History of the Women's Health Movement in the 20th Century


  • Francine H. Nichols RNC, PhD, FAAN

    Corresponding author
    1. Francine H. Nichols is Professor and Coordinator of Women's Health in the School of Nursing at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
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Address for correspondence: Francine H. Nichols, RNC, PhD, FAAN, 2138 California Street, NW 203, Washington, DC 20008.


The Women's Health Movement (WHM) emerged during the 1960s and the 1970s with the primary goal to improve health care for all women. Despite setbacks in the area of reproductive rights during the 1980s, the WHM made significant gains in women's health at the federal policy level during the 1980s and 1990s. The WHM became a powerful political force. The achievements of the movement in improving women's health during the 20th century were numerous and significant.