Women's Rights Movement


by mina snider

assessment question

How did the participants demonstrate their belief system through their protest?

The participants in the Women's Rights Movement demonstrated their beliefs by standing up for what they wanted and trying hard to get it. The activists wanted to eradicate the societal norm that men overpowered women, and achieve equality for all women. This goal has not yet been completely fulfilled, but women's freedoms in the United States have greatly improved compared to the past.

People who Impacted Womens Rights

Gloria Steinem helped to found the National Women's Political Caucus in 1971, which encourages women to run for office in government and work toward more women's rights laws. She also helped establish the Women's Action Alliance which fights discrimination against women.

In 1966, Betty Freidan helped found the National Organization for Women. She published The Feminine Mystique, a book that chronicles oppression experienced by educated, middle class women.

background information

  • Campaigning for women's rights originally started during the Suffrage Movement, when women wanted the right to vote. From there, the willpower for women to get more rights grew into the Women's Rights Movement.
  • People would often protest with anti-war movements, they went to conferences and spoke out, and publicized issues like domestic violence.
  • There were many different reactions to the protests, both positive and negative. Some people viewed women's rights activists as ugly and man hating. Others (supporters) viewed them as brave people who were standing up for rights.
  • In the midst of the protests, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed. This prohibited employment discrimination based on gender as well as race, national origin, and religion.

examples of oppression against women

  • In the early 1970's, the dean of a medical school said, "Hell yes, we have a quota...We do keep women out, when we can. We don't want them here — and they don't want them elsewhere, either, whether or not they'll admit it."
  • As of 1960, women made up 6% of doctors, 3% of lawyers, and less than 1% of engineers.
  • Women were regularly paid less than men (and still are) and denied promotions because they were expected to get pregnant and quit.
  • At a New Politics Conference, a chairman told a feminist, "Cool down, little girl. We have more important things to do here than talk about women's problems.”
  • Head-and-Master Laws gave husbands full rights and ownership of all money and property. This law was repealed in all states in 1979.

women's rights in other countries

  • In Germany under Hitler's power, he criticized feminism as a lost cause which was promoted by the Weimar Republic (the old government of Germany).
  • In Spain, women gained the right to vote for a short period of time, between the Republican Victory in 1932 and the civil war where General Franco was brought to power in his lasting dictatorship.
  • In Iran, women met at night in 2005 to form the One Million Signatures Campaign. The main goal was to dismember laws discriminating against women. They succeeded in amending the Inheritance Law, which allows women to inherit their husbands property.
Emma Watson Gives Rousing Speech on Women's Rights to the UN