Women's Legal And Political Rights Essay

1967 words - 8 pages

Women's Legal and Political Rights
Until the end of 18th century there was a large opposition to women's
legal and political rights, though some improvements were made, the
issue of giving women the vote was still highly opposed. Feminism is
linked to the women's movement and is commonly connected with two
basic beliefs, that women are disadvantaged because of their sex, and
that this disadvantage should be overthrown. Since the nineteenth
century women's movement gained a central focus of the campaign for
female suffrage and the right to vote. It was Mary Wollstonecraft and
Lucretia Mott, who can be considered as the most famous pioneer of
women’s rights and feminism movement. They made a great impact and
influenced nowadays world. Women did great achievement in their
rights, but still are not equal to men. The reasons for such
inequality go from the history and social structure of the society
those days.

The history of feminism and women’s right movement begins from Mary
Wollstonecraft and her “Vindication of the rights of women” (1792).
This book written during French revolution was about the equality
between men and women what the main idea of a feminist movement is.
Mary Wollstonecraft has been called the "first feminist" or "mother of
feminism". Her book is about women's rights, especially women's
education. Mary Wollstonecraft agreed to the idea that that women's
sphere is family, but she didn’t isolate family life from public life
as many others did at that time. For Mary Wollstonecraft, the public
life and domestic life wasn’t separate, but connected. The family was
important for her because it formed a foundation for the social and
public life. The public life intensified and served both individuals
and the family. In her option, like men had duties in the family too,
the women had duties to the state.

Wollstonecraft stated for the right of woman to be educated, because
women are responsible for the education of the children. She accepted
this role as a primary role for woman as different from man. She
believed that stable marriage is a partnership between a husband and a
wife – a marriage is a social contract between two individuals. A
woman thus needs to have equal knowledge and sense, to maintain the
partnership. A stable marriage also provides for the proper education
of children.

These ideas were in a complete contrast to the realities of women's
lives that time. Women of the time were second-class citizens. Mary
Wollstonecraft could look to her own life, history and to the lives of
women around in her family. Abuse of women was close to home. She
saw little legal recourse for the victims of abuse. And that contrast
between the "rights of man" and the realities of the "life of woman"
motivated Mary Wollstonecraft to write her...

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