Whereas the women’s suffrage movements focused mainly on overturning legal obstacles to equality, the feminist movements successfully addressed a broad range of other feminist issues. The first dealt primarily with voting rights and the latter dealt with inequalities such as equal pay and reproductive rights. Both movements made vast gains to the social and legal status of women. One reached its goals while the other continues to fight for women’s rights.
I. Women’s suffrage movements
A. Main focus was in achieving the right of vote to women.
1. The suffragists believed that although a woman's place was in the home, she should be able to
influence laws which impacted that home.
2. Voting rights for women became an international law in 1948 when the UN (United Nations)
adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
B. Was sparked by Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792).
1. She is regarded as the “Grandmother of British Feminism” whose ideals helped shape the
thoughts of the suffragettes.
C. During the early 20th century, English women achieved civil equality.
1. More women went to work outside the home, women gained the right to sit in parliament, more
women started serving on school boards and local bodies, and more women began to become
2. Bills were passed which aided the women’s movement.
a. The Custody of Infants Act 1873 gave custody of child...
... middle of paper ...
B. The earlier feminist movements dealt mainly with achieving basic rights for women and the later
movements reformed those rights.
Today, nothing remains of the former social role of women. Nearly all professions are open to women. The numbers of women in the government and traditionally male-dominated fields have dramatically increased. More women than men earn bachelor’s degrees. Many women's groups still prevail and are major political forces. Although the two movements hoped to achieve different things and used different tactics, they still came together to gain women’s rights and have achieved more than anyone would have ever anticipated.
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