Human Rights and Women’s Suffrage: [Essay Example], 1394 words (2022)

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Human Rights has become a common topic of conversation within many social media platforms today. These important conversations help to educate us in what is happening around the world concerning the rights of human beings and also what rights we actually possess depending on where we live in the world. If we look at the demographics of women and men in this world we find that women are treated differently to men concerning their rights and freedoms. Throughout history women were not granted the same basic human rights as men. In order to have a voice in society women began to fight to be recognized both as a human being and citizen in society. Women believed in the importance of having their voices heard in suffrage and persevered through centuries of resistance to the cause they believed they deserved.

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Over the past two hundred years many political and social changes have taken place in Europe and America. These countries both have had similar legal histories and events concerning women’s rights. New ideologies of the Enlightenment Philosophers such as John Locke were included in official decrees such as “The Declaration of Independence, ” written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776. America was seeking independence from British rule and desired more democracy in their government. Locke’s views on ‘natural rights’ explained that God gives every human being the right to “Life, Liberty and Property”. Jefferson included this reasoning in the declaration by stating, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. These rights were written by men for men. We see from the outside looking in the appearance of progress in society concerning human rights. When we look more closely we observe the ideology behind the words and there is a deliberate omission of women’s rights from being included as a person under this proclamation. The French Revolution was also underway in 1789 and the National Assembly were looking for ways to encompass a decree that would be widely accepted by the better part of society. Thirteen years after the Declaration of Independence was written, The Declaration of Man and Citizen of 1789. After more than a decade there was still no mention of women’s rights or any amendments. Women were not considered citizens or human under the law as they were not allowed to own property only certain men with status could be property owners. Once again women were denied the right to own property, yet the declarations indicate that men not women are born with unalienable rights to own property. Men were still over women as well and the criteria for being a citizen was marginalized. During the Enlightenment Period there were women who risked everything to speak out against the unequal treatment of women in all levels of society. Women like playwright Olympia de Gouges who aimed her writings towards social change and especially women’s rights. In this time period men did not want to include women in politics and had decided where women belonged. They were to be at home, caring for children and to be seen and not heard from. Men would speak for them. Olympia wrote “The Declaration of the Rights of Woman” in 1791. This was written only two years after the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen in 1789. A complete reverse declaration that was re-written substituting the word ‘man’ for ‘woman’. In the 2nd rights of woman she included men as well as women. “The purpose of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of woman and man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and especially resistance to oppression”. It is interesting to see that slavery and the treatment of women are combined issues in this Declaration but more importantly that Olympia included both men and women. She wanted to show it was about being equal. Unfortunately, the reward for her bravery in the eyes of men in 1793 she was sent to the guillotine. This was the price she paid for freedom of speech and thought in the Age of Reason. As a woman, men were hoping to silence this disturbing voice from reappearing as she was declared an “unnatural woman. Olympia’s writings live on and her cause continues to get stronger through the years long after her death.

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In the Early Modern Period the majority of women were the responsibility of their husbands or families and not given equal rights to men. Women’s rights changed when a woman married, “in 1769 her identity would be suspended during their marriage. ” Many opposed the rights of women due to religious views because the belief was biblically based in scriptures such as “the head of every woman is the man” (Wall 649). Having the same equal rights as men would jeopardize the whole of society threatening the roles of “mother, home and heaven” if she was to do anything else especially in politics. It would take150 more years of small changes in the laws when the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920 allowing women to vote and regain their God given right. ” Considering legal changes in women’s rights in the UK prior to 1850 there were clear distinctions concerning marital status in society. Single women were beginning to exercise limited legal rights by signing agreements in their own name and also property ownership. When a woman got married however, all of the limited rights she had were then transferred over to her husband. Married women were virtually left with no rights. In 1928 after years of women’s suffrage and winning limited legal rights as a woman, “The Equal Franchise Act” was passed and provided the equal rights to men that they were seeking.

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The Industrial Revolution was evolving during this time period and women and children had to work to live during early 18th Century. Men were profiting off their weaknesses being subjected to many basic human rights and there was no protection for this type of treatment for them under the current laws. They had no protection themselves under the law they had to have their husbands act on their behalf. There was no protection for these women under the current laws only for men who met the requirements and usually they had to be property owners and white. Those that were excluded were: minorities of race and colour, religious groups, younger adults, the wealthy and the poor. They were not considered human beings under the earlier modern legal system of the early modern era. The Industrial Revolution was also part of the backdrop to women’s suffrage. All of these concerns were not the current concerns to any of the men that were in power and women wanted this to change so they could be represented and have a voice. The United Nations wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 in Article 1 “All human beings are born free and equal indignity and rights”. This piece of historical rights was established to respect each person who enters into this world. Some have disagreed with this declaration because they believe human rights belong to the society and the country they live in and not be given just to the individual. Also, under Article 21 there should be ‘universal and equal suffrage’. It states that ‘everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives’.

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There always seems to be changes made concerning the issues surrounding Human Rights. Women’s suffrage has been a fight for equality of God given rights that men have always received. It is hard to imagine today in the West that women had to fight for these rights when it seems unimaginable that there was a fight at all. Women of course are equal to men and human and are citizens. Through education and communication of human rights through whatever means the world is changing and speaking up for the rights of the person. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight because laws and rights are always being amended. Not all countries in this world have equal rights for women to vote or to be treated equal to men. Therefore the fight as long as there are women will continue.

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FAQs

What is suffrage very short answer? ›

Suffrage is the right of people to vote for a government or national leader. [formal] He was an advocate of universal suffrage as a basis for social equality. ... the women's suffrage movement.

What is a good thesis statement for women's suffrage? ›

Examples of acceptable theses:

“The ratification of the 19th Amendment marked a great turning point in United States women's history. Before the ratification, women were not taken seriously and could not participate in any political activity. After the amendment was passed, women began to lead new, liberated lives.”

What is the main idea of women's suffrage? ›

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman Suffrage Association. The primary goal of the organization is to achieve voting rights for women by means of a Congressional amendment to the Constitution.

What was women's suffrage in the 1800s? ›

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, women and women's organizations not only worked to gain the right to vote, they also worked for broad-based economic and political equality and for social reforms. Between 1880 and 1910, the number of women employed in the United States increased from 2.6 million to 7.8 million.

Why is women's suffrage important? ›

The woman's suffrage movement is important because it resulted in passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which finally allowed women the right to vote.

What is an example of suffrage in a sentence? ›

1 She was active in the Society for Women's Suffrage. 2 When was universal suffrage introduced in your country? 3 Women had to fight for their suffrage. 4 The question of woman suffrage sets them at variance.

What is a thesis statement in an essay examples? ›

A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic. For example, if you're writing a seven-to-ten page paper on hunger, you might say: World hunger has many causes and effects. This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons.

What is the thesis statement? ›

What is a Thesis Statement? The thesis statement is the sentence that states the main idea of a writing assignment and helps control the ideas within the paper. It is not merely a topic. It often reflects an opinion or judgment that a writer has made about a reading or personal experience.

How long was the women's suffrage movement? ›

The women's suffrage movement was a decades-long fight to win the right to vote for women in the United States. It took activists and reformers nearly 100 years to win that right, and the campaign was not easy: Disagreements over strategy threatened to cripple the movement more than once.

Who is responsible for women's rights? ›

It commemorates three founders of America's women's suffrage movement: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott.

What was the result of the women's suffrage movement? ›

This 1917 petition from the Women Voters Anti-Suffrage Party of New York urged the Senate not to pass a federal suffrage amendment giving women the right to vote. This Congressional resolution, passed in 1919, proposed extending the right to vote to women and became the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

When did women's suffrage start and end? ›

That story began with the Seneca Falls Convention in upstate New York in 1848 and ended with the triumphant adoption of the amendment on Aug. 26, 1920, which resulted in the single largest extension of democratic voting rights in American history.

What effect did women's suffrage have on society? ›

The 19th Amendment helped millions of women move closer to equality in all aspects of American life. Women advocated for job opportunities, fairer wages, education, sex education, and birth control.

What events led to women's suffrage? ›

Here are just some of the many important events that happened as women gained the right to vote.
  • 1848. First Women's Rights Convention. ...
  • 1849. The First National Women's Rights Convention. ...
  • 1851. “Ain't I a woman?” ...
  • 1861-1865. The Civil War. ...
  • 1866. Formation of the American Equal Rights Association. ...
  • 1867. ...
  • 1868. ...
  • 1870.
10 Nov 2020

Why is it called women's suffrage? ›

The word suffrage comes from the Latin word suffragium, meaning the right to vote. Women in the United States had fought for suffrage since the time of Andrew Jackson's presidency in the 1820s. Before the Civil War, women were allowed limited voting in a few states.

What challenges did the women's suffrage movement face? ›

They battled racism, economic oppression and sexual violence—along with the law that made married women little more than property of their husbands.

How successful was the women's suffrage movement? ›

Women vote today because of the woman suffrage movement, a courageous and persistent political campaign which lasted over 72 years, involved tens of thousands of women and men, and resulted in enfranchising one-half of the citizens of the United States.

Who can exercise the right to suffrage? ›

The right to suffrage, as a human right, is related to the concept of democracy and people's sovereignty. Sovereignty is often defined as the principle of absolute and unlimited power. Under the democratic 1987 Constitution, it is the people alone who can exercise sovereignty.

What is the opposite of suffrage? ›

Opposite of the right to vote in political elections. disenfranchisement. disagreement. subjugation. alienation.

What is the right to vote? ›

Persons entitled to vote must be free to vote for any candidate for election and for or against any proposal submitted to referendum or plebiscite, and free to support or to oppose government, without undue influence or coercion of any kind which may distort or inhibit the free expression of the elector's will.

What is suffrage Class 9? ›

The term 'suffrage' means right to vote. All over Europe and USA, women led the suffrage movement demanding the right to vote.

Why is it called suffragette? ›

The term “suffragettes” originated in Great Britain to mock women fighting for the right to vote (women in Britain were struggling for the right to vote at the same time as those in the U.S.). Some women in Britain embraced the term as a way of appropriating it from its pejorative use.

What do you mean by suffrage Brainly? ›

Answer: right to vote. suffrage means. douwdek0 and 4 more users found this answer helpful. heart outlined.

Is Sufferage a word? ›

n. 1. the right to vote, esp. in a political election.

Who has right to vote? ›

As a result of many battles, laws and amendments, modern day voting is a much simpler matter. To vote in a presidential election today, you must be 18 years old and a United States citizen. Each state has its own requirements.

What impact did the women's suffrage have? ›

Voting ensures women's reproductive and economic progress. The 19th Amendment helped millions of women move closer to equality in all aspects of American life. Women advocated for job opportunities, fairer wages, education, sex education, and birth control.

Is voting a right? ›

Is Voting Mandatory in the United States? In the U.S., no one is required by law to vote in any local, state, or presidential election. According to the U.S. Constitution, voting is a right. Many constitutional amendments have been ratified since the first election.

What challenges did the women's suffrage movement face? ›

They battled racism, economic oppression and sexual violence—along with the law that made married women little more than property of their husbands.

What were the two types of suffragettes? ›

These two groups were the 'suffragists' who campaigned using peaceful methods such as lobbying, and the 'suffragettes' who were determined to win the right to vote for women by any means.

Who started the women's rights movement? ›

Led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a young mother from upstate New York, and the Quaker abolitionist Lucretia Mott, about 300 people—most of whom were women—attended the Seneca Falls Convention to outline a direction for the women's rights movement.

What is the correct definition of suffrage quizlet? ›

suffrage. the right to vote, especially in a political election.

Which statement best represents a result of the Nineteenth Amendment? ›

Which statement best represents a result of the Nineteenth Amendment? Women have been elected to government offices.

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