Throughout most of history women generally have had fewer legal rights and career opportunities than man. Wife hood and motherhood were regarded as women’s most significant professions. In the 20th century, however, women in most nations have gained the right to vote and have increased their educational job opportunities ( WIC, 1). Most important women have fought for and have accomplished to a degree their view of their role in society.
Women are no longer considered naturally weaker than men, and unable to perform work requiring muscular or intellectual development. In most preindustrail societies, domestic chores were commended to women, leaving the “heavier” labor such as plowing and hunting to men. This disregarded the fact that caring for children, washing clothes, milking cows, and taken care of the household also required heavy
labor ( WIC, 1). Physiological tests now show that women have a greater tolerance for pain, and statistics reveal that women live longer and are resistant to many diseases.
Women have come a long way in the world of profession. They have shown people that their is more opportunities in their life then just motherhood. Working women often faced discrimination on the mistaken belief that because they were married or mostly likely get married, they would not be permanent workers. But married women have generally continued on their jobs for many years and have not been undependable in the work force. In 1890, women were constituted about 5 percent of the total doctors in the United States ( WIC, 4).
During the 1980’s the proportion was about 17 percent. At the same time the percentage of women doctors in West Germany was about 19 percent and 20 percent in France ( WIC, 4). In Israel about 32 percent of the total number of doctor and dentists were women ( WIC, 4). Women also have greatly improved their status in other professions. In 1930 about 2 percent of all American lawyers and judges were women, in 1990 the percent was about 22 (WIC, 4). From 1930 to 1990 the status of women engineers have gone form almost none to about 8%.
A crucial issue for women is maternity leave, which is time off from their jobs after giving birth. By federal law a full time worker is entitled to time off and a job when she returns. By the early 1990’s a few states required that the maternity leave be paid
( WIC, 5). Many countries such as Mexico, India, Germany, Brazil, and Australia require companies to grant 12-week maternity leaves at full pay (WIC, 5)
Women to this day are protesting for more rights. On October 15, 2000 women form all world will march in Washington D.C to show the nation and the world that supporters of women’s rights are the overwhelming majority ( March, 1). Thousands will rally to send the unmistakable message: We will not rest until justice is ours. They are demanding an end to poverty and violence against women as they march into the new millennium (March,1). They also will take the power by electing a congress and a president who will join feminists in their struggle for equality (March, 1).
Throughout history women have gained many rights and have gained respect for their sex. Women have gained the right to vote, own property, opened their choices in occupations and have for now measured up to men in equality. Women have come a long way through history and have showed the world that feminism is and should be acceptable. Women will keep rising and keep up their fighting until they reach the top.