Womens Rights


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Has origins of women's rights in US and a little in world history, includes important Supreme Court cases, current issues and long term impact.

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Womens Rights

  1. 1. Student WOMEN’S RIGHTS
  2. 2. Importance of Women’s Rights  Equality between the sexes  Females should be able to lead lives without feeling “less than”  Equal access to education, health, and employment for both sexes
  3. 3. Origins  Women’s rights have been a global issue since ancient times  China: foot binding  Rome: could not vote, hold office, serve in military  Athens: not even considered citizens  Religious books i.e. Bible, Quran, support inequality  Even in the Enlightenment, philosophers did not support equal rights for genders  “When she tries to usurp our rights, she is our inferior.” – Jean Jacques Rousseau
  4. 4. Origins in the U.S.  The first women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848  Primary goal was the right to vote  December 10, 1869, Wyoming passed the first women’s suffrage law  The 19th Amendment was added to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote  Since then, the movement has progressed to fight for much more than the right to vote
  5. 5. Goals of Women’s Right Movement  The modern movement encompasses much more than suffrage  The goals of the movement include equal rights to:  Health  Hold public office  Employment  Fair wages  Property  Education  Military  Family rights
  6. 6. Reed v. Reed 1971  Sally and Cecil Reed were a separated couple who both petitioned to be the administrator for their son’s estate  Cecil was originally named administrator for the sole reason of being a male  Decision was overturned by Supreme Court in this case  “To give a mandatory preference to members of either sex… is to make the… legislative choice forbidden by the Equal Protection Clause”-Chief Justice Burger  This was a landmark case because it was the first time the the US Supreme Court ruled a discriminating law against women was unconstitutional
  7. 7. Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur  LaFleur was forced to take an unpaid maternity leave after her pregnancy in 1974 and she contested this  Her case made it to the Supreme Court in 1975  The Supreme Court decided it was unlawful to require women to take unpaid maternity leaves after the first trimester  Regarding the due process, health, and employment issues, this case was issued in 1975 in favor of LaFleur  Justice Stewart commented, “By acting to penalize the pregnant teacher for deciding to bear
  8. 8. Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson  Mechelle Vinson sued the bank and specifically, the vice president after being fired  Vinson said the sexual harassment she endured should be declared unlawful discrimination  It was decided “unlawful discrimination” would not just be limited to tangible effects  The purpose of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was to change “the entire spectrum of disparate treatment” of men and women alike  This case was a big victory for women who had suffered in the workplace due to sexual harassment
  9. 9. Impact  Due to many of the landmark cases in the U.S. many countries are starting to follow suit  Women’s rights are at the top of El Salvador’s agenda for 2014  More women are entering the global political arena  Women’s average wages have increased and the pay gap between men and women has narrowed significantly  However some do not fully support all aspects of the movement  Believe pay difference is not due to discrimination, but choices in occupations  Women should be included in draft
  10. 10. Conclusion  America has made great strides for the women’s rights movement  Issues like healthcare, average pay discrimination, and violence against women still remain to be completely resolved  However from the conventions in Seneca Falls to the 19th Amendment to the modern cases, women have made a huge leap in the last 150 years in the United States