The right for women to be educated has been long sought after. The history of women education started the beginning of feminism. Education, over the last two hundred years, has changed women lives in America according to Barbara M. Solomon. In the early years of American history women were discouraged from getting a higher education it would be considered unnatural for women to be educated, and women were only taught domestic skills such as sewing, cooking and child-rearing. American women began to seek opportunities for further education, as well as equal rights. The history of women’s education has evolved through events that have shaped the culture of America today. To better understand the women’s education movement, it is important to know the background of its history.
Education has been the hurdle keeping women from gaining equality in society, by separating them from their male counterparts. Women who sought higher education were considered, heathens and the most disgusting beings that would perish. Without education to empower them, women were stripped of their dignity and rights by their husbands and other men of the community. The struggle for women higher education is a battle that still has not reached its citadel.
In the Victorian Period receiving an education was an act of unconformity. Women were to be pure, domestic, and submissive and these traits could not be achieved through education. The education of women was thought to disrupt the social balance of time, but in the Victorian Period women were educated because they were mothers of men. They wanted women to teach their children so they had to be educated. Women were stripped of their rights and dignity, but they were finally free to break through the constraints with education. They were educated and gained a self-worth that empowered them to change history. Although inequality of opportunity remained a problem, the increasing education of women resulted in a dramatic rise of female enrollments in schools of all levels.
In the 1800s, education for women began to spread abroad. Teachers like Catharine Beecher, Emma Willard and Mary Lyon goal was to give girls the same education as boys. As more and more women advanced through the educational system it increased the percentage of literate women, which doubled between 1780 and 1840.
The history of women in education began in 1836, when Oberlin College was founded. This was the first school that allowed women as well as blacks gain a higher education. Wesleyan Female College in Georgia began awarding degrees to women in 1836. Although women were advancing in higher education it remained inferior when compared to the educational opportunities available to young men. A milestone for women in education was in 1848 the Seneca Falls Convention that was held in New York to gain support for education and suffrage. This convention created a foundation for women’s efforts towards equality and education, even though...