Based on the scholarship of a global team of diverse authors, this wide-ranging handbook surveys the history and current status of pro-women thought and activism over millennia.

The book traces the complex history of feminism across the globe, presenting its many identities, its heated debates, its racism, discussion of religious belief and values, commitment to social change, and the struggles of women around the world for gender justice. Authors approach past understandings and today’s evolving sense of what feminism or womanism or gender justice are from multiple viewpoints. These perspectives are geographical to highlight commonalities and differences from region to region or nation to nation; they are also chronological suggesting change or continuity from the ancient world to our digital age. Across five parts, authors delve into topics such as colonialism, empire, the arts, labor activism, family, and displacement as the means to take the pulse of feminism from specific vantage points highlighting that there is no single feminist story but rather multiple portraits of a broad cast of activists and thinkers.

Comprehensive and properly global, this is the ideal volume for students and scholars of women’s and gender history, women’s studies, social history, political movements and feminism.

chapter |6 pages


part 1|63 pages

Feminism, what is it?

chapter 1|14 pages


An overview

chapter 2|14 pages

Foundations, Elements, Roots

part 2|78 pages

Historical perspectives

chapter 5|17 pages

The Premodern World

chapter 6|15 pages

The Early Modern World

chapter 7|14 pages

The Nineteenth Century

chapter 8|17 pages

The Twentieth Century

chapter 9|13 pages

The Digital Age and Beyond

part 3|151 pages

Regional thought and activism

chapter 11|17 pages

East Asia

chapter 12|14 pages

Southeast Asia

chapter 13|14 pages

South Asia

chapter 15|15 pages

Sub-Saharan Africa


chapter 16|15 pages

Sub-Saharan Africa

Rights 1

chapter 17|14 pages

Europe and Russia

chapter 19|14 pages

North America

part 4|142 pages

Topics in feminism I

chapter 20|17 pages

Political Life and the Law

chapter 21|16 pages

Empire and Colonialism

chapter 22|14 pages


chapter 23|14 pages

Nation and Nationalism 1

chapter 24|15 pages


chapter 25|15 pages


chapter 26|5 pages



chapter 27|15 pages


chapter 29|15 pages


part 5|142 pages

Topics in feminism II

chapter 30|12 pages

Intersections, Struggles

chapter 31|14 pages

Mana Wahine

chapter 32|15 pages

The Arts

chapter 33|12 pages


The body and sexuality

chapter 34|17 pages


chapter 35|18 pages

Race and Ethnicity

chapter 36|14 pages


chapter 37|15 pages

Poverty, Work, and Labor

chapter 38|14 pages


chapter 39|9 pages


Ecofeminism and the animal world