A Short History of Women’s Rights

The history of feminism stretch all the way back to ancient Greece.

As far as modern history concerned, historians divided the History of the Women’s Equality Movement into three waves.

We’re living in the third wave.

The First Wave (1830’s – early 1900’s)
Women’s Battle for Equal Legal Right Concerning Contract and Property Rights

The pioneer feminist women of the late 19th to early 20th were severely oppressed. They had no rights whatsoever.

The first thing they realized they wanted was the opportunity to participate in politics. They saw the right to vote as the only way to start gaining influence. From there, their political agenda widened to include issues regarding sexual, reproductive and economic affairs.

The movement was born upon the cornerstone ideal that women can play an active role in society, equal to or more than men’s role.

The Second Wave (1960’s – 1980’s)
Feminism Gains Ground

With the devastating aftermath of World War II, the Second Wave of feminism came to fruition. Focusing on issues related to workplace, sexuality, family, and reproductive rights, feminism started to gain more ground.

The United States was rebuilding itself and feminists were fighting on more than one front as well. While they did accomplish many equality goals, they failed to stop the Equal Rights Amendment from passing despite their efforts.

While full of change, the Second Wave is viewed as narrow-minded phase of feminism. Why? It was characterized by violence, old beliefs, and extreme obsession of middle class white women’s issues.

In contrast, many feminist during the Second Wave were initiated through minority rights groups including:

  • The Black Civil Rights Movement.
  • Anti-Vietnam Movement.
  • Chicano Rights Movement.
  • Asian-American Civil Rights Movement.
  • Gay and Lesbian Movement.

And other equality rights movement of the era.

Many women who were members of these movements didn’t earn the respect of their peers. Mainly, their voice weren’t as impactful as to make a significant change.

Thus, they shifted their focus on gender equality issues as they saw it the best way to get heard.

The Third Wave (1990’s – Present)
The “Micro politics” of Gender Equality

In 2018, The Third Wave unlike the First and Second Waves, the female population receive the “feminist” word with more open-mindedness.

Due to the expansion of the feminism family of philosophies, styles, and outlooks:

  • Mainstream feminism.
  • Liberal feminism.
  • Radical feminism.
  • Marxist and Socialist feminism.
  • Islamic feminism.
  • Cultural feminism.
  • Eco-feminism.
  • I-Feminism.

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