Although their efforts were not successful, the 14th amendment however was ratified into the constitution and this amendment helped be the basis for equal rights laws later on. An accomplishment that needs to be recognized in this period is that in 1868 Elizabeth Blackwell established first women’s medical college, this is just one of the many advancements that women were making. During the 1870’s, women started putting pressure on the government for more equality and rights that they naturally deserved, so much so that they were willing to go to jail over it. Due to the pressure that women were putting on government officials, they slowly started to gain rights such as the right to have custody or children during a divorce, granted property rights in a marriage, and somewhat decent job earnings (still nothing close to what men were making). Although the 15th amendment was ratified during this period it did not include women being able to vote it only allowed people to vote without discrimination of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”. As expected, there were many people against the women’s suffrage movement as well, with all the attention the women’s suffrage movement was obtaining an Anti-Suffrage society was formed. This society was composed of both men and women who didn’t agree with the newly found rights that women were starting to gain. In the 1880’s women had slim to no political rights or political participation; society wanted to ensure that women remain unable to demand protection of their basic liberty rights in the political system. Although there were no political advances just yet, women were participating in activities that were once declared only appropriate for men. For example, having a more prominent presence in the workplace. Women who decided not to work and stayed home tended to their husbands, children, and their homes, to societies standards these women were considered the “ideal woman”, while women who didn’t agree with this were looked down upon. Those that decided to be in the workplace were single mothers, women with some level of education or training became nurses, teachers, or a salesperson in a store. With the changes that came along with industrialization and the change in technology, women’s lives slowly but surely start to change. A large percentage of women started entering the workforce and began strongly demanding better working conditions, higher wages, more educational opportunities, and most importantly the right to vote. The numbers of employed women greatly increased from 2.6 million working women to 7.8 million. Other great accomplishments to acknowledge were when International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time in March 8, 1908, as well as the Women’s Political Union held its first suffrage parade in New York City. During World War I, women had the opportunity to work in jobs that they would have never been allowed to do otherwise because they were strictly considered men’s jobs. Doing so showed the world the women are able and capable of handling more responsibility, thus women were granted the right to vote and the right to participate in the war. The first states that granted voting rights to women were Montana and Nevada, and later on in 1971 other states followed along such as North Dakota, Ohio, Indiana, Rhode Island, Nebraska, Michigan, New York, and Arkansas. In the 1920’s, Women’s social roles have revolutionized; challenging traditional Victorian ideals of how a woman should act vs. how they were acting. Thus, the Flapper woman was born, this was extremely out of the norm for man people and many were outraged by their behavior. Flappers were rebellious against gender roles, cut their hair, danced to jazz music (which was considered promiscuous), wore makeup, and smoked and drank alcohol. Many officials in government still were not comfortable with the advancement’s women were making so they passed an act called The National Recovery Act. This act forbade more than one family member of a household to work a government job, This caused for the women employment rate to decrease, The Great Depression was putting pressure on everyone to bring in income, so many employers refused to give women jobs because it would be women taking money away from men. This act did not stop women though, because of this act More than 310,000 women take jobs in the U.S. aircraft industry. Wartime propaganda urges women to join the labor force for the duration of World War II. In conclusion, women’s rights have come a long way from where they started. Before the war women had virtually no rights at all, women’s rights were not even a thought. Women’s role in history was even ignored in textbooks and by historians until the early 1960’s, then women were being portrayed as equally successful as men. Society did not want to see women become superior, they tried to keep women at home being wives and birthing children so that men could still dominate women. Women suffrage leaders such as Elizabeth Caddy Stanton and Susan B. Anthony had a different vision for how women’s lives should be.They fought for women to be able to have a voice and be treated with the same respect as men. With the brave contributions of these ladies and many others that fought women were able to have a voice. Women were granted the right to vote, get a decent education, work in which ever field she pleases, and live free happy lives that don’t consist of catering to a man. In conclusion, after the Civil War women started to stand up for themselves and let the rest of the world know that they too should have the same rights and privileges that men have. Although women have come extremely far, the fight is still not over even in today’s society, women are still fighting for equal pay and opportunities. Women are determined and will never give up fighting for what they truly deserve.
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