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Manpreet Singh
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Feminists basically mean a society that provides equality in the political, economic, and cultural aspects for women. It has its origination in the ancient time of human civilization. Feminism struggle can be broadly divided into three major waves. The first feminism wave dealt with property rights and the right to vote. The second feminism wave laid its focus on equality and against gender discrimination. The latest and third wave of feminism, started, in the 1990s, as a result of backlash to the second wave, which was perceived as a privileging of white and straight women.
In ancient Greece, Plato advocated that women have natural capacities which are equal to men and they can equally participate in governing Greece. A 15th-century writer named Christine de Pizan protested misogyny at a large scale and advocated for equal rights and the role of women in the Middle Ages. Abigail Adams was a pioneer in providing access to basic things like education, property, and the ballot to women. A Rebellion began in the 19th century. Calls were made for greater freedom for women. Hands were joined with voices demanding the end of slavery. Some great strides were made when in the early 1900s New Zealand became the first sovereign state which gave women the right to vote. Australia and Finland followed the lead later on. The United States also gave the right to vote to bypass the 19th Amendment. American women earned the right to vote.
After world war 2, women finally began to enter the workplace in large numbers, following the Great Depression, which stole many workers’ jobs. They were paid low but they had more stable careers like housework, teaching, and secretarial roles. Women also actively participated in industries that were previously reserved for men. Rosie the Riveter became a feminist icon. The civil rights movement provided equal pay at work. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was among the first efforts to confront this still-relevant issue. After that, by the 70,s and ’80s, gender roles were attacked such as homemaking and child-raising. A landmark judgment was passed named Roe vs wade which guarantees women the right to abortion. Feminism during this era was also criticized because many believed that it was limited to urban white women.
The journey of the feminism cause has been a long one and it has traveled a long way. Still, newer issues are being raised such as #metoomovement. But still, the major problem remains in the form of a patriarchal setup. If we want to move into truly modern times, we have to shed this.