Women in Society
The role of women in society is consistently changing and evolving. Women’s roles vary from one country to another. Some countries embrace the contribution of women to society more than others. Most historical recordings neglect the contributions of the common woman to society.
The Feminism movement began in the 19th century in Britain, even though feminism has roots in the 18th century. The foundation for the modern day feminism movement was the publishing of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex. The 1960’s and 1970’s brought even more changes to the feminist movement. Much of these changes were brought about by the development of the birth control pill and its accessibility. Abortion is another issues that have effected the women’s rights movement. Some nations legalized abortion practices in the second half of the 20th century allowing the woman to make the choice to end her pregnancy.
Reaching back to the Victorian Era women were working outside the home to make money for themselves or their families. During this time, some women worked in sweatshops, as teachers, as dressmakers, or in family businesses. During the Industrial Revolution, many young women left their homes and families to join the workforce. These women worked in below standard working conditions and worked very long hours in factories and textile mills. In more modern times, women make up a huge part of the American workforce. In the 1950’s, women were expected to stay at home and take care of the family. Men were considered the breadwinners and the role of the woman was to cook, clean, and raise children. Today, many women have rejected the 1950’s view of women’s roles. Many mothers are contributing members of society.
Women’s roles in the military have also changed over time. Historically, women participated in war efforts by providing health care and later working in factories to produce weapons and supplies. Today women are involved in all branches of the armed forces.