True or False: Both men and women have equal rights. The answer is false. Women have less rights than men do. The right to vote, equal pay, and gender discrimination are all contributing factors to the critical and detrimental rights women have to deal with. It is important that women have the same opportunities as men. There is a larger female population of about 51% than men at 49%. Women have a much larger role in the nation which needs to be accounted for. There is no simple explanation for the inequality of rights between men and women. Throughout history, women have held movements such as the Women’s Right’s Movement, the Equality Rights Amendment, organizations like the NAWSA, NWSP, and the NWP that promoted the importance of women’s right’s. The inequality of men and women under the Constitution has been an ongoing issue.
The women’s rights movement was a series of political campaigns for reforms on issues such as domestic violence, equal pay, women’s suffrage, and sexual violence. This movement started on July 13, 1848. Supporters lobbied, marched, petitioned, and committed acts of civil disobedience. Under the new Constitution, women were treated according to tradition and English common law. In general, they could not vote, own property, or even have custody of their own children. Carrie Chapman Catt and the NAWSA were a mainstream lobbying force of millions. Carrie Chapman Catt was an American women’s suffrage leader who believed to spread democracy and provide equal voting rights to all. She founded the Women’s Suffrage Alliance and the NAWSA (National Woman’s Suffrage Alliance) in order to promote democracy. In the NAWSA, women’s rights activists such as Susan B. Anthony tried to ratify women’s rights. The passing of the 19th amendment finally passed in 1919 which finally allowed women the right to vote.
In the 1920’s, the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote. Although women finally acquired voting rights, there was still a lack of equality between men and women. Female activists, such as those in the National Woman’s Party, continued to push for a more equal society by establishing the Equal Rights Amendment in order to ban gender bias and discrimination towards women.
The Equal Rights Amendment(ERA) was a change to the way American women were treated. The ERA stuck by this quote, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Women were motivated to get rid of all the legal gender bias laws against women in the United States. The ERA was first declared in Congress by the National Women’s party in 1923. They gave strong consent to this treaty in order to form a versatile change to the Constitution. It was a long process establishing the ERA because the Congress needed to agree with the House and Senate whether they liked proposed idea. Then a portion of the state legislatures must approve the amendment. The ERA was originally drafted by Alice Paul in 1923, who had interest to public and press news. She was apart of the National Woman’s Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and was made the highest leader of the organization.
In the process of amending this new amendment, there were many roadblocks but most importantly there was the STOP-Era Campaign. The STOP-Era Campaign of the 1970’s was lead by Phyllis Schlafly who wanted to “Stop Taking our Privileges”. She asserted that the ERA would take away the delights of the gender-specific roles of a women such as the stay at home cooking mom, only men fight in the military, as well as individual bathrooms for both men and women. She hated upon feminists who believed in gender equality and changing the way things were. She once said, “The ERA would bring many undesirable changes to American women”. As Schlafly was fighting to make an end to the ERA, the majority of the required 35 out of the 38 states already approved the amendment. Unfortunately, the ERA hadn’t been legally allowed to be established. The amendment would have been passed by the late 1970’s if only Schlafly didn’t get in the way with her power. Groups such as the National Organization for Women and the ERA American coalition were against Schlafly’s beliefs and pushed to enact the ERA. Black women also strongly supported the ERA for the support of their race and sex discrimination. Supporters would address that laws need to be put into place for safer working conditions for women. With the ERA in place, discrimination would be forgotten, military draft would be gender neutral, pay equity would be the same, and individual gender restrooms would be abolished. Shortly after the ERA defeat, the Women’s Rights movement helped establish the wanted rights from the ERA.
In today’s world, women’s rights are still an issue. Equal pay for women and men are still differing in the workplace. For every 80 cents women make, men make $1 more money which is about 20% more than women. Over a year’s worth of pay, women make about ten thousand dollars less then men do in the ordinary yearly job’s pay. Equal pay has been critical to hundreds of thousands of women in the United States. According to the National Women’s Law Center, African American women have been making only 63 cents compared to the male counterparts and hispanics have been making only 54 cents. This wage gap is detrimental to women’s motivation to work for the same amount of work as men but get payed less.
The importance of women’s rights are still a major implication of today’s society. The Equal Rights movement was the attempt of ending bigotry towards women and their rights as to men’s rights. Carrie Chapman Catt helped lead the NAWSA and the Women’s Rights Movement that officially declared the end of discrimination against women and have now brought the daily freedoms we are so used to now. There are still freedoms we struggle with such as the working class economy for women. People of a different race make even less than the average white man of about 20%. The difference is uncanny to all and as a society women and men need to come together to promote gender equality to make the world a balanced bliss for women.
Article by Ariel Sonenstein & Ashley Rabang
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