Evolution of Women's Rights Since 19th Century

Topics: Egalitarianism, Liberalism, Women's rights Pages: 5 (1346 words) Published: April 21, 2013
Equality Rights 1

The Evolution of the Extension of Equality Rights from Classical to Modern Liberalism
Malak Alkadri
Social Studies 30
Mrs. Kadaoui
November 30, 2012

Equality Rights 2

Towards the latter part of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, classical liberalism underwent great modifications in terms of equality rights. Its modified form even came to be known as modern or positive liberalism. It differed from classical liberalism in so far as it emphasized the significance and rationality of equal opportunities and justice. Modern liberalism has promoted the positive rather than the negative aspects of the liberation movement. The extension of women’s equality rights of the final step in the revolution of classical liberalism to modern liberalism has extended this particular group’s rights economically, socially and politically to an uttermost extent.

Initially, women’s lives have improved economically. Modern liberalism has come to interpret freedom as involving a right to basic requirements of the development and security necessary to assure the equal opportunity and personal dignity of women. Nevertheless, in the nineteenth century’s Victorian era, the emergence of women’s rights was limited. Feminism had influenced the ideology of separate spheres in which men inhabit the public sphere – the world of politics, commerce and law - and women inhabit the private realm of domestic life – child caring, housekeeping and so on (Christison, etal. 2009, p. 158). Women of all classes worked hard, yet, were still a supply of cheap labour. Whereas today, more women are employed, more girls are being educated, women are living longer and having fewer children, and the number of females in business and in politics has increased dramatically. According to the Center for Women's Business Research, female entrepreneurs generate $2.3 trillion to the Equality Rights 3

American economy and employ more than 18 million people (qtd.In newint.org).

One area in which women have made major progress in is education. Modernly, more women are enrolled in law school, medical school, and schools of business and finance. Young women today do not feel social pressure to pursue only those professions which were once traditionally reserved for them, most commonly teaching and nursing. As a result, millions of women today succeed in professions that were completely closed to them in the past, such as working in open, public areas rather than at home or in healthcare areas. Also, women’s economic rights and acceptance have evolved dramatically since the final evolution of equality rights in the classical liberalism. Women have now acquired the freedom to work as they please, with rather no restrictions and a lot less government involvement. Women's economic authority has severely improved in the modern setting as opposed to thirty years ago, when women were first entering the workplace.  It was a rare occurrence, and rather “odd” at that time to see women at work, and now it is something common, accepted, and even encouraged.

Surely, on a social level, women’s rights have defiantly evolved in the way people collaborate and treat women. There has been a collective change of consciousness in how men are expected by law to communicate with women in the workplace.  While some personal Equality Rights 4

attitudes might not have changed; men and women both understand that the workplace is to be a setting to be free of hurtful and insensitive comments.  Additionally, women have successfully fought for family leave rights. Afterwards, the occurrence of the “Family and Medical Leave Act” had emerged in the US by federal law in 1993 (qtd.in...

References: Imbornoni, Ann-Marie. "Women 's Rights Movement in the U.S.: Timeline of Events (1921-1979). 30 Nov. 2012.
"What women have gained and what they are in danger of losing -- New Internationalist." New Internationalist. Nikki van der Gaag, n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2004. <http://www.newint.org/features/2004/11/01/women-want/>
Lambert, Tim. "Women 's Jobs in History."A World History Encyclopedia. Tim Lambert, 14 Jan. 2012. Web. 14 Jan. 2021. 
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