Americans remember the remarkable decade between 1960s and 1970s as the time of women’s liberation movement. During this period, women showed great interest and pursuance in attaining equal rights in the society. Indeed, women have proven that they are important addition to the country’s workforce and they impart important contributions to the society.
Women first met with the abolitionist movement who fight to abolish slavery in the country. Women learned to make arguments that women should be given equal rights as to those of white male citizens. The rights that women pushed in their fight for parity include suffrage, property rights, college and university admission and the right to equal pay for equal work.Women, together with the ethnic minorities, pursued their requests to change in 1960s during the civil rights movement. Crusaders of women’s right first succeeded in the field of education. The group was able to produce the first female medical doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell, who graduated from the Medical College of Geneva in 1849.
Twenty years after, Ada H. Kepley is the first woman to graduate in the law school. At the end of the Civil War, many women colleges were established across the country which allowed more opportunities for women aside from the teaching profession and motherhood.The right to own and inherit property rights was also a landmark of the women’s movement. By the year 1900, married women were given the partial control over their own property and wage earnings in all U.S. states.
The right for equal labor rights was made in 1938, when the Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act. The act did not mention any specific sex or gender that guaranteed the same minimum wage as male workers. The act significantly increased the incomes of many underpaid women workers. In later years, Equal Pay Law was passed successfully through the Congress which made it illegal to pay women less than men in substantially equal work.
The struggle for suffrage was the main achievement of the women’s right liberation movement. The struggle for suffrage was a struggle by each state. The campaign for suffrage took 72 years. The first wave of the movement was dated in July 1848 by pioneers Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott at the Seneca Falls Conference in New York wherein the attendees drafted and signed a Declaration of Sentiments, based on the Declaration of Independence that called for the new rights of women.
By 1920, women were given the right to vote at the federal level in the promulgation of the Nineteenth Amendment.America has always been known as a society that is dominated by male in various fields. The country used to be a patriarchal society, which promoted men characteristics and strength, undermining the strengths and potentials of women. However, women have proven that they are also fundamental members of the society and render vital contributions in many fields. Indeed, the attainment of parity rights with men was the landmark of women empowerment.
Though it is indeed inevitable that gender discrimination is still persist in today’s society; however, the fruits of efforts and sacrifices of women’s movement during the early years put women in a more desirable position than before.BibliographyCarlisle, Rodney P. and J. Geoffrey Golson.
America in revolt during the 1960s and 1970s. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2008. Carlisle, Rodney P. and J. Geoffrey Golson, America in revolt during the 1960s and 1970s (Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2008), p.155. Ibid, p.156. Ibid, p.157. Ibid, p.156.