Why are women's rights important? - Sarah Ravelli "Baku-Oxford School" | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

17 October, Thursday

Why are women's rights important? - Sarah Ravelli "Baku-Oxford School"

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Despite great strides made by the international women’s rights movement over many years, this topic is still very essential to research for many students even at school. 
Sarah Ravelli is originally from Italy but she is currently studying at Baku-Oxford School in Baku. She joined “A World on the Margins” collaborative project between the International Eurasia Press Fund (IEPF) and Enrichment sts of Baku-Oxford School, to be taught about the professional journalism and investigation process. Sarah decided to condusct a research on the topic about women rights. Her article was among the selected to be published. 
Eurasia Diary presents the second article, selected for publishing:
"If you ask a young girl what she wants to be when she grows up, she may tell you she wants to be a doctor, lawyer, or even a teacher.  That is what any child would think their future will look like, just like their parents. But what that little girl is unaware of, is that if she had lived a little over 150 years ago, her future dreams would be quite different. Women, living a life of religious freedom, having a voice in the government, and attending schools is quite normal in our everyday life as we reach the new millennium. However, women did not always have an equal say or chance in life. In American history, women have demonstrated and worked hard for the reformation of women's rights. It took many meetings, petition drives, public speaking, and nonviolent resistance to make our world the way it is now.
The Women's Rights Movement began on July 13th, 1848, where a lady named Elizabeth Cady Stanton decided enough was enough, and she started the fight for her rights as well as for all women's rights. Within the next week of her decision, she held a convention in Seneca Falls called, "A convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman". Stanton created a list to present called "Declaration of Sentiments" which stated areas in life where women were treated unfairly. After the second day of the convention, every resolution on her declaration was passed except the one that called for women the right to vote. As time passed, however, many conventions were held all the way up to the Civil War. Women just like Stanton, such as Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and Sojourner Truth traveled throughout the America teaching and organizing for forty years.
A 72-year battle included many speakers, political strategists, organizers, and so forth until what was needed was done. Thousands of people participating in the movement then had "that most basic American civil right" ... the right to vote.
The vote was finally won in 1920, but this was not the end. Suffragists became active in fighting for the rights for protection from abuse in work (1919), Equal Rights Amendment (1923), and abortion. The birth control movement was fought for some time and denied in 1936.  Birth control became legal in 1965.
The second wave for this era started mainly in the sixties. In 1964 the Civil Rights Act was passed, prohibiting employment discrimination for the sexes as well as race, religion, and national origin. Two years later, a woman named Betty Friedan opened the National Organization for Women, which was followed by other organizations tending to other minorities as well.
By 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment is re-introduced and finally passed and sent to the states for ratification. "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex". The first woman elected to Congress was in 1916.  By 1971, women were still less than 3% of our political representatives.  And today women only hold 11% of seats in Congress, and 21% of state legislative seats.  Although these numbers seem small, women have made a big impact and changed thousands of local, state, and federal laws that had limited women's legal status and social roles.
However, even to this day, women are not equal in fact things are getting worse especially in America. There are new laws add and change the “criteria” of consent. In too many states they are making abortion illegal even for rape victims, anyone who gets outside help or helps someone get an abortion goes to jail longer than the rapist himself which in my opinion is just the absolute least civilized thing to do it's simply disgusting. Women should be able to control what happens to there own bodies and it saddens me that we have gone backward instead of moving forward and creating a better environment for men and women alike."


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