It was only in the 1920s when women were allowed to vote and have a say in how society is run in the United States. Despite being at least half the number of people living in the nation, women were not allowed to have a voice when running society, in general.
Aside from being homemakers, they were expected to stay at home and take care of children and their husbands. It took women more than 100 years to fight for the right to be recognized. While everything is better now, the campaign for women’s suffrage was a difficult and dangerous road trekked by courageous people.
Women’s suffrage was among the latest rights recognized by the State in favor of what was once considered a minority. By being a citizen of a particular country, you should have a say in societal and political affairs. The right of all citizens to do this is enshrined in the Constitution. Why it took a century to have this right recognized for women — we can only speculate.
A lot of historians attribute this to the innate bias men in power have against women. Before, women were considered the weaker and helpless gender. From a man’s perspective, women were only considered for the role of a mother and a wife. Thanks to the efforts of courageous pioneers, the right to be recognized as an equal was finally granted.
The Endless Battle — Where We Are
Fighting for women’s rights is still seen as an endless battle as many of the rights asked for by modern women are still deprived by the State. Unfortunately, the governing and lawmaking body fails to represent the needs of their constituents. Women comprise at least 51% of the United States population. However, only around 23% of the seats in the House of Representatives and 25% of the seats in the Senate are occupied by women. Electing women to governmental positions have been a long and steady process throughout the history of the relatively young nation.
Fortunately, however, appointees and elective officials have been held by great women through the years. The highest position achieved by a woman was historically made only recently. Kamala Harris was elected, alongside Joe Biden, as the Vice President of the United States — the second-highest position any citizen can attain.
Freedom to Choose
One of the heated debates right now involving women is the right to bear a child. Predominantly a Catholic country, the United States’ conservative population has been fighting back against the push to allow women the right to abort an unborn child. Debates have sprung between opposing parties left and right and in various stages regarding fetal abortion. Conservatives are trying to outlaw abortion itself, saying that it is against the law of God. More liberal thinking heads are arguing that women should have the option to choose whether they can expel an unwanted pregnancy.
While the topic is highly contested on a national level, more and more states legislate the disallowance of the expulsion of unwanted pregnancies. As of 2019, 6 states have already outlawed abortion. Only 34% of the countries around the world allow it on a national level. Most do not. It is still a global concern women have everywhere. Because of customs, beliefs, and religion, the process of legalizing it for women everywhere will be complicated.
Similar to the right to access the internet, new rights may pop up along the way as humanity progresses. It is unfortunate that for the past few decades, women’s rights are lagging. Even though women are of equal status as men, the system makes it hard for the legislature to adjust. People should belabor to help our fellow human beings to achieve the same status as others. Women play a role in society that can never be replaced. Policies are rarely transformed into actions. When future rights come into play, we should always remember not to leave others behind.
For women, it took a while to become recognized as equals in society. Despite having the equal right to vote, women were looked down upon even decades after. Misogyny is ever-present even until now, even in ordinary situations as being out and about.
By recognizing that society needs women to survive, we can give recognition to the rights they have been clamoring for decades past. Choices in what policy to vote for matters, even more so as we welcome the new turn of the century. By being united as one, we can get over obstacles easier as a species and a society.