Till date, women in some parts of the world are still disenfranchised, marginalized and oppressed. The situation had been worse some 150 years ago because it was common in every part of the world, even in a liberal and democratic state like the United States. American had won its independence just 70 years earlier with a declaration of freedom from England. The declaration assumed that all men and women had alienable rights from God. Sadly, America had managed to live up to barely a quarter of this declaration. Women, who were also included in this declaration, were denied their rights.
The women’s right movement of which began in 1848 saw to the end of this oppression. It all began in an afternoon meeting of a housewife, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and her friends. Cady invited her friends for a cup of tea and leveraged the opportunity to pour out her heart and concerns about women’s sufferings and oppression. This led to a convention organized by the small group and held on July 19-20, 1848 at the Wesleyan Chapel, Seneca.
Stanton took it as a responsibility to ensure women freedom and encouraged others to do so; soon it became a burning desire in every woman. She gave women hope and made them realize that they can actually rise up to the oppression and be free. The ‘Declaration of the Sentiments’ was soon drafted; this declaration enlisted eighteen ways in which women were wrongly treated and oppressed ranging from the disenfranchisement to the disrobing of self-confidence and self-respect. Sequel to this, several Women’s Rights Conventions were held and the movement expanded remarkably.
Of course, the success was not cheaply won but it was achieved at the end of the day. Women are not only allowed to vote but they can be voted for. Hillary Clinton contested for United States’ presidency and almost won President Donald Trump, this is indeed a testament to the
Women’s Right Movement. Although women are still largely marginalized in some religious societies, democratic societies such as the United States and most other western countries have understood that women are not just tools for men but also have their individual and alienable rights as citizens of the state.