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Feminism Essay

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Feminism is the fight for equal rights of both genders. Feminists try to gain the rights that women have been deprived of, but men have always seemed to have. Much of the world portrayed women as dispensable house wives before the turn of the 20th century. It wasn’t until the idea of a global war that women started to gain importance and value throughout society. Women worked in the factories and other various jobs during the war. They enjoyed the independence they experienced from receiving their own paycheck. Preceding the war, women began to riot and march as groups that stood for equal rights of both genders. These women impacted today’s society and the rights of women with their perseverance for change. They liberated and gained civil rights for women that lead to equal rights in many countries throughout Western Europe. Women changed the social, economic, and political factors of the world with their movements, which in turn, entirely changed the way they were perceived and valued.
Socially, women suffered in the pre-war era. Women worked in their homes for most of their lives. They had no control over matters like reproduction or daycare because no methods were presented to them. Birth control was non-existent and day care wasn’t needed because women were expected to be at home during the day. Women had no control over their own body; they were forced to have children they didn’t want because of conflict with their spouse and were also forced into having illegal abortions. Many of the women were traumatized and afraid. During the time of war, these measures started to become more lenient. Mothers began to gain more rights, for example; child allowances could be payable to the mother, and social services like day care were provide during the war so women could work. Unfortunately these rights were taken away as the war drew to an end. The two regimes that saw the harsh severity concerning feminism were Italy and Germany. These countries undermined feminism making all rights to privacy and reproduction a state matter.Mussolini’s regime created many more difficulties such as only employing married women with a form of public assistance allowances also being payable to fathers. This strengthened men’s dominant roles in society and home life. It was times like these that post war debates on issues such as parental rights of mothers, economic benefits to the family, and legalization of birth control were brought up to the government. It wasn’t until the year of 1967 that a new legislation passed the law on behalf of contraception; it was now legal if prescribed, but if less than 18 years old, parental consent was required. Propaganda also had a major role showing women in a certain light. The national socialists showed women as heroic workers in many occupations. As the end of the war came about, many psychologists looked at the fundamentals of motherhood and the restrictions put in place by society and the government. They formed hypotheses and theories with many coming to the conclusion that motherhood should be a finite and limited job. This marked the post war era as a time for change in family, and the status of women.
These social changes brought a new image to women; they had more control over their body and reproduction. The next step was economic change. They needed to become less dependent on their spouse and be able to make their own money. As Harriet Taylor Mill said, “A women who contributes materially to support the family, cannot be treated in the same contemptuously tyrannical manner as one who, however she may toil as a domestic drudge, is dependent on the man for subsistence.” Unfortunately many women suffered from the ‘double burden, of being workers and mothers. This not only put stress on the family life but on the ability for women to keep jobs outside the house. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev declared, “Soviet women have all the opportunities to fully participate in the political, cultural, and social life of their nation.” Many states still believed that a women’s duty was to her household and didn’t support this ideology. In fact, most of the Western welfare states supported this claim, feeling that a women working around the house was a desirable and inevitable life. Women’s pay outside the home was seen as temporary and less desirable. In Western Europe between 1950 and 1973, the economic miracle happened (a large amount of economic growth.) For example, Nina Bang, from Denmark served as a minister of education under the Social Democratic cabinet from 1924 to 1926. She became the first female minister in an internationally recognized government. This helped the rise of education and the labour market, which in turn helped their economy. The women’s labour force participation soon took a major increase in the 1960s to the 1990s but only in part time work. 90% of part time workers in Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom were women. These jobs were considered to be more insecure, have lower wages, and less rights.For women, this was the only type of work they could get, even if they had a better education. Unfortunately, many of the western nations did not enforce the equal pay law. The Neoliberalism thinking spread throughout Europe, these ideas show the importance of flexible labour, and reduce the welfare of the state. This influenced globalization in Western Europe. Regrettably, women still suffer from lower pay then men around the world, but women are now working in full time jobs and moving away from domestic work. There are now many services that allow women to work outside the house such as maids and daycare services. This helped women gain their independence and hopefully one day they will receive equal pay throughout the world.
After World War I, women started to gain the confidence to go out into the work force and apply for jobs outside the household. Many women wanted to work in politics in an attempt to change the way women were perceived in society. But unfortunately the continent was under many border changes because of the Treaty of Versailles, leaving matters like feminism on the back burner. Women were also asked to participate in the war efforts in places like France and Britain as builders of bombs and airplanes. The people saw women as a wonderful workforce that was diminished as soon as the men came back from war. Their roles showed everybody the power and strength women had by doing work that was usually done by men. At the beginning of the Second World War, many of the advances in feminism that women had made were forgotten, but that did not deteriorate the efforts women put forth. In countries with totalitarian governments like Germany and Italy, feminist organizations had been eliminated and their leaders were silenced, these countries being the outliers. Because these countries were seen as evil during the time, many democratic countries wanted to show that they were nothing like their dictator neighbours. In January 1940 Jus Suffragii, a journal published on women’s suffrage, declared that France had open up legal professions to women and stated the suppression on forced marriage in France and their colonies, showing that while others were in fear of women, many embraced the idea of an equal society. The United Nations played a major role in the labours of feminism. Issues of the holocaust brought attention to human rights movements in the country. During April of 1945, the founding members of the United Nations met in San Francisco. They declared equal rights of men and women of all nations large and small. In the spring of 1946, the Commission of Human Rights, a division of the United Nations declared the economic and social aspects to n established committee known as the Commission on the Status of Women. Their goal was to improve the social, economic, political, and educational fields regarding women. Some accomplishments these women achieved include the convention on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, as well as the 1967 UN Covenants on civil and political, economic, social, and cultural rights. The commission’s goal from the years 1946-1947 was to have an international women’s year, commending these brave women for their initiatives during the inter war period. They commended the feminists from Europe and America working on behalf of the women issues in the League of Nations. The women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s also brought a lot of attention to not only women, but also the need for representation. Although there is still much work to be done on behalf of women and equal rights, these valiant women laid the foundations down for what makes our society better and more fair for women today.
In conclusion, feminism had many accomplishments throughout the post war era. This can be seen in the 20th century with the social, economic, and political movements. Women were seen as poor housewives with no civil rights. The First and Second World Wars motivated women to leave their homes and go into the workplace. They enjoyed their freedom and didn’t want it to end. They brought many new rights like birth control and daycare facilities to society as well as political gains like the right to vote and join parliament. Without these brave women, today’s world would be male dominate and unjust. Although there is still more room for gender equality to grow, over the 20th century it has become substantially better. If it weren’t for the feminist leaders who became influential following World War I, the world wouldn’t of ever become as we know it today.

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[ 1 ]. Taylor Allen pp.210 post war era
[ 2 ]. Taylor Allen pp, 218 post war era
[ 3 ]. Taylor Allen pp.210 post war era
[ 4 ]. Taylor Allen pp.210 post war era
[ 5 ]. Taylor Allen pp.210 post war era
[ 6 ]. Taylor Allen pp. 210 post war era
[ 7 ]. Taylor Allen pp 214 post war era
[ 8 ]. Taylor Allen pp.219 post war era
[ 9 ]. Taylor Allen pp.210 post war era
[ 10 ]. Taylor Allen pp.213 post war era
[ 11 ]. Taylor Allen pp 213 post war era
[ 12 ]. H. Taylor Mill, July 1851
[ 13 ]. Regulska, smith pp. 87
[ 14 ]. Nikita Khruschev Address June 24 1963
[ 15 ]. Regulska, Smith pp. 88
[ 16 ]. Regulska, Smith pp93
[ 17 ]. Regulska Smith pp. 94
[ 18 ]. Regulska Smith pp. 94
[ 19 ]. Regulska Smith pp.94
[ 20 ]. Regulska Smith pp. 94
[ 21 ]. Regulska Smith pp.94
[ 22 ]. Regluska Smith pp. 94
[ 23 ]. Regulska, Smith pp.94
[ 24 ]. Regulska Smith pp. 98
[ 25 ]. Offen,pp.341 chapter 12
[ 26 ]. Offen pp.369 chapter 12
[ 27 ]. Taylor Allen 209 the post war era
[ 28 ]. Offen pp.368 chapter 12
[ 29 ]. Offen pp. 375 chapter 12
[ 30 ]. Offen pp.375 chapter 12
[ 31 ]. Offen pp. 375 chapter 12
[ 32 ]. Offen pp. 375 Chapter 12
[ 33 ]. Offen pp. 375 chapter 12
[ 34 ]. Offen pp. 376 chapter 12
[ 35 ]. Offen pp.376 Chapter 12
[ 36 ]. Offen pp.376 chapter 12
[ 37 ]. Simonton pp.353 chapter 9

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