History of Woman's Rights rooted in Mary Wolfstonecraft's Publication Vindication of the Rigts of Women

History of Woman's Rights rooted in Mary Wolfstonecraft's Publication Vindication of the Rigts of Women

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While the issue of women’s suffrage has roots based in every country in the world, most think that the initial inroads were painfully carved through the efforts of early women pioneers in America. This perception is easily formed due to the early publication of Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Right’s of Women in 1792. However, the movement gained national attention in New Zealand in 1893 and in Australia in 1902, eclipsing the suffrage movement in Britain, Canada and America by at least 25 years. The struggle for women’s rights has been ponderous and slow moving throughout the years and not without internal divisions.
In England women were allowed to hold jobs such as teachers and shopkeepers but not given the right to vote even though they supported the government by paying taxes. This became a major stumbling point as even prisoners and those in mental institutions were allowed to vote. A push to include women in this right began with a peaceful movement that consisted of public talks and gatherings. The leader of this movement was Millicent Fawcett who believed that peaceful protest would gain more support and be more effective than using violence. Her followers became known as the Suffragists. Sentiment concerning women’s rights was strongly divided with only one small portion of those in government showing support through the efforts of the Labour Party. At that time the Party was so small that even its influence was minimal.
One of the key arguments in favor of women’s rights was in the instance of wealthy estate owners who were women. They employed gardeners, cooks, maids and general workmen but were unable to exercise their basic right to vote. These women were landowners and obviously looked upon ...


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...hen these women have outside jobs they are still mainly responsible for childcare and care of the home, the male of the household has not taken on more tasks. This does not level the playing field between genders and causes more stress for the female in the family. In fact, while the male is not providing anymore assistance around the home, some of the childcare is being outsourced.
As the issue is examined from the view of social justice, it appears that women are still not at the equal level that Mills proposed in this bill in Parliament. While women are entitled to the basic human rights of employment, land and business ownership and voting, there remains an inequality in expectations for an adult female. These expectations are garnered from long-standing traditional views held by a large portion of society that will take many years to eradicate.










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