March is Women’s History Month

Looking for ways to celebrate Women's History Month? Browse our collection on Overdrive and the Libby App, or for a deeper dive, take a look at this timeline of Woman Sufferage on Infobase.

Need a classroom exercise? Use the Issues and Controversies in History resource from Infobase to create a debate in class around a historical debate, like Reign of Hatshepsut - Ambitious Usurper or Successful Ruler? 

Issues and Controversies in History from Infobase offers many opportunities to explore Women's History Month, with notable women both historical and contemporary.

If your students aren't up for a full-fledged debate, have them read the resources and answer the discussion questions:

1. How would you assess Hatshepsut's reign? Was she more an ambitious usurper or a successful ruler?

2. What role do public images and texts play in shaping perceptions of a ruler? Do you think Hatshepsut's statues and inscriptions influenced Egyptians' perceptions of her? Why or why not?

3. Based on the article, how would you describe men's and women's roles in ancient Egyptian society? How were these roles similar to or different from men's and women's roles in your community?

4. The Egyptians believed that their kings were gods and thus expected them to exercise great power and responsibility. What might be the benefits and drawbacks of such a belief?

5. Research another influential female leader in world history, such as Cleopatra, Wu Zetian of China, Empress Catherine of Russia, or Indira Gandhi of India. How did their rule compare to that of Hatshepsut? Did their societies consider them legitimate leaders and treat them differently because of their sex?

If you'd prefer a more contemporary lesson on Women's History, try Equal Pay Act of 1963 - Should Employers Be Required to Pay Women and Men Equal Wages? or Feminist Movement - Should the Equal Rights Amendment Be Added to the Constitution? Every entry in Issues and Controversies in History contains Pro/Con Articles, a timeline, primary sources, related articles, citations, and many opportunities to learn more. The entries are formatted for printing, and can be embedded into Google Classroom easily or downloaded for sharing.

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