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NWACC Library

Women's History Month

This guide highlights women's accomplishments throughout history and resources for finding more information.

Defining Feminism

"Feminism is the belief that women should have the same social, economic, and political rights as men. Throughout history, feminists have fought to gain more rights for women such as the right to own property, receive an education, vote, and hold public office. They have also fought for women’s reproductive rights such as the right to contraception, legal abortions, and maternity leave.

While feminism has existed since ancient times, feminist historians divide feminism into three waves, or time periods. The First Wave (1848–1920) was mainly concerned with women’s suffrage. The Second Wave (1963–1980s) focused on sexism in society and culminated with the landmark ruling Roe v. Wade. Feminists during the Third Wave (1991–present) continued the work of their predecessors but focused more on diversity. It also centered on the 1991 Anita Hill hearings and the 1990s emergence of Riot Girl groups. Some feminists argue for the inclusion of a fourth wave, largely because of the Me Too movement during which women used social media to fight against sexual harassment and violence."

“Feminism.” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2022. EBSCOhost,

What is Feminism?

Famous Feminists