What Does "sisterhood" Mean?

Sisterhood has several definitions and can refer to a group of nuns, an organization of women with a common interest, companionship among women or a community of women who participate in feminism, according to Reference.com. The most literal definition of sisterhood is the bond shared between biological sisters.

"Ms." Magazine reports sisterhoods of nuns have changed since the 1960s. These groups of women no longer wear black-and-white habits and pray all day. Instead, nuns take very active roles in their communities. One such effort was documented in the film "Band of Sisters" from December, 2013. The most dramatic scene in the film is when nuns protested outside of a detention center in Illinois. The documentary also explores nuns who raise organic vegetables, build low-income housing projects and start holistic healing centers for the poor.

In terms of feminism, the term "sisterhood" has been in use since a 1970 anthology called "Sisterhood is Powerful" edited by Robin Morgan. The word, in this case, explains that women relate to each other in distinct ways that set them apart from how they communicate with men. Sisterhoods often understand their own issues and recognize feminine qualities unique to females in contemporary society. Black feminists sometimes criticize white women's use of the term "sisterhood" as both racist and elitist, according to About.com