation, this groundbreaking mathematician has become an inspiration for girls everywhere!

    Johnson was one of NASA's "human computers," a group of female mathematicians who calculated critical equations for rocket design, launch trajectories, and more. During her 35-year career at NASA, during which she was forced to overcome both gender and racial barriers, Johnson's skills in celestial navigation were renowned. She calculated — by hand — the flight trajectories for a number of historic missions, including the Alan Shepard's space voyage aboard Freedom 7 in 1961 and the Apollo 11 flight to the Moon in 1969. Now, this inspiring woman's contributions to the history of crewed space flight is finally being celebrated by the nation and the world.

    In honor of Katherine Johnson's 100th birthday, we've showcased a variety of books for all ages about the life and work of this trailblazing mathematician. These books capture Johnson's incredible determination, intelligence, and drive, and provide a stellar example for the next generation of pioneers! Continue reading Continue reading

  • The Apollo 11 moon landing nearly ended in failure -- until Margaret Hamilton's flight software saved the day.

    In this iconic photograph, pioneering computer scientist Margaret Hamilton stands next to the computer code that she and her team wrote to guide the Apollo spacecraft to the moon! Hamilton was the lead software designer for NASA’s Apollo program, and her forward thinking saved the 1969 Apollo 11 mission when the flight software she designed prevented a last-minute abort of the famous landing which brought the first humans to the Moon. Over the course of her career, Hamilton developed the concepts of asynchronous software, priority scheduling, and Human-in-the-loop decision capability, which became the foundation of modern software design. She also fought for programming to be given the respect it deserved, coining the term "software engineering" ; after all, as her work showed, software could make the difference between failure and a groundbreaking success. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Six downloadable posters celebrating women in science perfect for displaying in classrooms and kids' rooms!

    Designer Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya has created a series of incredible posters celebrating women in science that are perfect for displaying in a classroom or kid's bedroom! The six posters featured here, which are free to download, were created by Amanda, a science-trained designer, to connect the Women's March to the March for Science as part of her Beyond Curie design project focused on women in science.

    Below each poster, we've also provided a short introduction to each of the featured scientists as well as recommended reading for both kids and adults. To download any of the posters below, click the image or the "download poster" link.

    For more girl-empowering posters on a wide range of topics, visit A Mighty Girl's Art & Decor section.

    To introduce kids to more inspiring female scientists from throughout history, you can find many books for children and teens in our blog post, Ignite Her Curiosity: Books to Inspire Science-Loving Mighty Girls.

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