The Football Association "let down" women's football in the past, chief executive Martin Glenn has said.
The FA banned women's football from being played at Football League grounds in 1921 and did not take the sport back under its jurisdiction until 1993.
Glenn said: "We even banned it in its pomp and we were slow to introduce it. We are addressing these failings."
On Monday, the FA unveiled plans to double the number of girls and women playing football by 2020.
The England women's side finished third at the 2015 World Cup, and will take part in this summer's European Championships in the Netherlands.
The FA have said they would be keen to host a major international tournament in the coming years "to inspire the next generation".
England's record goalscorer Kelly Smith welcomed Glenn's comments and the new initiative.
Smith, who retired earlier this year after scoring 46 international goals in 117 appearances, said: "Martin is right. I felt quite neglected as a national team footballer in the past.
"To be here today brings a tear to my eye.
"I think it is key to get into schools and get girls playing at a young age. This strategy is just phenomenal for me."
Former Arsenal and England winger Rachel Yankey said on Friday that women's football attendances and participation would be on par with the men's game if it had not effectively been banned by the Football Association for 50 years.
More to follow.