Until the 1890s, women were confined to the home because of familial and societal expectations that considered them to be fragile and intellectually, psychologically and physically inferior to their male counterparts. It was improper for women to become involved in anything that was physically or mentally challenging, including work, politics, and business. The exceptions to this rule were women of color and women who were poor—they were expected to work, to work hard and to earn a living oftentimes doing men’s work. All women were expected to assume responsibilities for domestic duties involving their families and neighbors. In spite of these restrictions, women have excelled in almost every conceivable field from the colonial period to the present.
This virtual exhibit provides information about a small sample of women who have stepped beyond the boundaries, lighting the way for future generations of women to excel in numerous spheres of interest. They have played an important role in the development of South Carolina, and have demonstrated their leadership abilities in such areas as science, politics, medicine, education, the military, business, civil rights and the arts.
For more information about this exhibit contact
Curator of History