Sustained changes in mood or action require persistent changes in neural activity, but it has been difficult to identify the neural circuit mechanisms that underlie persistent activity and contribute to long-lasting changes in behavior. Here, we show that a subset of Doublesex+ pC1 neurons in the Drosophila female brain, called pC1d/e, can drive minutes-long changes in female behavior in the presence of males. Using automated reconstruction of a volume electron microscopic (EM) image of the female brain, we map all inputs and outputs to both pC1d and pC1e. This reveals strong recurrent connectivity between, in particular, pC1d/e neurons and a specific subset of Fruitless+ neurons called aIPg. We additionally find that pC1d/e activation drives long-lasting persistent neural activity in brain areas and cells overlapping with the pC1d/e neural network, including both Doublesex+ and Fruitless+ neurons. Our work thus links minutes-long persistent changes in behavior with persistent neural activity and recurrent circuit architecture in the female brain.