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Archiving the work of Women who CREATE History

“The Global Women’s History Project offers a great learning opportunity not easily available in classrooms. The themes/topics are always up-to-date and about pressing issues that require immediate attention….I believe that’s what liberal arts education is about- helping individuals broaden insight and encouraging them to develop the ability to think critically…We are fortunate to have this project  [at Westfield State University].”

Hugh Jo, Faculty, Political Science


“We are creating a living history as seen through the eyes of women, that will fill a serious gap in the historical literature for generations to come.”

Global Women's History Project

The Global Women’s History Project was created by Dr. Elise G. Young, Middle East historian, as a unique educational model, combining research, activism, and international education and cooperation.


The Goals of the Global Women’s History Project are the following:

  • To provide an opportunity for the public to engage with women from around the world as they learn about one another’s histories, visions, achievements, and concerns, and to share creative pedagogies.
  • To archive women’s history and to make primary source materials presented at conferences available to researchers, activists, and others.
  • Through workshops and presentations, through film, music, and meetings with local women’s organizations, to offer an environment conducive to communication and constructive interaction between and among women across national, religious, ethnic-racial, gender, sexuality, age, and class divisions.
  • To develop and coordinate projects in the areas of community based preventive health care, education, housing, and politics, de-militarization, sharing of resources, war trauma, and refugee and immigrant status.
  • To network with grassroots organizations, schools, and universities, in order to share research and create avenues for support and interaction.

"...sincerely moved and overjoyed to have such an inspiring and life changing event! "

The Global Women’s History Project invites women from around the globe involved in bringing peace to their regions through political structures and through grassroots organizations to meet with one another and with women from the United States in order to learn about and develop common strategies for peace and for justice.

Acknowledging that the destinies of women in the United States are linked with those of women globally, The Global Women’s History Project exists to create and support international networking in order that women may have a venue for addressing issues of common concern, and in order that women may have a venue for advocating for one another across nationalist boundaries.

Women from a range of backgrounds in the U.S. struggle daily with life threatening concerns, including poverty, racism, domestic violence, and health related issues. The Global Women’s History Project seeks to educate students, faculty, and our communities about the histories and current struggles occupying women in many regions of the world, and about common strategies of women facing similar issues in the U.S.

Our conferences are designed to highlight and to document the visions, strategies, challenges, and triumphs of women. These programs provide important insights and critical information for activists, scholars in all disciplines, students, women from a range of backgrounds in the United States, and policy makers from electoral politics to grassroots organization.


The first conference was organized in April of 1999 by Dr. Elise G. Young, Middle East historian, History Department, and Dr. Catherine Shannon, History Department, specialist in women’s history in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

We were concerned about the absence of venues to support and publicize women’s involvement in and responses to the Belfast Agreement (Ireland) and the Oslo Agreements (Israel-Palestine). In both of these situations women’s organizations emerged to ensure that women would not be left out of the political processes that held the possibility for bringing peace to their war torn societies. There was no information in the mainstream media about the efforts of women to make connections between nationalist agendas and women’s rights.

We saw an opportunity to provide a venue both for women within the regions who had difficulty reaching one another, and for women within the United States, to learn from one another and to develop strategies to support the rights of women worldwide. The impact of our first conference on the delegates and on the College community and on the general public inspired Dr. Young to continue this work.

The Global Women’s History Project focuses on the Middle East, Africa, Asia, in order to illuminate the often misunderstood and misrepresented histories and contributions of women in these regions. As a result of our accomplishments to date, we offer to students, researchers, activists, educators, historians and others, an archive of primary source documents of women’s history, and of women’s current struggles, visions, and contributions, from the regions represented. In addition, we offer links to women’s organizations represented and links to on-going connection to and information about our delegates.