How Womens Rights Changed Over the Years

Over the years, women’s rights have been gradually extended to the point where it is now offered in all 50 states in America. This is a vast improvement from before, when most states severely restricted women’s rights. When women finally had the right to vote and hold office, men always won. As of today, women are far more likely to gain higher education, find high-paying jobs and have access to every other advantage that men enjoy.

So, how womens rights changed over the years? The first major step was the Equal Rights Act. This established a national standard that every individual has the right to be treated equally under the law regardless of gender, race, ethnic background or religion. Another amendment provided protection for those who were discriminated against because of their reproductive health, such as women undergoing tubal ligation or having an abortion. The Pregnancy Bill guaranteed maternity leave and equal rights with respect to child custody and adoption.

Then the following decade saw further advancements in the sphere of women’s rights. The Right to Work Act protected women from having to be hired based solely on their gender. The equal opportunity Employment Practices Act allowed employees to choose what industries they worked in, regardless of gender, and put more power into the hands of employees rather than employers.

There have been many other pieces of legislation designed to provide opportunities for women and girls, such as the Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence Act, which puts limits on how abusers are punished and provides support for victims. The Gender Discrimination Act extended civil rights for women and girls. Finally, the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave black Americans equal rights with other Americans. All of these laws are essential in ensuring women are treated fairly and have all the rights and freedoms that every person is entitled to.

The struggle for women’s rights and equality has continued even into the twenty-first century. In 1994, the first gender-neutral restroom was made available in colleges across the country. In addition, major corporations are now making it possible for women to pursue professional careers without having to contend with discrimination due to sex. Additionally, in 2005, Congress passed the Women’s Rights and Employee Protection Act, or WEOPA, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of gender. These laws are a step in the right direction in terms of how womens rights are progressed and protected.

How women’s rights changed over the years is evident by the political battles that have taken place over the last fifty years. Many laws have been enacted that specifically protect women from workplace violence and sexual harassment. Additionally, the rights of pregnant women have also been secured with the U.S. Supreme Court. Today, women are no longer defined solely as mothers; they can be married, doctors, business owners, programmers, etc. The future is a world where anyone who puts their mind to it can successfully pursue their dreams.

Suffragism: The History of Women Voting As Their Right

The history of women voting was a long one indeed, with the first recorded women voters arriving on American shores many centuries ago. In fact the very first women “voter” was Native American women helping to establish communities with their own laws and traditions. It was not until after the Civil War that women were allowed the right to vote and participate in local government at all. And that’s when efforts began to make voting a civil right rather than a privilege for a privileged few.

The nineteenth century saw major strides in women’s suffrage efforts, including the Nineteenth Amendment, the 20th amendment, and the 20th Century Women’s Rights Act. But women voters had little success until the later part of the nineteenth century, when the very first black American woman became a US citizen. Like so many other groups African Americans too experienced their share of racism, sexism, and exclusion. So women voters did not have a lot to gain by demanding franchise. By and large they remained excluded from the process of choosing leaders of the country.

The twentieth century saw major strides toward equality in the United States, including women’s suffrage, the right to run for president, and finally the twenty-first amendment which included a ban on mandatory black primaries in U.S. elections. A century after the passage of the Twenty-First Amendment women voters once again had the opportunity to elect their own leaders. The suffragists made demands of white male voters to come pass their mandate for equality in suffrage, but most white male voters refused to cooperate. When the suffragettes began agitating for universal suffrage the response from the white male population was not one of cooperation, but resistance. So in order to gain support for their demands for equality, reformers resorted to violence.

Eventually President Theodore Roosevelt broke with the prior consensus and began a policy of working with the white male majority to pass legislation protecting women’s rights. Roosevelt’s efforts resulted not only in passage of the National Woman Suffrage Act, but also the exact suffrage laws that former President Andrew Johnson wanted in the first place. The efforts of both President Roosevelt and his legislative colleagues inspired other women to pursue politics as a means to achieve equality in suffrage. Because of the solidarity these women showed it was no longer difficult for women to achieve equality in all aspects of society. The history of women suffrage is one of tremendous sacrifice however, these women were able to gain the same rights and freedoms that any person born into the United States is entitled to enjoy.

The history of women voting in the national women’s suffrage election is significant because it gives insight to the mindset of the citizens of the United States at this time. It is clear that the suffragist philosophy and the belief that “women are equal to men” predates all other political philosophies throughout the course of our nation’s history. From the perspective of those who were privileged to participate in the historic first ladies’ campaign for women’s suffrage it is clear that they did not believe that being granted the right to vote was a privilege or a gift; rather it was a result of hard work and necessity. For most Americans those rights were not privileges but necessities. The first lady of the United States certainly did not believe that being granted the right to vote for the change in representation by the citizens of the United States was some kind of gift. Her belief was that without the changes that were happening women would lose their right to be treated as equal in the workplace and in political life.

The history of the suffragists does not end in twenty one years. Although the visionaries of the past have passed on, their ideas live on in the hearts and minds of future generations. The future of America depends upon whether future generations will understand the significance of the suffragist activities twenty one years later when voting for the next president and the supreme court. If they do not they may deny women their right to be treated as equal in the workplace and in politics and deprive them of the same rights that were denied to them twenty four years ago.