Why do I care?
Women's rights are important to me because I
am a girl who wants men and women to have
equal rights. Without women's rights females
wouldn't be allowed to vote, go to school,
work, or even leave their homes. There is also
no real reason why women should have less
rights than a man.
Research only states that women were
considered subordinate to men due to
religious reasons. There is actually no
definite reason as to why women are
considered to be less than men.
In England, Women had very little rights and
usually followed the roles as mothers and
In other countries, such as Germany, it was legal
for men to hit or use physical force on
● In the 1500s women had almost no rights
● German communities gave their women
more rights in the past
● France also gave very little rights to women
for a long time
A modern version of gender
● During the Revolutionary War relationships between men and women
changed. The relationship between a man and his wife started to become
more about love rather than subordinance, but women were still treated as
being lower than men.
● Throughout the 19th century many women such as Sojourner truth, Maria
W. Stewart, and Harriet Tubman spoke publicly about the rights of women.
● In 1903, the National Women's Trade Union League was formed. Their
purpose was to work towards improving women's wages and working
● The first U.S birth-control clinic opened in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Margaret Sanger, who opened it, was arrested 10 days
later but won in court and reopened another clinic 7
● The 19th Amendment is passed by the House of
Representatives and the Senate in 1919.
● Margaret Sanger founded the American Birth Control
League in 1921, which is now known as Planned
● The National Council of Negro Women is organized by Mary Bethune in 1935.
They worked towards eliminating racism, sexism, and discrimination in the
● In 1963, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act, which is why paying women less is
● In 1969, California became the first state to allow a mutual consenting divorce.
● Pregnant women were often fired or denied jobs simply for being pregnant. In
1978 the Pregnancy Discrimination Act made this illegal.
Minor v. Happersett
In St. Louis County, Missouri, Virginia Minor was refused
the right to vote just because she was a woman.
Reese Happersett was the registrar who did not
allow her to vote. With the help of her husband who
was a lawyer, they took Reese Happersett to court.
Before Minor v. Happersett there was a series of
court cases where suffragists challenged that being a
U.S citizen gave somebody the right to vote and that
gender had nothing to do with. Minor v. Happersett
was the only one to reach the Supreme Court.
Ultimately, Minor lost, but this case was important in
women’s rights because it became popular with
suffragists and eventually led to the 19th
Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972)
William Baird gave contraceptive foam to an
unmarried woman after giving a lecture on
birth control at Boston University. This was
illegal in Massachusetts where only doctors
and pharmacists could provide contraceptives
to married couples.
After a series of legal matters, the case made its
way to the U.S. Supreme Court where Baird
won because denying and and making it illegal
for unmarried couples to use contraceptives
violated the right to equal protection.
This is Baird in 2012. He still
advocates for reproductive rights.
Roe v. Wade (1973)
Roe was a pregnant women who wanted to get an abortion. In
Texas, abortion was prohibited unless it was to save the
woman's life. The first argument against Texas' law
failed, but the second time around the court ruled that
making it a crime for a woman to get an abortion violated
her due process rights.
The case brought a lot of attention from both supporters and
opposers. There were a lot of protests about it at the
This case is still important when it comes to people who are
pro-choice. Especially in Texas, where there is still a lot
of people who are against abortion. There are still
abortion laws in Texas that make it difficult for women to
get safe abortions.
Impact on Society
Thanks to the efforts made in the past to gain women more rights women are
now able to vote, get divorced, leave their homes, pursue careers, get an
education, take place in “jobs for men”, and much more.
While women have gained more rights there are also newer issues concerning
how sexualized women are in the media.Within this past year, feminism has
also gained a lot of popularity again. Many people are using social media to
educate others and get more supporters.
Although women’s rights has come far, there are
still many men and some women that still
think women are considered to be less than
man. There are people who still believe that
women should follow the traditional gender
roles and the rules that were applied to only
Religions and Religious groups today still use
gender roles in their communities or
churches. churches and communities. For
example, a majority of Mormon churches
believe that women and men should have
different roles in life, and follow a different