It has taken women a long and tough journey to achieve their rights. This started many years ago in 1848, when women stood for their rights and since then, there have been several changes though some changes are yet to happen. These include changes in politics and government where women wanted to exercise their right to vote, in employment they wanted equal pay for the work done, they fought for reproductive rights and changes in religion (Greenberg & Watts, 2009). All these changes came due to efforts of very dedicated women who never gave up the struggle. Struggle for changes using women movements began in the 17th centuries. I chose the following significant timeline with four major events in the struggle of women liberation in U.S.
In 1647, Margaret Brent demanded for two votes, one to own land and the other one as a legal colony’s propriety representative of which she was denied. Also, in 1840, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott together with other women meet in London where they were denied credential to anti-slavery convection. Despite their active participation in abolitions, it was very rare for them to get a leadership position (Ibrahim, 2012).
Women movements for Equality and Rights to Vote
The first movement started in 1848 when the first National women rights movement led by Lucretia, and Elizabeth in Seneca Falls took a cue with agreement of declaration of sentiments. This summarized their complaints and the movement agenda. They mainly demanded for men and women be treated equally under the law and women given rights to vote. In 1850, the women’s rights conference in Worcester attracted many participants and these conventions were thereafter held yearly up to 1860 (Kuumba, 2001). By 1868, men are the only ones who get a vote, even after the 14th amendment where civil rights were guaranteed to all citizens. 1n May 1869, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton created the National Woman Suffrage Association. Their main aim was to achieve rights for women to vote through Congressional Amendment in the constitution. In November Lucy Stone and others formed the American Woman Suffrage Association and their main aim was to get voting rights amendments in the constitutions of individual state.
In December, women in Wyoming Territory were given the first rights to vote. The suffrage movement divides into two: one group stands for the 14th Amendment and licence for black men and the other calls for woman suffrage. In 1890, the National Women Suffrage Association and the American Women Suffrage Association joined to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and they campaigned in every state to get their voting rights. Following these movement campaigns, women were allowed to vote by 1918 in almost all the states.
Movements against Racism
According to Ibrahim (2012), in 1896 about a 100 black women clubs comes together forming the National Association of coloured Women. Their leaders include Anna Cooper, Josephine Ruffin, and Mary Terrell. In 1935, Mary Bethune forms the National Council of Negro Women where black women came together against sexism, job discrimination, and racism.
Movements for equal rights in employment and good working conditions
In 1903, the National Women’s Trade Union League is formed to campaign for wages and good working conditions for women (Giele & Stebbins, 2003). In 1920, the women’s Bureau in the Department of Labour is forms to gather information about the female employee, and uphold good working states for them. In 1978, the pregnancy Discrimination Act outlaws biases in employment of pregnant women. This act required promotion for a woman whether pregnant or not, she should not be denied a job, fired if pregnant, or forced to take a maternity leave if she is able and willing to work. In 1923, the Supreme Court cancels the 1918 minimum-wage law for the women, with the vote and women then regarded equal to men.
Movement for women reproductive rights
In 1916 Margaret Sanger opens the first ever birth-control clinic in U.S in Brooklyn. The clinic is closed up after ten days and she is arrested. She goes to the court where she wins the case and thereafter she proceeds to open another clinic in New York. In 1921, Margaret Sanger manages the American Birth Control League, which in 1942 became the Federation of Planned Parenthood. In 1936 contraceptive and birth control information dissemination ceases to be seen as obscene. In 1940s and 1950s, promoters for birth control are taken on many legal suits. Finally, in 1960 the Food and Drug Administration commends birth control pills (Trinkle & Merriman, 2002).
These event series of women movements varied and their priorities were also very different but they remain interconnected as they all were formed to address women issues (Trinkle & Merriman, 2002). All these women felt that men had privileged right compared to them while as they are equal to men. All these movements were concerned with social and cultural inequalities. All the events in the women movements are strongly to persons at that time, particular complaints at that time, and the American cultural transformation-taking place. This made all of them campaign in opposition to the social status in the American society.
Giele, J. Z., & Stebbins, L. F. (2003). Women and equality in the workplace: a reference handbook. U.S.A: ABC-CLIO.
Greenberg, B., & Watts, L. S. (2009). Social history of the United States The 1900s. U.S.A: ABC-CLIO.
Ibrahim, H. (2012). Troubling the family: the promise of personhood and the rise of multiracialism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Kuumba, M. B. (2001). Gender and social movements. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press.
Trinkle, D. A., & Merriman, S. A. (2002). The history highway 3.0: a guide to internet resources (3rd Ed.). New York: Sharpe.