Women Rights Movement
Women Rights Movement
The womens right movement was started in 1848 and ran all through until 1920. It was started with the intention to make the world an egalitarian globe (Tobias, 2018). That is, make the rights of women equal to men’s rights. Moreover, not only did it include property rights, but also suffrage for all women. Various activists fought despite numerous opposition and hostility to ensure that women were treated equally in the society. The movement bore a lot of positive results which have greatly impacted the lives of both men and women during the present times. For instance, a considerable percentage of women have moved into the labor force. Also, globally almost all nations have passed suffrage to all women (Tobias, 2018). Additionally, the attitude towards women’s equal treatment has shifted from negative to a positive and a more liberal reception in both men and women. However, despite the good fruits the movement has borne, in some instances, women are still treated differently than men, such as different pay, promotions, and entrepreneurship. The movement has enormously affected the role of women today in all sectors, that is, economically, socially and politically.
Before the movement started, women were not allowed to vote. Their role was to support only their husband and fathers and were even considered their property (Frost-Knappman, & Cullen-DuPont, 2014). Moreover, they were not also allowed to have any political opinion. On the contrary, all men despite their social or economic status were allowed to take part in the voting process. The movement fought tirelessly for decades in an effort to win voting right for the female gender. Similarly, a lot of American women started to be against the traditional notion that women were supposed to only be good submissive wives who would respect men and only do house chores and bear children. In 1848, women’s rights and reformers held a meeting in New York and agreed that women also had the freedom to have a political identity that allowed them to participate in politics and choose the leaders they wanted (Frost-Knappman, ; Cullen-DuPont, 2014). In 1869, after the movement had fought tirelessly, the first voting rights were granted to women in Wyoming. It marked a historic event as the first state to grant suffrage (Hume, 2016). Consequently, many states began granting voting rights to women. However, the suffrage movement efforts were delayed during the world war. Nevertheless, right after the end of the war, the 14th and 15th amendment of America’s constitution brought up the issue of suffrage and citizenship (Hume, 2016). The fight had begun to show results and it motivated activists and reformers more. Finally, in 1920, their efforts were rewarded as a law in the 19th amendment was passed. It stated that every citizen in the country had the right to vote regardless of their gender (Frost-Knappman, & Cullen-DuPont, 2014). That same year, over eight million women voted in the general elections.
Since the suffrage was extended to women, they became freer to air their political opinions and choose whoever they wanted. Gradually women started to inflactuate politics more so that they started vying for political positions (Jaquette, 2018). The role of women in the politics has ever since changed and has been greatly affected by the movements ways and achievements. In present times, more women are elected leaders not only in national politics but also another political aspect. For instance, female gender gets elected as chairman of school boards, as school captains and all other sectors. Moreover, the percentage of women taking political courses in schools has greatly increased with many women taking interest in such areas. Generally, the movement made women to value themselves more politically and reduce the prejudice against women and politics.
The women’s rights movement is attributed to the increased economic activities by women. For instance, the movement ensured that women were granted property rights. It was contrary to before where every property was owned by a father or husband. Moreover, women were not entitled to inherit any property from their parents. In the event that a girl was an only child, the properties would be passed to uncles or next of kin males (Jaquette, 2018). As women got to own property it increased their worth and would venture into businesses as they were able to get loans using the owed properties as securities. Similarly, the achieved egalitarian globe has allowed women to study diverse courses. Furthermore, they were able to venture into higher learning which in turn increased their employment competitiveness (Tobias, 2018). In present times women have studied all courses including the ones that had earlier been stereotyped to men’s jobs such as engineering courses. Similarly, women contribute almost the same labor force as men.
The movement of women into the labor force increased the wages due to increased skilled labor and increased competition. Consequently, the fertility rate of women reduced as less time was spent at home hence less reproductive time. Moreover, the movement achieved the right for women to use birth control which also contributes to the reduced fertility rate (Tobias, 2018). Thus, the reduced number of children in a family translates to reduced dependency ratio which in turn means increased living standards. Women are able to keep in check the number of the children they give birth to and also the time they want. Therefore, it gives them a sense of control to be able to work better. Contemporary women are more liberal and contribute greatly to economic activities (Tobias, 2018). Furthermore, the abolishment of the breadwinner system has enabled women to contribute to family expenses. Hence, their role as women has changed from dependent submissive wives to supporting partners.
In the current times, women are more confident and view themselves as equal beings thanks to the women’s rights movement. Contrary to the past where they viewed themselves as lesser beings who were under men, women now perceive themselves as equal beings who are in the same contributing position to the society as the men. For instance, women now participate in all kind of sports including boxing (Tobias, 2018). Moreover, schools have extended wrestling to girls which in the past would have been unacceptable. Similarly, no musical instruments are out of bounds for women, they can play all instruments of their instruments including the saxophone which was previously considered as a men’s instrument. Likewise, women venture in “men” professions such as teaching mathematics and electronic works. Additionally, in marriages, women fight more for their equality and openly challenge their husbands (Tobias, 2018). It has led to men marrying their equals contrary to the past where they preferred women who were under them. All the changes have changed the way of thinking for both genders. They are more receptive to the equality of their right. In the past men were opposed to the equal treatment, however, they gradually started accepting the idea and embracing it fully.
Despite the present egalitarian world, women are still treated differently in various sectors. For instances, the net pay women earn is less than that of men. The different earning rates may be attributed to different reasons such as the tendency of women to be over-represented in occupations referred to as “non-standard” such part-time work or self-employment. The term refers to jobs that lack stability and various benefits such as medical coverage and union membership (Blau, & Kahn, 2017). Women tend to prefer the non-standard jobs due to the unequal distribution of household labor. Contrary to equality views, when it comes to household chores it is the women who are left with the biggest responsibility. For example, they are expected to balance between being career women and also cook, clean and look after the children (Stier, & Yaish, 2014). It is only in rare cases that the husband helps with the chores. Additionally, their jobs get interrupted when they take maternity leaves. Also, it hinders women ability to get promoted as they cannot be relied upon when they are absent. Furthermore, the situation worsens when they give birth several times and do not get paid when on such leaves.
Women’s pecuniary choices and values such as the choice to be humanitarian can be attributed to their discriminated earnings. For instance, women tend to sacrifice their pay, promotion and entrepreneurial ideas for more morally satisfying choices. For example, they may choose to build on their work environment rather than chase after a salary increase (Blau, ; Kahn, 2017). Moreover, in most cases, women go to the helping professions, such as nursing, over more paying careers in order to satisfy their desires. Similarly, most women, although subconsciously, still perceive men as superior beings, that is, they do not feel to be on the same levels with them (Stier, ; Yaish, 2014). Consequently, they tend to have low self-esteem around them which may often prohibit them from being totally free around them (Blau, ; Kahn, 2017). Therefore, they may be viewed as not as hardworking as men that may, in turn, deny them from getting promoted. Also, owing to the low self-esteem, they are often afraid to take the risk and venture into entrepreneurial activities.
In conclusion, the women rights movement has considerably affected the role of women in the present times. For instance, they are more represented in politics, they are treated more equally in all sectors and also the idea of equality has been increasingly accepted by both genders. Moreover, there are equal career opportunities for women due to the increased number of educated women. Additionally, women perceive themselves as equal beings as men and have contributed to them expressing themselves more and challenging men in all aspects. However, despite all the hard work of the movement, women are still treated differently than men. For example, they face pay discrimination, have less promotion and entrepreneurial opportunities. Nevertheless, there are rights that continue to protect women against such situations. Also, there are various foundations and reforms that continue to fight for women equality in the world by ensuring equal opportunities for them and creating egalitarian awareness.
Blau, F. D., ; Kahn, L. M. (2017). The gender wage gap: Extent, trends, and explanations. Journal of Economic Literature, 55(3), 789-865.
Frost-Knappman, E., ; Cullen-DuPont, K. (2014). Women’s Suffrage in America. Infobase Publishing.
Hume, L. (2016). The National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies 1897-1914 (Routledge Revivals). Routledge.
Jaquette, J. S. (2018). Introduction: from transition to participation—women’s movements and democratic politics. In The women’s movement in Latin America (pp. 1-11). Routledge.
Stier, H., ; Yaish, M. (2014). Occupational segregation and gender inequality in job quality: a multi-level approach. Work, employment and society, 28(2), 225-246.
Tobias, S. (2018). Faces of feminism: An activist’s reflections on the women’s movement. Routledge.