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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter ranges over the history of women in Ireland and explores how the writing of women’s and gender history has evolved more broadly within the discipline of history. It then moves on to examine Irish women’s history, primarily from the Middle Ages to the present, with some reference to the mythology of women in Irish lore. It looks at women’s involvement in Irish economic, social, and political life. It notes how society’s expectations of women’s behaviour in public and private life placed limits on their life choices, but also relates how women overcame many of the social, economic, and political obstacles placed in their way. It reveals how women’s lives have changed over the decades and suggests the societal forces that have supported change in Irish society. It further opens up new areas of potential research in Irish women’s and gender history.

Keywords: Women, Gender, Historiography, Domesticity, Women’s Suffrage, Nuns

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