The Experiences of Women in America

Social Justice Learning: adult

Today's Lesson: The Experiences of Women in America

Sexism in the United States has historically been linked to the experiences of women and girls and its effects include gendered stereotypes, tropes, and/or pre-defined roles, as well as historically lower pay, a lack of access to equal education or adequate healthcare, and underrepresentation in our political system. We understand that these conversations can be difficult, and often we aren’t sure where to start. Below you will find a sampling of resources you can dive into right now that explore what it means to be a woman in America, celebrating their influence, experiences, contributions, leadership, and accomplishments. From birth through adulthood, we believe social justice learning is a life-long journey.

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Learning Levels

Early Childhood Adolescent Adult


On The Front Lines

Side by side picture of women in war, one from the past, one from the present


This NPR series, “On The Front Lines: Women In War,” looks at what it means to be a woman in uniform today, exploring both how that's changed over generations and whether more change looms. The series profiles five women in the military, with different perspectives on women's role in combat and expectations for their future. And did you know that women make up about 10 percent of the U.S. forces in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan? NPR goes into more detail in this second series, “Women in Combat.”


EXTRA CREDIT: The Pandemic Recession is taking an unbearable toll on women, especially mothers who are exhausted from the demands of job, childcare, and housework. This special NPR series, “Enough Already: How the Pandemic is Breaking Women,” explores how COVID-19 could be unfairly setting women back.



The Codebreaker

American Experience: The Codebreaker tells the fascinating story of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, the groundbreaking cryptanalyst whose painstaking work decoding thousands of messages for the U.S. government would send infamous gangsters to prison and bring down a massive, near-invisible Nazi spy ring in WWII. Elizebeth helped develop the methods that led to the creation of the powerful new science of cryptology and laid the foundation for modern codebreaking today. Sadly, her remarkable contributions wouldn’t come to light until decades after her death, when secret government files were unsealed.


EXTRA CREDIT: For nearly half a century, Russian emigrant Emma Goldman was the most controversial woman in America, taunting the mainstream with her fervent attacks on government, big business, and war. To the tabloids, she was "Red Emma, queen of the anarchists," but many admired Goldman for her defense of labor rights, women's emancipation, birth control, and free speech. Follow her life and impact with American Experience: Emma Goldman.



The She Said Project Podcast

Kerry and Jenette inside the WILL Radio studio
The She Said Project


Something remarkable happens when everyday women come together to share their extraordinary stories, and The She Said Project Podcast gives women a microphone. Join hosts, co-founder Kerry Rossow and National Director, Jenette Jurczyk as they visit with some incredible women who braved the microphone to share their stories on the She Said stage. For each of them, the experience changed their lives in someway or another, find out how.


EXTRA CREDIT: In America, women make up more than half the population. Worldwide, women are expected to outnumber men within the next fifty years - and every issue we face is one that affects us all. Whether it's the environment, health, our children, politics, or the arts, there's a women's perspective, and 51% is a podcast dedicated to that viewpoint