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Sample essay topic, essay writing: The Movement Of Womens Rights - 1231 words
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'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.' That was Margaret Mead's conclusion after a lifetime of observing very diverse cultures around the world. Her insight has been borne out time and again throughout the development of this country of ours. Being allowed to live life in an atmosphere of religious freedom, having a voice in the government you support with your taxes, living free of lifelong enslavement by another person. Many once considered these beliefs about how life should and must be lived outlandish. But visionaries whose steadfast work brought about changed minds and attitudes fervently held these beliefs. Now these beliefs are commonly shared across U.S.
society. 1998 marks the 150th Anniversary of a movement by women to achieve full civil rights in this country. The staggering changes for women that have come about over those seven generations in family life, in religion, in government, in employment, in education - these changes did not just happen spontaneously. Women themselves made these changes happen, very deliberately. Women have not been the passive recipients of miraculous changes in laws and human nature
Seven generations of women have come together to affect these changes in the most democratic ways: through meetings, petition drives, lobbying, public speaking, and nonviolent resistance. Throughout 1998, the 150th anniversary of the Women's Rights Movement is being celebrated across the nation with programs and events taking every form imaginable. Like many amazing stories, the history of the Women's Rights Movement began with a small group of people questioning why human lives were being unfairly constricted. The Women's Rights Movement marks July 13, 1848 as it's beginning. On that sweltering summer day in upstate New York, a young housewife and mother, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was invited to tea with four women friends.
When the course of their conversation turned to the situation of women, Stanton poured out her discontent with the limitations placed on her own situation under America's new democracy. Surely the new republic would benefit from having its women play more active roles throughout society. Stanton's friends agreed with her, passionately. Today we are living the legacy of this afternoon conversation among women friends. Throughout 1998, events celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Women's Rights Movement are looking at the massive changes these women set in motion when they daringly agreed to convene the world's first Women's Rights Convention.
These were patriotic women, sharing the ideal of improving the new republic. As the women set about preparing for the event, Elizabeth Cady Stanton used the Declaration of Independence as the framework for writing what she titled a 'Declaration of Sentiments.' In what proved to be a brilliant move, Stanton connected the nascent campaign for women's rights directly to that powerful American symbol of liberty. Married women were legally dead in the eyes of the lawWomen were not allowed to vote Women had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation Married women had no property rightsDivorce and child custody laws favoured men, giving no rights to womenWomen had to pay property taxes although they had no representation in the levying of these taxesMost occupations were closed to women and when women did work they were paid only a fraction of what men earnedWomen were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or lawWomen had no means to gain an education since no college or university would accept women studentsWith only a few exceptions, women were not allowed to participate in the affairs of the churchWomen were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were made totally dependent on men Strong words.. Large grievances.. That summer, change was in the air and Elizabeth Cady Stanton was full of hope that the future could and would be brighter for women.
The convention was convened as planned, and over the two-days of discussion, the Declaration of Sentiments and 12 resolutions received unanimous endorsement, one by one, with a few amendments. The only resolution that did not pass unanimously was the call for women's enfranchisement. That women should be allowed to vote in elections was almost inconceivable to many. Even the heartfelt pleas of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a refined and educated woman of the time, did not move the assembly. Woman, like the slave, he argued, had the right to liberty.
Newspaper editors were so scandalized by the shameless audacity of the Declaration of Sentiments, and particularly of the ninth resolution-women demanding the vote!That they attacked the women with all the vitriol they could muster. The women's rights movement was only one day old and the backlash had already begun! Many of the women who had attended the convention were so embarrassed by the publicity that they actually withdrew their signatures from the Declaration. People in cities and isolated towns alike were now alerted to the issues, and joined this heated discussion of women's rights in great numbers! The Seneca Falls women had optimistically hoped for 'a series of conventions embracing every part of the country.' Women's Rights Conventions were held regularly from 1850 until the start of the Civil War. The women's rights movement of the late 19th century went on to address the wide range of issues spelled out at the Seneca Falls Convention. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and women like Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and Sojourner Truth traveled the country lecturing and organizing for the next forty years. The story of diligent women's rights activism is a litany of achievements against tremendous odds, of ingenious strategies and outrageous tactics used to outwit opponents and make the most of limited resources. It's a dramatic tale, filled with remarkable women facing down incredible obstacles to win that most basic American civil right - the vote.
Lucy Stone. They were pioneer theoreticians of the 19th-century women's rights movement. Esther Morris, the first woman to hold a judicial position, who led the first successful state campaign for woman suffrage, in Wyoming in 1869. Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Mary Church Terrell, organizers of thousands of African-American women who worked for suffrage for all women.
Alice Paul, founder and leader of the National Woman's Party, considered the radical wing of the movement. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, now a Supreme Court Justice, learned the story of the Women's Rights Movement. Today she says, 'I think about how much we owe to the women who went before us - legions of women, some known but many more unknown. After the vote was finally won in 1920, the organized Women's Rights Movement continued on in several directions. While the majority of women who had marched, petitioned and lobbied for woman suffrage looked no further, a minority - like Alice Paul - understood that the quest for women's rights would be an ongoing struggle that was only advanced, not satisfied, by the vote.
In 1919, as the suffrage victory drew near, the National American Woman Suffrage Association reconfigured itself into the League of Women Voters to ensure that women would take their hard-won vote seriously and use it wisely. In 1920, the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labour was established to gather information about the situation of women at work, and to advocate for changes it found were needed. Many suffragists became actively involved with lobbying for legislation to protect women workers from abuse and unsafe conditions. In 1923, Alice Paul, the leader of the Nationa ...
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