Women rights movement is a movement that was formed to fight for the rights of women. It seeks equal opportunities for women in all aspects of life, that is, economic, social, personal and also political. This movement is the second in the wave of feminist movement and is called the second wave. In the past, women had been neglected in different life aspects especially in education. The subordination of women led to oppression. In the early 18th century women were not given the right to education as they were taken as property in different communities across the world. In America, women were oppressed according to gender and race that called for the formation of this movement. The movement has made a lot of changes to education of women in higher education and the education of children.
The effect of Women’s Rights Movement in Education of Children and women
Women were not offered education especially higher education during the 19th century. With the establishment of women movement, the number of women receiving higher education increased significantly and has even surpassed that of men in colleges and universities. The increase in the number of women in higher education is a factor of several achievements that came about the movements efforts to liberate women from long time oppression. Gender equality was the issue in the women acquisition of equal opportunities. (Whitton, 2000 pp. 123-196)
The achievement of women’s movement empowered women in education that gave women social equity. In 1848 the movement that was formed as a result of a convention that involved over 300 men out of which 32 men and 68 women signed the Declaration of Sentiments. The following are the achievements of women rights movement and their contribution to their education and the education of their children.
Women’s Rights to vote and Education for children
The movement was concerned with the rights of women to participate in the voting process in America. This step was very important in giving women a chance to be involved in the choice of leaders who were determined in helping women and fighting for their rights. The Declaration of Sentiments also involved other 12 resolutions that included equal treatment of women and men.
The National Women Suffrage Association (NWSA) was formed in the year 1869 that was aimed at achieving the right to vote. The amendment of the constitution was the solution to this issue. In 1893 women in Colorado State were given the rights to vote which had a very positive effect on women education and the education of their children. Women were able to vote for strong leaders considering that they were the majority in the state. They could be able to vote individual leaders who looked out to help them through education. The right to vote was an opening for greater opportunities for women as they could be able to be, as voters had their issues considered in the congress by the leaders they supported.
Equal Employment Opportunity
The advocacy for equal employment opportunity for both men and women was a success in the education of the children and women in achieving higher education. (Cryss, 1999 pp. 56-193)The National Women’s Trade Union League formed in 1903 enabled women to be employed equally as men. The league also wanted the working conditions for women and their wage level improved. The equal work for equal pay gave women an upper hand in the economic status, women earned some good money and as they had for long depended on men for money for their education and the education of their children, they could get education without a problem and they could also educate their children. The equal work opportunity motivated more women into higher education as they were assured of getting an employment equal to men and as well paying as men. Women studied in all relevant courses that they could not have taken before and they proved to be equal in production with men. In the mid 20th century, there were more women in colleges and in the universities than men pursuing different career courses. In 1929 there were 99 incensed women pilots in the United States who formed an organization, 99’s organization aimed at supporting and advancing women in the aviation industry.
Reproduction and Education
The 1960 approval of the use of birth control pills by the Food and Administration helped women to take control of their lives in family matters. Women used to have a problem with schooling due to pregnancy that was unplanned. With the use of these birth control pills, women were able to stay free from pregnancies while at school. They could be able to first complete their college education before starting a family. Before the approval of the use of the birth control pills, women dropped out of school and started families at very tender age. (Cryss, 1999 pp. 45- 211) By planning their families, women are able to space their children and have minimum number of children that they can support successfully even without depending on men. With women having control over their birth, it has more advantage to their education life too.
The Equal Pay Act and Influence in Education
The equal pay act of 1963 was a motivator of women in attaining higher education. Women who before the establishment of the act used to be paid lees for equal job done suppressed their education morale. (Solomon, 1991 pp. 189-202) They also did not have a positive attitude towards educating their children especially the girls. The act made it illegal for any employer to pay a woman less money than a man for the same job. This gave women economic power as they earned equally with men. They encouraged children into education including the girl child for they could receive equal employment and equal pay with men.
Equality and sexual discrimination
The National Organization of Women that was formed in 1969 was aimed at achieving equality for women and also ending the sexual discrimination that had violated the rights of women. The end of sexual discrimination was a way to allow women to be able to acquire education the same as men.
Women’s Right to Safe and Legal Abortion
Women were given the right to carry out legal safe abortion in 1973. This influenced the women to education. Women could be able to carry out an abortion and continue with schooling in case of unwanted pregnancy. The girls who could not complete school due to early pregnancies could safely carry out an abortion instead of dropping out of school.
The legalization of abortion made women to have children at the right time when they could not be inconvenienced. The 1978 act against discrimination of employment of pregnant women allowed women to work when pregnant and earn.
Violence against Women Act
This act of the 1994 was meant to protect women against violation by men. The penalties for sexual offenders were tightened to protect women. The establishment of funds services to assist victims of rape and women who suffer domestic violence. Women became more comfortable as they were protected from violation. Women got education and earned best results free from sexual biasness and discrimination.
Inspiration of Women into Education
The movement became successful with so many women getting education. This inspired more women to education and encouraged their children into education. Men were challenged by women who became successful from education efforts. The following are some of the women who inspired the movement of women’s rights success. In 1784 Hanna Adams became the first woman professional writer, Lucy Brewer was the first Marine woman in 1812, and in 1849 Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to receive a medical degree. So many other women followed with various achievements which proved that they were equally capable with men.
The women movement influenced their education throughout its development since 1849. Women also got the opportunity to determine their children’s education which was the role of men. Women could not discriminate against gender and they were able to educate their children for the betterment of their future. (Albert, 1994 pp. 156-209)
When we talk of education we should first think of women as the first priority as they are educators. From the education support that women give to children and especially the girls is an effort that was achieved by the movement. It is clear from the results that women produce in their work that they are equally capable as men. Women has done so much since the movement and through the movement women are getting higher education and compete equally with men in the job market. It is very important to educate women because by educating a woman, you educate a community.
Albert, W. (1994). Readings in Social Problems, New York: McGraw Hill, pp. 134-308.
Cryss, B. (1999). Sacred Dream: Women and Superintendency, London: Harvard University Press, pp. 45-289.
Jackie, B. (2001). Destined to Rule the Schools: Women and Superintendency, New York: Macmillan Press, pp. 12-134.
John, L. (2005). Education and Social Change: Themes in the History of American Schooling, New York: Prentice Hall, pp. 234-348.
Solomon, M. Ed (1991). A Voice of Their Own: The Woman Suffrage Press, Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, pp. 167-287.
Whitton, O. (2000). These Were the Women. New York: Hastings House, pp.111-289.
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