It won’t be wrong to say, that even till this day women are treated as second-class citizens in most parts of the world. However, the situation was much worse; women were not allowed to participate in anything, be it business, sports, entertainment, etc. Nothing has been handed over to women on a silver platter, women had to struggle and fight for their rights since time immemorial. The Feminist Movement paved way for a number of women’s rights. Looking at the Feminist Movement history, it won’t be wrong to call all those women, martyrs, who fought for equal rights for women and the Womens Suffrage Movement.
1. The feminist movement has been divided into two phases
Women had to struggle a lot to put forward their demands during the Feminist Movement. The first wave marked the beginning of the suffragette movement or the Womens suffrage movement in the late 19th century. It was this time that women from all walks of life came together and asked for their demand and right to vote. The second wave came in the 1960s and 70s, where subjects such as equal pay and abortion were discussed.
Contrary to popular belief, not just Hillary Clinton, but Victoria Woodhull too ran for office under the Woman’s Suffrage Association. During this time, women were not allowed to cast their votes in elections, but, there was no such law which stopped them from running for office. Victoria increasingly won the respect of women belonging to all walks of life, she fought against the atrocities on women. She was a powerful female activist and was thus nominated for the President of the United States of America.
3. Sri Lanka was the first country in the modern world to have a female leader
While most of the modern countries across the globe were reluctant to give women political power, a small country like Sri Lanka, elected leader Sirimavo Bandaranaike as their Prime Minister. The lady rose to power in the 1960s and later was reelected in the 1970s, thus proving that women could easily govern a state, as good, if not better, than men. All this happened at a time when the western world saw a re-emergence of the feminist movement.
4. Wyoming was the first state to grant women voting rights
After years of struggle, the American politicians finally gave in to the demands of the feminists and thus allowed women to vote. Wyoming was the first American state to have granted voting rights to women. The first female governor of the U.S.A was also elected here. Similarly, New Zealand was the first country to grant women the right to vote. This law was sanctioned in 1893.
5. The first amendment in Universal suffrage was made in 1868
The first amendment to offer a universal suffrage took place in 1868. However, all efforts went in vain when the bill was rejected. The next attempt was made in 1878 but to no avail. The bill was rejected repeatedly for 41 years at a stretch after which it was approved by the Congress in the year 1919.
6. Many states took more than 40 years for the bill to be ratified
A number of American states had to wait for around 10 decades for the bill to be ratified. So states such as Alabama, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi had to wait for this ratification.
7. The first woman to win the Nobel Peace prize fought for women’s suffrage
Jane Addams, was a sociologist, public philosopher, social worker, reformer and a pioneer activist. She struggled for women’s suffrage as well as world peace. Later, her efforts were rewarded with a Nobel Prize.
Before the year 1900, no woman was allowed to participate in the Olympics. The event was held in Paris and allowed women athletes to compete in the games. Charlotte Cooper of England was the first ever woman to have won a gold medal in the Olympics. She won the women’s single, tennis tournament and was awarded the prestigious medal.