For many generations it has been believed that woman’s place is within the walls of their own homes. How can we ask this of the women in a culture that is constantly changing and which makes a need for women to extend their responsibility outside their own homes. Life isnt just handed to someone on a silver platter, there are never ending responsibilities not only for men but for women too. Women should have the same rights as any other human in society.
The staggering changes for women that have come about over those seven generations in family life, in religion, in government, in employment, in education – these changes did not just happen spontaneously. Women themselves made these changes happen, very deliberately. Women did not it on their behinds waiting for a miracle to change the laws. Seven generations of women have come together to affect these changes in the most democratic ways: through meetings, petition drives, lobbying, public speaking, and nonviolent resistance.
They have worked very deliberately to create a better world, and they have succeeded hugely. It is believed that the womens right movement began on July 13, 1848. On that day in upstate New York, a young housewife and mother, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was invited to tea with four other women friends. There the conversation turned to the situation of women. Women had not gained freedom even though they’d taken equally tremendous risks through those dangerous years. Surely the new republic would benefit from having its women play more active roles throughout society.
Stanton’s friends agreed with her, passionately. This was definitely not the first small group of women to have such a conversation, but it was the first to plan and carry out a specific, large-scale program. Within two days of their conversation the women set up a date for their convention on womens rights. The gathering would take place at the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls on July 19 and 20, 1848. These are some of the points discussed in the meeting: Married women were legally dead in the eyes of the law Women had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation
Married women had no property rights Husbands had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them with impunity Divorce and child custody laws favored men, giving no rights to women Women had to pay property taxes although they had no representation in the levying of these taxes Most occupations were closed to women and when women did work they were paid only a fraction of what men earned Women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law Women had no means to gain an education since no college or university would accept women students
With only a few exceptions, women were not allowed to participate in the affairs of the church Women were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were made totally dependent on men So it’s clear that, contrary to common misconception, the Women’s Rights Movement did not begin in the 1960s. What occurred in the 1960s was actually a second wave of activism that washed into the public consciousness, fueled by several independent events of that turbulent decade.
Each of these events brought a different segment of the population into the movement. First: Esther Peterson was the director of the Women’s Bureau of the Dept. Labor in 1961. She considered it to be the government’s responsibility to take an active role in addressing discrimination against women. With her encouragement, President Kennedy convened a Commission on the Status of Women, naming Eleanor Roosevelt as its chair. The report issued by that commission in 1963 documented discrimination against women in virtually every area of American life. State and local governments quickly followed suit and established their own commissions for women, to research conditions and recommend changes that could be initiated.
Then: In 1963, Betty Friedan published a landmark book, The Feminine Mystique. The Feminine Mystique evolved out of a survey she had conducted for her 20-year college reunion. In it she wrote about the emotional and intellectual oppression that middle-class educated women were experiencing because of limited life options. The book became an immediate bestseller, and inspired thousands of women to look for fulfillment beyond the role of homemaker. Next: Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sex as well as race, religion, and national origin.
The category “sex” was included as a last-ditch effort to kill the bill. But it passed, nevertheless. With its passage, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was established to investigate discrimination complaints. Within the commission’s first five years, it received 50,000 sex discrimination complaints. But it was quickly obvious that the commission was not very interested in pursuing these complaints. Betty Friedan, the chairs of the various state Commissions on the Status of Women, and other feminists agreed to form a civil rights organization for women similar to the NAACP.
In 1966, the National Organization for Women was organized, soon to be followed by an array of other mass-membership organizations addressing the needs of specific groups of women, including Blacks, Latinas, Asians-Americans, lesbians, welfare recipients, business owners, aspiring politicians, and professional women of every sort. The reasons why men vote are the same reasons why women should vote. It is fair and right that the people who have to obey the laws have a voice in choosing the lawmakers. There are so many different parts in government in which a vote is needed that a simple expression of opinion is enough to decide with.
This is where the people cast their votes and what seems to suit the greatest number or majority is what will be done. This seems to be the fairest way because there are so many different opinions out there it is really difficult to be able to suit everyone. If women arent given the right to vote is it possible for them to represented by their own family members; brother, father, husband. The vote that is cast by an individual represents only that individual. We all know that men and women are different in so many ways and this why what makes it so difficult for men to represent women in any form or way.
So it is clear that the only fair and accurate way is for each grown person to have one vote, and to cast it to represent himself or herself. Back when women did not have the right to vote, there was a sense that their ideas or beliefs were not represented to the fullest of capacity. For instance why was it allowed for children to work in factories and it took some fighting to be able to abolish child labor as a whole. Im sure if women would have been able to vote child labor wouldnt have even existed. Here is a brief part of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: PART II Article 7.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the political and public life of the country and, in particular, shall ensure to women, on equal terms with men, the right: (a) To vote in all elections and public referenda and to be eligible for election to all publicly elected bodies; (b) To participate in the formulation of government policy and the implementation thereof and to hold public office and perform all public functions at all levels of government; (c) To participate in non-governmental organizations and associations concerned with the public and political life of the country.
Article 8. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure to women, on equal terms with men and without any discrimination, the opportunity to represent their Governments at the international level and to participate in the work of international organizations. Article 9. 1. States Parties shall grant women equal rights with men to acquire, change or retain their nationality. They shall ensure in particular that neither marriage to an alien nor change of nationality by the husband during marriage shall automatically change the nationality of the wife, render her stateless or force upon her the nationality of the husband.
States Parties shall grant women equal rights with men with respect to the nationality of their children. (U. N. T. S. No. 20378, vol. 1249 (1981), p. 13) In the society we live in today it is really difficult to say that women cannot perform the same jobs as men do. Women are given the chance to study and to make themselves a successful person in the business world. There is a lot that comes along with receiving equal pay or holding high positions in offices. Women Face sexual harassment, and glass ceiling. Sexual harassment occurs in every company even if they deny or not.
There are so many different ways in which men sexually harass or offend women in the work place. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that sexual harassment is illegal. It is illegal even if the harasser is not your boss, and even if he is not threatening your job if you don’t go along. If any of these conditions are violated women have the right to report it and the company or state must take some sort of action. There is no reason why men have the right to control the work environment over women just because they hold high positions. Women have the right to a stable work environment without the need to feel violated. Glass ceiling is when women in a company reach a certain position but they cannot reach any higher positions after that.
It is called glass ceiling because it is a ceiling, which keeps them from advancing to any further positions in the workplace. It is a glass ceiling because the women can see beyond that obstacle but will never be able to pass it. This is nothing more than an imaginary roof that woman can see beyond but not surpass. There have been women who have made it passed a certain obstacle but not all of them are so lucky. I believe women have the right to any position in a company as long as they are suited for that job. If they meet the expectations of others and are suited and prepared for the job then its all theirs.
They deserve an opportunity as much as men do. Now in the 90s more controversial issues have risen that could not be considered as rights for women, even by women themselves. The following are just some of the issues that the 90s has brought bout. Women’s reproductive rights. Whether or not women can terminate pregnancies is still controversial twenty-five years after the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade affirmed women’s choice during the first two trimesters. Women’s enrollment in military academies and service in active combat: Are these desirable?
Affirmative action: Is help in making up for past discrimination appropriate? Do qualified women now face a level playing field? The mommy track. Should businesses accommodate women’s family responsibilities, or should women compete evenly for advancement with men, most of whom still assume fewer family obligations? Pornography: Is it degrading, even dangerous, to women, or is it simply a free speech issue? Sexual harassment: Just where does flirting leave off and harassment begin? Surrogate motherhood. Is it simply the free right of a woman to hire out her womb for this service?
Social Security benefits allocated equally for homemakers and their working spouses, to keep surviving wives from poverty as widows. Women have surpassed all their struggles that they have encountered in history. Why is it so hard to believe that women deserve all the rights as much as men do. I believe that men and women should come together and try to resolve the differences among themselves and not be a world where competition is the dominating factor. There is enough room for all of us in this world and certainly we need the same rights!