Timeline of women's education

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Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1886: Anandibai Joshee from India (left) with Kei Okami from Japan (center) and Sabat Islambooly from Syria (right). All three completed their medical studies and each of them was the first woman from their respective countries to obtain a degree in Western medicine.

This is a timeline of women's education.

17th century[edit]


  • Juliana Morell, a Spanish woman, became the first woman to earn a doctorate degree—a Law doctorate—and, indeed, the first woman to earn any type of university degree.[1][2]


  • German-born Dutch Anna Maria van Schurman studied as the first female student at the university Utrecht, Netherlands.


  • The French colony of Acadia, which at the time included part of Maine, had an Ursuline boarding school by 1639 that was geared toward the education of young girls. The school was founded in Quebec City and is still in operation today, though this part of Canada no longer includes the part of Maine that it once did.



  • In this year Bishop Calderon of Santiago wrote to Queen Mother Marie Anne of Spain concerning the Spanish efforts at colonizing Florida. In his letter he included some comments about the state of education and stated, "The children, both male and female, go to church on work days, to a religious school where they are taught by a teacher whom they call Athequi of the church; [a person] whom the priests have for this service."[3] This description indicates that the colonies of New Spain had facilities for female education at least by the 1600s. It is not clear how far back this goes; the 1512 laws of Burgos, from over a hundred years earlier, did not specify whether instruction should be for males only: it uses the word hijos, which means sons, but can include daughters if they are mixed in with the boys.


18th century[edit]


  • Founded in 1727 by the Sisters of the Order of Saint Ursula, Ursuline Academy, New Orleans, is both the oldest continuously operating school for girls and the oldest Catholic school in the United States. The Ursuline Sisters founded this school out of the conviction that the education of women was essential to the development of a civilized, spiritual and just society, and has influenced culture and learning in New Orleans by providing an exceptional education for its women.



  • At only 16 years of age, Countess Benigna von Zinzendorf established the first all-girls boarding school in America, sponsored by her father Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf. Originally known as the Bethlehem Female Seminary upon its 1742 founding, it changed its name to Moravian Seminary and College for Women by 1913. 1863 proved the Germantown, Pennsylvania-based school’s most landmark year, however, when the state recognized it as a college and granted it permission to reward bachelor's degrees. As a result, most tend to accept Moravian as the oldest—though not continuously operational because of its current co-ed status—specifically female institute of higher learning in the United States.[11]



  • Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, appointed the first women instructors at any American college or university, Elizabeth Callister Peale and Sarah Callister – members of the famous Peale family of artists – taught painting and drawing.[13]


  • Russia got primary and high schools for females.[14]


19th century[edit]



  • Bradford Academy in Bradford, Massachusetts was the first higher educational institution to admit women in Massachusetts. It was founded as a co-educational institution, but became exclusively for women in 1837.


  • India: Western Christian missionaries opened the first schools in India open to girls.[15]


  • Serbia: girls were allowed to attend elementary schools with boys up until the fourth grade.[16]


  • Argentina: the charitable Beneficial Society was charged by the government to establish and control (private) elementary schools for girls (they retain the control of the schools for girls until 1876).[17]


  • The first American public high schools for girls were opened in New York and Boston.[18]


  • Brazil: the first elementary schools for girls and the profession of school teacher were opened.[19]


  • The first public examination of an American girl in geometry was held.[20]
  • In Egypt Christian missionaries were allowed to open elementary schools for girls.[21]


  • As a private institution in 1831, Mississippi College became the first coeducational college in the United States to grant a degree to a woman. In December 1831 it granted degrees to two women, Alice Robinson and Catherine Hall.[22]


  • Greece got compulsory prime education for both boys and girls, in parallel with the foundation of the first private secondary educational schools for girls such as the Arsakeio.[23]


  • The first modern school for girls was opened in Iran, Urmia.[24]


  • Bradford Academy in Bradford, Massachusetts, due to declining enrollment, became a single-sexed institution for the education of women exclusively.


  • Established in 1836, Georgia Female College in Macon, GA opened its doors to students on January 7, 1839. Now known as Wesleyan College, it was the first college in the world chartered specifically to grant bachelor's degrees to women.[25]


  • In Bulgaria the first secular girls school made education and the profession of teacher available for women.[26]




  • Belgium: elementary school for both genders
  • Costa Rica: first high school for girls, and the profession of teacher was opened to women.[28]


  • Elizabeth Blackwell, born in England, became the first woman to earn a medical degree from an American college, Geneva Medical College in New York.[29]
  • Bedford College opens in London as the first higher education college for women in the United Kingdom.[30]
  • India: secondary education for girls was made available by the foundation of the Bethune School.



  • Lucy Sessions earned a literary degree from Oberlin College, becoming the first black woman in the United States to receive a college degree.[31]
  • France: Elementary education for both sexes, but girls were only allowed to be tutored by teachers from the church.[32]
  • Haiti: First permanent school for girls.[33]


  • Nicaragua: Josefa Vega are granted dispensation to attend lectures at university, after which women are given the right to apply for permission to attend lectures at university (though not to an actual full university education).[34]


  • Egypt: The first Egyptian school for females was opened by the Copts minority.[21]
  • Serbia: The first secondary educational school for females was inaugurated (public schools for girls having opened in 1845-46).[23]
  • Sweden: The profession of teacher at public primary and elementary schools was opened to both sexes.[35]


  • Chile: first public elementary school for girls.[26]



  • Netherlands: Elementary education compulsory for both girls and boys.[37]
  • Spain: Elementary education compulsory for both girls and boys.[38]


  • Mary Fellows became the first woman west of the Mississippi River to receive a baccalaureate degree.[39]
  • Ottoman Empire: The first state school for girls is opened; several other schools for girls are opened during the following decades.[40]
  • Russia: gymnasiums for girls.[14]


  • Denmark: The post of teacher at public schools are opened to women.[41]
  • Sweden: The post of college teacher and lower official at public institutions are open to women.[42]


  • Norway: Women are allowed to teach in the rural elementary school system (in the city schools in 1869).[43]



  • Mary Jane Patterson became the first African-American woman to earn a BA in 1862. She earned her degree from Oberlin College.[11]


  • Serbia: The inauguration of the Women's High School in Belgrade, first high school open to women in Serbia (and the entire Balkans).[23]


  • Rebecca Crumpler became the first African-American woman to graduate from a U.S. college with a medical degree and the first and only black woman to obtain the Doctress of Medicine degree from New England Female Medical College in Boston, MA.[31]
  • Belgium: The first official secondary education school open to females in Belgium.[44]
  • Haiti: Elementary schools for girls are founded.[33]


  • Romania: The educational reform granted all Romanians access to education, which, at least formally, gave also females the right to attend school from elementary education to the university.[45]




  • Switzerland: Zürich University formally open to women, though they had already been allowed to attend lectures a few years prior.[48]


  • Croatia: The first high school open to females.[49]


  • Fanny Jackson Coppin was named principal of the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia, becoming the first black woman to head an institution for higher learning in the United States.[31]
  • Austria-Hungary: The profession of public school teacher is open to women.[32]
  • Costa Rica: Elementary education compulsory for both girls and boys.[28]
  • Ottoman Empire: The law formally introduce compulsory elementary education for both boys and girls.[40]
  • Russia: University Courses for women are opened, which opens the profession of teacher, law assistant and similar lower academic professions for women (in 1876, the courses are no longer allowed to give exams, and in 1883, all outside of the capital is closed).[32]
  • Watt Institution and School of Arts, a predecessor of Heriot-Watt University, admits women. Mary Burton persuaded the Watt Institution and School of Arts to open its doors to women students in 1869 and went on to become the first woman on the School’s Board of Directors and a life Governor of Heriot-Watt College. One of the first women to serve on Edinburgh Parochial and School Boards, Mary was a lifelong campaigner for women’s suffrage and an advocate for educational opportunities for all.[50]
  • The Edinburgh Seven were the first group of matriculated undergraduate female students at any British university. They began studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 1869 and although they were unsuccessful in their struggle to graduate and qualify as doctors, the campaign they fought gained national attention and won them many supporters including Charles Darwin. It put the rights of women to a University education on the national political agenda which eventually resulted in legislation to ensure that women could study at University in 1877.
  • Girton College opens as the first residential college for women in the United Kingdom.[51]


  • The first woman is admitted to Cornell
  • Finland: Women allowed to study at the universities by dispensation (dispensation demand dropped in 1901).[52]
  • Ada Kepley became the first American woman to earn a law degree, from Northwestern University School of Law.[53]
  • Ellen Swallow Richards became the first American woman to earn a degree in chemistry, which she earned from Vassar College in 1870.[54]
  • Ottoman Empire: The Teachers College for Girls are opened in Constantinople to educate women to professional teachers for girls school; the profession of teacher becomes accessible for women and education accessible to girls.[40]
  • Spain: The Asociación para la Enseñanza de la Mujer is founded: promoting education for women, it establishes secondary schools and training colleges all over Spain, which makes secondary and higher education open to females for the first time.[55]
  • Sweden: Universities open to women (at the same terms as men 1873).[56] The first female student is Betty Pettersson.


  • Frances Elizabeth Willard became the first female college president in the United States, as president of Evanston College for Ladies in Illinois.[46][57]
  • India: First training school for woman teachers.[15]
  • Japan: Women are allowed to study in the USA (though not yet in Japan itself).[58]
  • New Zealand: Universities open to women.[59]
  • Harriette Cooke became the first woman college professor in the United States appointed full professor with a salary equal to her male peers.[39]


  • Sweden: First female university student: Betty Pettersson
  • Japan: Compulsory elementary education for both girls and boys.[60]
  • Ottoman Empire: The first government primary school open to both genders.[61] Women's Teacher's Training School opened in Istanbul.[62]
  • Spain: María Elena Maseras is allowed to enlist as a university student with special dispensation: having been formally admitted to a class in 1875, she was finally allowed to graduate 1882, which created a Precedent allowing females to enroll at universities from this point on.[63]


  • Linda Richards became the first American woman to earn a degree in nursing.[64]
  • Egypt: The first public Egyptian primary school open to females: two years later, there are 32 primary schools for females in Egypt, three of whom also offered secondary education.[21]



  • In 1871, the Board of Regents of the University of California ruled that women should be admitted on an equal basis with men. With the completion of North and South Halls in 1873, the university relocated to its Berkeley location with 167 male and 222 female students. In 1874 the first woman to graduate from the University of California was Rosa L. Scrivner with a Ph.B in Agriculture.
  • Iran: The first school for girls is founded by American missionaries (only non-Muslims attend until 1891).[65]
  • Japan: The profession of public school teacher is opened to women.[66]
  • Netherlands: Aletta Jacobs becomes the first woman allowed to study medicine.
  • London School of Medicine for Women founded, the first medical school in Britain to train women.[67]
  • Russian mathematician Sofia Kovalevskaya became the first woman in modern Europe to gain a doctorate in mathematics, which she earned from the University of Göttingen in Germany.[68]


  • Stefania Wolicka-Arnd, a Polish woman, became the first woman to earn a PhD from the University of Zurich in Switzerland.[69][70]
  • Denmark: Universities open to women.[56]
  • India: First women admitted to college courses, although with special permission (at Madras Medical College).[15]


  • Argentina: Girls are included in the national school system by the transference of the control of the private girls schools from the charitable Beneficent Society to the provincial government.[17]
  • Great Britain: Medical examining bodies given the right to certify women.[71]
  • India: Women allowed to attend university exams at the Calcutta University.[15]
  • Italy: Universities open to women.[72]
  • Netherlands: Universities open to women.[72]
  • United States: Anna Oliver was the first woman to receive a Bachelor of Divinity degree from an American seminary (Boston University School of Theology).[73]



  • Austria-Hungary: Women allowed to attend university lectures as guest auditors.[77]
  • Bulgaria: Elementary education for both genders.[78]


  • Mary L. Page became the first American woman to earn a degree in architecture, which she earned from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.[79][80]
  • The University of London receives a supplemental charter allowing it to award degrees to women, the first university in the United Kingdom to open its degrees .[81]


  • Mary Eliza Mahoney became the first African-American in the U.S. to earn a diploma in nursing, which she earned from the School of Nursing at the New England Hospital for Woman and Children in Boston.[31]
  • Brazil: Universities open to women.[19]
  • France: Colleges and secondary education open to women.[32]
  • India: The first college open to women: Bethune College (the first female graduate in 1883).[15]


  • First four women gain BA degrees at the University of London, the first women in the UK to be awarded degrees.[81]
  • Australia : Universities open to women.[82]
  • Belgium: The University of Brussels opened to women.[72]
  • Canada: Universities open to women.[citation needed]
  • France: Universities open to women.[32]
  • France: Free public secondary education to women.[83]
  • France: Public teachers training schools open to women.[83]



  • College Hall opened by University College London and the London School of Medicine for Women as the first women's hall of residence in the UK.[84]
  • France: Compulsory elementary education for both genders.[85]
  • Norway: Women allowed to study at the university.[23]
  • Nicaragua: The first public secular education institution for women, Colegio de Señoritas, open.[86]
  • Poland: The Flying University provides academic education for women.
  • Serbia: Compulsory education for both genders.[16]
  • Belgium: Universities open to women.[72]
  • India: Bombay University open to women.[15]
  • Romania: Universities open to women.[87]


  • Julia Margaret Guerin, known as Bella Guerin, became the first woman to graduate from a university in Australia, graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1883.[88]
  • Sweden: Ellen Fries, First female Ph.D. promoted.
  • Sophie Bryant becomes first women in Britain to earn a DSc.[89]


  • Winifred Edgerton Merrill became the first American woman to earn a PhD in mathematics, which she earned from Columbia University.[90]
  • France: Women eligible to join public education boards.[91]
  • Costa Rica: A public academic educational institution open to women.[28]
  • Korea: The first educational institution for women, Ewha Womans University
  • Mexico: Universities open to women.[76]
  • Anandibai Joshi from India, Keiko Okami from Japan, and Sabat Islambouli from Syria became the first women from their respective countries (and in Joshi's case the first Hindu woman) to get a degree in western medicine, which they each got from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMCP), where they were all students in 1885.[92][93]


  • Albania: The first Albanian language elementary school open to female pupils.[94]


  • Maria Louise Baldwin became the first African-American female principal in Massachusetts and the Northeast, supervising white faculty and a predominantly white student body at the Agassiz Grammar School in Cambridge.[31]
  • Susan La Flesche Picotte became the first Native American woman to earn a medical degree, which she earned from Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania.[95][96]
  • Egypt: The first teacher training college for women.[61]
  • Argentina: Cecilia Grierson became the first woman in Argentina to earn a medical university degree.
  • Palestine: The first school open to girls founded by missionaries.[61]
  • Sweden: Women eligible to join boards of public authority such as public school boards.[56]
  • Sweden: First female professor: Sofia Kovalevskaya
  • Scottish universities opened to women by the Universities (Scotland) Act 1889.[97]
  • El Salvador: Antonia Navarro Huezo became the first Salvadoran woman to earn a topographic engineering doctorate.


  • Ida Gray became the first African-American woman to earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, which she earned from the University of Michigan.[31][98]
  • Bohemia: The first secondary education school for females in Prague.[44]
  • Greece: Universities open to women.[52]


  • Albania: The first school of higher education for women is opened.[99]
  • Germany: Women are allowed to attend university lectures, which makes it possible for individual professors to accept female students if they wish.[77]
  • Portugal: The first medical university degree is granted to a woman.[100]
  • Switzerland: Secondary schools open to women.[48]



  • Ottoman Empire: Women are permitted to attend medical lectures at Istanbul University.[61]




  • Norway: Women are admitted at all secondary educational schools of the state.[43]


  • Haiti: The Medical University accept female students in obstetrics.[33]
  • Serbia: Co-education, banned since the 1850s, is re-introduced, equalizing the schooling of males and females.[16]

20th century[edit]



  • Egypt: A school for female teachers is founded in Cairo.[62]
  • Otelia Cromwell became the first black woman to graduate from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.[31]
  • Tunisia: The first public elementary school for girls.[62]
  • Japan: The first Women's University.[103]
  • Baden, Germany: Universities open to women.[104]
  • Sri Lanka: Secondary education open to females.[105]


  • Bulgaria: Universities open to women.[78]
  • China: Girls are included in the education system.[44]
  • Cuba: Universities open to women.[76]




  • Nora Stanton Blatch Barney, born in England, became the first woman to earn a degree in any type of engineering in the United States, which she earned from Cornell University. It was a degree in civil engineering.[109]
  • Argentina: University preparatory secondary education open to females.[17]
  • Iceland: Educational institutions open to women.[32]
  • Russia: Universities open to women.[32]
  • Serbia: Female university students are fully integrated in to the university system.[16]


  • Saxony, Germany: Universities open to women.[104]


  • Sudan: The first school open to Muslim girls.[61]
  • Iran: Compulsory primary education for females.[65]
  • Iran: The first Iranian school for girls is established by Tuba Azmudeh, followed by others in the following years.[65]
  • Japan: Tohoku University, the first (private) coeducational university.


  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the first black Greek letter organization for woman, was founded at Howard University.[31]
  • Edith Morley is appointed Professor of English Language at University College Reading, becoming the first full professor at a British university institute.[110]
  • Korea: Secondary education for females through the foundation of the Capital School for Girl's Higher Education.[44]
  • Peru: Universities open to women.[111]
  • Prussia, Alsace-Lorraine and Hesse, Germany: Universities open to women.[104]



  • Millicent Mackenzie is promoted to full professor, the first woman to reach this level at a fully chartered university in the UK.[112]


  • Luxembourg: A new educational law gives women access to higher education, and two secondary education schools open to females.[113]


  • Lillian Gilbreth earned a PhD in industrial psychology from Brown University, which was the first degree ever granted in industrial psychology. Her dissertation was titled "Some Aspects of Eliminating Waste in Teaching".


  • Greece: The first public secondary educational school for girls open.[23]
  • Iran: Public schools for girls are opened in order to enforce the law of compulsory education for girls in practice.[65]
  • Uruguay: University education open to women.[76]
  • Nicaragua: The first female obtains a university degree.[86]


  • Thailand: Universities open to women.[114]


  • Portugal: Secondary school open to women.[100]
  • China: The first female students are accepted in the Peking University, soon followed by universities all over China.[115]



  • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority was founded. It was the fourth black Greek letter organization for women, and the first black sorority established on a predominantly white campus, Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.[31]


  • Egypt: Compulsory education for both sexes.[61]
  • Virginia Proctor Powell Florence became the first black woman in the United States to earn a degree in library science.[117] She earned the degree (Bachelor of Library Science) from what is now part of the University of Pittsburgh.[31][118][119]




  • Afghanistan: The monarch introduces compulsory education for the daughters of officials.[21]


  • Afghanistan: The first women are sent abroad to study (women banned from studying abroad in 1929).[21]
  • Bahrain: The first public primary school for girls.[61]
  • Egypt: The first women students are admitted to Cairo University.[61]


  • Greece: Secondary education for females is made equal to that of males.[23]
  • Jenny Rosenthal Bramley, born in Moscow, became the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in physics in the United States, which she earned from New York University.[120]


  • Turkey: Equal right to university education for both men and women.[61]


  • Jane Matilda Bolin was the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School.[31]
  • Bradford Academy, in Bradford, Massachusetts, changed name to Bradford Junior College and offered two year degree for women.


  • Dorothy B. Porter became the first African-American woman to earn an advanced degree in library science (MLS) from Columbia University.[31]



  • Ruth Winifred Howard became the second African-American woman in the United States to receive a Ph.D. in psychology, which she earned from the University of Minnesota.


  • Iran: Women are admitted to Tehran University.[121] The access of university education to females is, in fact, also a reform regarding women's access to professions, as it open numerous professions to women.[65]
  • Jesse Jarue Mark became the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in botany, which she earned at Iowa State University.[31]


  • Flemmie Kittrell became the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in nutrition, which she earned at Cornell University.[31]


  • Kuwait: The first public schools open to females.[61]
  • Anna Johnson Julian became the first black woman to receive a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.[31]



  • Roger Arliner Young became the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. in zoology, which she earned from the University of Pennsylvania.[31]


  • Ruth Lloyd became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in anatomy, which she earned from Western Reserve University.[31]
  • Merze Tate became the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in government and international relations from Harvard University.[31]


  • Margurite Thomas became the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in geology, which she earned from Catholic University.[31]


  • Iran: Compulsory primary education for both males and females.[61]
  • Euphemia Haynes became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics, which she earned from Catholic University.[122]



  • Marie Maynard Daly became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry, which she earned from Columbia University.[31][124]
  • Cambridge University becomes the last university in the UK to allow women to take full degrees.[125]


  • Bahrain: First secondary education school open to females.[61]


  • Qatar: First public school for girls.[61]



  • Grace Lele Williams became the first Nigerian woman to earn any doctorate when she earned her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from the University of Chicago.[122]


  • Afghanistan: The 1964 constitution stated the equal right of women to education.[21]


  • Sister Mary Kenneth Keller (c. 1914 – 1985) became the first American woman to earn a PhD in Computer Science, which she earned at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[128][129] Her thesis was titled "Inductive Inference on Computer Generated Patterns."[130]
  • Kuwait: Compulsory education for both boys and girls.[61]


  • Kuwait: University education open to women.[61]




  • Bowdoin, Williams and the University of Virginia allow women to apply for admittance.


  • Bradford Junior College in Bradford, Massachusetts changed to Bradford College and offered four year degrees for women.
  • Egypt: The new constitution confirms women's right to education.[21]
  • Brown and Lehigh allow women to apply for admittance.


  • Title IX was passed, making discrimination against any person based on their sex in any federally funded educational program(s) in America illegal.[131]
  • Willie Hobbs Moore became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Physics, which she earned from the University of Michigan.[122]
  • Bradford College in Bradford, Massachusetts became a co-educational institution (again) after being founded in 1803 as co-educational and then serving exclusively as a female institution of higher learning from 1837 to 1972. Bradford College closed permanently in May, 2000. The Bradford Alumni Association continues today and is the third oldest continuing alumni association in the United States.
  • Dartmouth, Davidson, Duke and Wesleyan allow women to apply for admittance.





  • Afghanistan: Mandatory literacy and education of all females.[21]



  • Women and men were enrolled in American colleges in equal numbers for the first time.




  • United States: The U.S. Supreme Court's 1984 ruling Grove City College v. Bell[140] held that Title IX applied only to those programs receiving direct federal aid.[141] The case reached the Supreme Court when Grove City College disagreed with the Department of Education's assertion that it was required to comply with Title IX. Grove City College was not a federally funded institution; however, they did accept students who were receiving Basic Educational Opportunity Grants through a Department of Education program.[140] The Department of Education's stance was that, because some of its students were receiving federal grants, the school was receiving federal assistance and Title IX applied to it. The Court decided that since Grove City College was only receiving federal funding through the grant program, only that program had to be in compliance. The ruling was a major victory for those opposed to Title IX, as it made many institutions' sports programs outside of the rule of Title IX and, thus, reduced the scope of Title IX.[142]



  • United States: The Civil Rights Restoration Act was passed in 1988 which extended Title IX coverage to all programs of any educational institution that receives any federal assistance, both direct and indirect.[143]


  • United States: In 1994, the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, sponsored by congresswoman Cardiss Collins, required federally assisted higher education institutions to disclose information on roster sizes for men's and women's teams, as well as budgets for recruiting, scholarships, coaches' salaries, and other expenses, annually.[144]


21st century[edit]


  • Ruth Simmons became the eighteenth president of Brown University, which made her the first black woman to lead an Ivy League institution.[31]


  • United States: On November 24, 2006, the Title IX regulations were amended to provide greater flexibility in the operation of single-sex classes or extracurricular activities at the primary or secondary school level.[146]


  • United States: For the first time, women earned a majority of the doctoral degrees awarded in America.[147]


  • United States: For the first time, American women passed men in gaining advanced college degrees as well as bachelor's degrees; as of 2011, among adults 25 and older, 10.6 million U.S. women have master's degrees or higher, compared to 10.5 million men. Measured by shares, about 10.2 percent of women have advanced degrees compared to 10.9 percent of men—a gap steadily narrowing in recent years. Women still trail men in professional subcategories such as business, science and engineering, but when it comes to finishing college, roughly 20.1 million women have bachelor's degrees, compared to nearly 18.7 million men—a gap of more than 1.4 million that has remained steady in recent years.[145]
  • India: In April 2011, the Institute for Buddhist Dialectical Studies (IBD) in Dharamsala, India, conferred the degree of geshe (a Tibetan Buddhist academic degree for monks and nuns) to Venerable Kelsang Wangmo, a German nun, thus making her the world's first female geshe.[148][149]


  • Saudi Arabia: The Saudi government sanctioned sports for girls in private schools for the first time.[150]
  • Mai Majed Al-Qurashi became the first woman to get a PhD in Saudi Arabia, which she earned from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.[151]
  • United Kingdom: It was announced that Ephraim Mirvis created the job of ma’ayan by which women would be advisers on Jewish law in the area of family purity and as adult educators in Orthodox synagogues.[152] This requires a part-time training course for 18 months, which is the first such course in the United Kingdom.[152]
  • Tibet: Tibetan women were able to take the geshe exams for the first time.[153]


  • Twenty Tibetan Buddhist nuns became the first Tibetan women to earn geshe degrees.[154][155]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Juliana Morell". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.
  2. ^ a b Paul F. Grendler (1988). John W. O'Malley, ed. Schools, Seminaries, and Catechetical Instruction, in Catholicism in Early Modern History 1500-1700: A Guide to Research. Center for Information Research. p. 328. 
  3. ^ "Ellis, John Tracy. Documents of American Catholic History. 1962. Milwaukee, WI: Bruce Publishing Company. p. 22-23.". Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia". agnesscott.edu. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia". Agnesscott.edu. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  6. ^ "Laura Bassi (1711-78)". sciencemuseum.org.uk. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Findlen, Paula. Science As A Career In Enlightenment Italy : The Strategies Of Laura Bassi. Isis 84 (1993): 440-469. History of Science, Technology & Medicine. Web. 3 June 2013."
  8. ^ "Laura Bassi". Encyclopedia of World Biography. Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Laura Maria Caterina Bassi | Women in science". Epigenesys.eu. 2011-06-14. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  10. ^ Monique Frize, Laura Bassi and Science in 18th Century Europe: The Extraordinary Life and Role of Italy's Pioneering Female Professor, Springer, p. 174.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Blog Archive » 11 Momentous Female Firsts in Academia". The New Agenda. 2011-01-13. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  12. ^ William Clark, The Sciences in Enlightened Europe, University of Chicago Press, 1999, p. 318.
  13. ^ "Kohl Gallery: History". Washington College. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  14. ^ a b Barbara Alpern Engel (2004). Women in Russia, 1700–2000. Cambridge University Press. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f Bharati Ray:Women of India: Colonial and Post-colonial Periods, 2005
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