International Olympic Committee chiefs voted on Thursday to lift the barrier to the last all-male summer sport.
Three women's weight classes will be added to the Olympic programme for 2012 Games in London, with one of the 11 men's classes dropped to make room.
"Women's boxing has come on a tremendous amount in the last five years and it was time to include them," said IOC president Jacques Rogge.
Women will fight at flyweight (48-51kg), lightweight (56-60kg) and middleweight (69-75kg).
The IOC's decision was described as "historic" by Olympics minister Tessa Jowell.
"It will be a landmark moment come London 2012 when for the first time every sport will have women participating in it," she said.
"There are still major disparities in the number of medals women can win compared to men but this is a step in the right direction.
"In this country women's boxing has come on in leaps and bounds and is growing quickly at all levels.
"London 2012 will now create the first-ever generation of boxing heroines and hopefully inspire even more women to take up the sport."
Source: BBC Sport