Casualties of Social Prejudices
“Women’s Rights,” “Women’s Liberation,” “Women’s Civil Rights,” and “Women’s Human Rights” have been buzzwords for many years now.
Well, these phrases may sound marginally different, though their core objectives are the same – reemphasizing on securing equal rights for women, which have been elusive due to apparent prejudices in the social structures across the world.
Gender-based discrimination, domestic violence, sexual assault, and lack of voting rights of women have mutilated the fundamental human rights and made a mockery of the judicial system both in the developed and developing countries. The only difference has been the severity of these issues.
Considering the long battles by the protagonists to get equal rights and protection for women, there are many key and interesting facts that have spread across the pages of human rights history. Let’s have some insights and introspect into them.
Key Facts About Women’s Rights
1. The first country that granted voting rights to women was New Zealand in 1893.
2. The Women’s Rights Movement went on in the U.S. for about 70 years (1848-1920)! Women secured their voting rights there in 1920.
3. The first state in the U.S. that allowed women to vote was Wyoming.
4. Earlier women were not included in the decision-making processes in the government or even at home.
5. The first mass gathering in the U.S. was held to raise voices for women’s rights between July 19 and July 20, 1848, in Seneca Falls, New York.
6. The original law for Women’s Civil Rights had three basic objectives – making streets safer for women, making homes safer for women, and protecting their civil rights.
7. It has been found that one in four women around the world suffer due to physical assault during pregnancy.
8. The term “women’s rights” is considered as one of the most difficult aspects of laws to define. There are different areas that are part of the women’s rights concerning reproductive rights, sexual/domestic violence, employment discrimination, etc. The rights also include criminal justice, child custody, health care, immigration matters, social security, public benefits, international law, and many more.
9. In the modern era, women hold 17 percent of Congressional and Senate seats in the U.S.
10. More than 60 percent of college graduates every year in the U.S. are women. Moreover, the two best IQ scores that have ever been recorded through standardized testing are both held by women. These are huge achievements considering the struggle to get their rights to education that went on for decades. However, around the world the scenario is dismal. Approximately 62 million girls still don’t get the opportunity to study.
11. No women were allowed to participate in the first Olympics. An even more surprising fact is that initially they were not even allowed to watch the games. The first time female athletes participated in the track and field event was in 1928.
12. Marie Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in 1905 for her contribution in Physics. The first woman author who received the Pulitzer Prize was Edith Wharton. She received this coveted prize in 1921 for her fiction novel The Age of Innocence.
13. The American lawyer and judge, Martha Wright Griffiths, played a pivotal role to implement the “Sex Discrimination Act” in 1964 as an integral part of the “Civil Rights Act.” This Act helped women to protect themselves from gender-based discrimination at the workplaces.
14. As many as 1,000 women get killed annually in India and Pakistan for marrying a person from a different community. These murders are usually carried out by the girls’ families and relatives.
15. Women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive. They are also discouraged from working fearing that they would have contact with men. This is a major reason for the women’s high unemployment rate (34 percent) in the country.
The endeavors are still on to “break down the barriers” for women by weeding out the social and economic discriminations to elevate societies toward ultimate uniformity.