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Women Essay

1694 words - 7 pages

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Women Active in Social Reform in the Progressive Era
Introduction
The progressive Era which that took place between 1890s and 1920s was a period in America’s history characterized by increased social activism, agitation for political reforms, and opening up of political and socio-economic space for everyone in the country. During this period, a Women’s Movement was formed to agitate for women’s needs in a society that was highly polarized along gender and racial lines. The laws were stiff and did not allow women to neither inherit nor own property. They also did not have the opportunity for serving the juries and even voting in elections. The women did little jobs that earned them meager salary. The only way they had to endure economic empowerment was by getting married to depend on the husband’s success.
Women Active in Social Reform in the Progressive Era
The main groups that were involved in agitation for women's rights included the middle class white club women and settlement house workers, Black middle class clubwomen and settlement house workers and suffrage activists. From the insights developed in the above groups, studying these diverse groups of women in the view of delineating the similarities and differences in their goals and strategies and how they collaborated in their differences is critical for this discursive review.
To begin with, the middle class club women came out strong with fighting for equity in the American state. They sought to redefine the role of the federal government within the American society. According to Orlek, worked round the clock in a bid to expand the role of the federal government in looking into the matters of education, health, sanitation, wages, the social welfare and working conditions (Orlek 393). Their efforts seem to bear fruit in view of the subsequent improvement in the lives of Americans and led to the expansion of the women’s role in the society, economy and the economy at large. The laws enacted by the government however frustrated their efforts towards achieving the set rules within the country (Gilmore, 373).
The middle-class women joined forces and worked towards addressing the healthcare, education, political corruption and healthcare. They joined hands with the women working and came up with a partnership that that served the purpose of raising wages and rooting for better working conditions. The African American women were organized with an aim for providing a mutual support towards achieving the set goals.
According to Gilmore, there were efforts put in place to ensure the suffrage ended for instance the formation of National American Suffrage Association that gave the women a meaning to fight for their needs within the United States. They came up with a Society plan aimed at recruiting wealthy and educated women to fight for suffrage. This got the attention of the various government officials who sought to find ways through...

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