Women have always been seen as the weaker gender and given fringe roles in society. It has taken the boldness and enthusiasm of women such as Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Stanton for the voices of women to be heard. It was not until 1919 that women were granted the right to vote by the nineteenth amendment. Women continue to suffer at the hands of men who continuously look down on them. Historically, women have had a lesser role to play in society, but over the years their role has changed, but the fight for equality is far from over.
Historically, women have been fringe members of society. Religion is partly to blame for the role of women. The Bible in Genesis 2:18 reveals how the woman was created as a helper for man. Genesis further shows giving a woman the role of giving birth while the man was to toil and provide (The Bible). As a result of these teachings, the man is always seen as the provider while the woman is supposed to bear and raise children. Therefore, women have played the role of homemakers with few employment opportunities. Today, women have gained their way into employment positions, but they are still discriminated against in certain fields such as Engineering. The Bible in Genesis also shows the woman as the source of evil and hardship. The first woman was Eve who was tempted by the devil and led to the disbandment of humanity from the Garden of Eden (The Bible). The Greek also blamed Pandora, a woman for bringing suffering to humankind when she opened the forbidden box (Women's History in America, n.d.). These ideologies led to women being cast aside by society and given no place in the administration.
The legal status of women has changed over the years. Women have always been seen as the material possessions of men. In some societies up to date, a man pays a dowry price to the bride's family before marrying her. The payment of the dowry price gives the man complete control over the woman ("The Negative Consequences of Dowry Payment on Women and Society"). With the man as the head of the house, the woman is required to be submissive and follow the instructions of the husband. Polygamous families continue to show the role of women with men allowed to have as many wives as they can. The fact that men owned women meant that they could not vote even in the United States. The argument was that the man's vote represented both his vote and the wife's. However, the fight for equality saw women granted the right to vote in 1919 (Hjelmgaard). There are extreme cases in countries such as Saudi Arabia where the rights of women have been infringed for years. Women in Saudi Arabia were denied the right to vote. Shockingly, women were granted the right to vote in 2018 (BBC News).
In conclusion, women have struggled over the years. Women have been regarded as the weaker sex with men walking over them. Women were initially seen as child bearers with no role of working and providing. The man was the provider and the security of the family. The woman was cast aside and treated as man's possession. However, women have risen against these ideologies and oppression to seek equal rights as men. Hillary Clinton is the perfect embodiment of how far women have come. Though she lost the elections, the fact that a woman could run for the presidency and gain such tremendous support is a statement. However, discrimination and past ideologies continue to suppress women, with female genital mutilation, domestic violence, forced marriages part of the culture, the struggle for equality continues.
Hjelmgaard, Kim. "Voting rights for women: How countries stack up." USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/02/05/voting-rights-women-how-countries-stack-up/306238002/. Accessed 29 January 2019.
"Saudi Arabia Issues First Driving Licenses to Women." BBC News, 5 June 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-44367981. Accessed 29 January 2019.
The Bible. The New Oxford Annotated Version, 3rd ed., Oxford UP, 2001.
"The Negative Consequences of Dowry Payment on Women and Society." CBE International, https://www.cbeinternational.org/resources/article/priscilla-papers/negative-consequences-dowry-payment-women-and-society. Accessed 29 January 2019.
"Women's History in America." Women's International Center, http://www.wic.org/misc/history.htm. Accessed 29 January 2019.
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