History has mainly been written by men about men.

If an alien who had been learning about us by reading our history came to Earth, she/he/it would be surprised to learn that women actually make up 51% of the population.

Women are, however, so absent from history books that you have to ask the question: "what have they been doing all this time?"

HERSTORY.YORK is helping to set the record straight.


2018 was a milestone, as it marked 100 years since some women gained the right to vote.

Many brave, spirited women have inspired and effected change in York but, up until now, their stories have not been told or have only been partially told.

These women have made a difference to every aspect of life in York by their work in the community, the Arts, business, education, health, law and criminal justice, politics, religion, science, sport, media and charitable organisations.

HERSTORY.YORK is a community history project. It is neither exhaustive nor definitive in scope –  but simply aims to make more women’s stories known and celebrated. We are working on an exhibition for 2022 and on educational material for schools and libraries across York.

Click here to read a selection of these stories.  


Get involved

HERSTORY.YORK is a project run by volunteers who need your help.

Can you help with our research, our planned publication/booklet, our next event, or with sponsorship? Previous experience is not required, just interest and enthusiasm.

We’d love you to hear from you


Join Us

You can now become a HERSTORY member. Your membership fee will provide us with funds to help keep HERSTORY going. Contact us and request an application form.


The history of HERSTORY.YORK – how it started…

In 2018, inspired by the centenary of (some) women getting the vote, Kate Hignett, a Legal Aid Lawyer living in York, had the idea to hold a York Women’s Conference in 2018 on progress towards gender equality.

During planning for the Conference, she was dismayed to discover how few women appear in history books about York compared to men (about nine men to one woman), “the history of York is full of fascinating tales, but far too often it is focused on stories about men, told by men. It’s His Story.”

Kate had the idea of a community history project to research and celebrate ‘invisible’ women. 

Asking for volunteers, HERSTORY.YORK was born, and the first event was run as part of York International Women’s Week in March 2018.