The Advancement of Women’s Rights
During the 1960s, the feminist movement began to stir social change. The era of women’s suffrage began in earnest. Women’s right to vote, attend college, and work outside the home were all still considered controversial issues. However, these issues have since been adopted by society and are almost universally accepted. In the past few decades, women’s rights have been surpassed in almost every area of life. Now, most women can vote and take part in sports, and have equal rights as their male counterparts.
Gender-based violence is also prevalent, particularly in conflict areas. Violence against women has long been a weapon of war. Nigerian military forces have been accused of sexually abusing women who fled Boko Haram attacks. Many studies have shown that 30% of women have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence. In addition to violence against men, women are also more vulnerable to honour crimes and sexual assault than men. However, the eradication of violence against women will not take place without action on the part of governments, companies, and individuals.
Campaigns for the suffrage of women began decades before the Civil War, when most states had already extended the franchise to all white males. Throughout the 1860s, temperance leagues, religious movements, and moral-reform societies were popular reform groups. Anti-slavery organizations were also active in the movement. During this time, many American women were chafing under the “Cult of True Womanhood” – the belief that only white women were the “true” ones.
The 1960s saw a great leap forward in the legal rights of women. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) pushed President Johnson to include women in Executive Order 11246. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which President Johnson had created in 1975, failed to fully implement its mandate. Eventually, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was established and the Equal Pay Act and the Equal Opportunities Commission were created. Further, the equality of sex and race in employment became law in the UK.
The international community has taken many steps toward the advancement of women’s rights. In 1946, the United Nations established the Commission on the Status of Women (ICW), which was originally part of the Human Rights Division, and later became part of the Economic and Social Council. Since 1975, the UN has hosted several conferences on women’s issues. These conferences provided a global forum for the development of women’s rights and highlighted the many divisions between women from different cultures.
The government of Afghanistan has much to lose from the bad intra-Afghan deal. Despite progress in the past decade, the future of women’s rights in Afghanistan is still uncertain. The Taliban regime imposed social restrictions on women, restricting access to jobs, education, and health care. Even worse, they prohibited women from going outside their homes without a male chaperon. Moreover, the Taliban’s rule destroyed Afghan institutions, the economy, and many social services.