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Women's Rights

“As we make headway on the crucial issues of our time, let the courageous vision

championed by women of past generations inspire us to defend the dreams and opportunities of

those to come."(Barack Obama). All throughout history women have been cast aside. They

have been considered second class citizens and only eligible to be housewives. As years

progress, womens roles and rights have also progressed. While women have gained the rights

they want they are still considered lower than men. Just as Barack Obama says, women should

help for the future because they have helped more than people thought in the past. Women not

just in the U.S., but all over the world struggle for their rights, safety and justice.

While women are fighting for their rights and equality, there are bigger issues that they

are fighting for. For example, their safety. All around the world the amount of sexual

harrasments has reached a high. ​Sexual harassments​ are acts in which a person sexually

touches another person without that person's consent. While men have only a three percent

chance of getting harrassed, according to Rainn.org, 1 out of every 6 American women is

sexually harassed/assaulted. Another source says that 80% of American women have been

sexually harassed. This increased ratio shows how unsafe and worrisome women have to be

everyday. While sexual assault are already and issue Rainn.org also says that 13% of women

who are raped attempt suicide which escalates the assault issue to the next level. Rights and

equality are always an issue but the arising problem that is sexual assaults are also something

to fight for, and many women AND men are. Not only are there marches and protests against

these acts, the #metoo movement and other movements like these have blown up the internet.

While not all women are able to stand up for their beliefs the “metoo movement” has allowed

women all over America to speak up about their experiences. According to CBS, in October

twitter stated that there were more than a million #metoo tweets in 48 hours. This just shows
how seriously sexual harassments are taken and how millions of women all around fight and

stand up against these acts.

Many civilians are standing up for women's rights, but there are also celebrities who are

using their platform to speak up for women and their rights. According to “Bizzar” there have

been at least thirty icons that have shaped the way that women feel and have spoken out in

support of women. While half of these are deceased, many of these ladies names are well

known, like Beyonce or Emma Watson. While many of these women’s times are different, they

each stood up for themselves and others. For example Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ruth was “the first

U.S. law journalist to focus exclusively on women's rights.” Two years later, she co-founded the

Women's Rights Project​ at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), once again making sure

women's voices were heard in law. Ginsburg shows that women can be as accomplished and

strong as any man. She went on to her tenure as a supreme court justice. Ginsburg is not the

only example of a woman speaking out for the greater good of her fellow women. The website

“Bizarre” addresses thirty women who were famous feminists. Alongside Ruth Bader Ginsburg,

are twenty nine feminists, and twenty nine women who spoke out about women's rights, and

while all these women have problems of their own, they share something similar with each other

and thousands of women all over the world. They share the need for equality.

All through history the women of yesterday have worked so that the women of today can

live a better life. Many women have changed history by making firsts in the women's history

books. There are many iconic times to remember but one of the first and most important dates

to remember was in July of 1848. In July 1848, 240 men and women gathered in upstate New

York for a meeting convened, said organizers, “to discuss the social, civil, and religious

condition and rights of women.” This was the first meeting of its kind. During this meeting, one

hundred of the delegates – 68 women and 32 men – signed a ​Declaration of Sentiments​, which
modeled the Declaration of Independence, and declared that women, like men, were citizens

with an “inalienable right to the elective franchise”. This convention also marked the beginning

of the campaign for women's suffrage and was the baby step to start the equal rights

movement. From then to now, there have been many more baby steps, like; Wyoming to be the

first state to let women vote, or Edith Wharton being the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in

1920, or even Hillary Clinton, being the first women to make it into the final round of the

Presidential election in 2017. Each of these are firsts and there are many more firsts to come.

As time passes studies have shown that women and men have gotten closer to having

equal pay for equal work, but how much closer is this? According to the Institute of Women's

Policy Research, in 2014 Women’s median annual earnings were $39,621 whereas $50,383 for

men for the same job. Moving forward a year after taking the same tests and analyzing that

years data, the IWPR found that for the same job women earn $40,742 compared with $51,212

for men for that years year round data. The numbers of these two years do look different

because both men and women are earning slightly more, they are both still around $11,000

dollars apart for the same job. While looking at this may seem depressing, looking at the

difference between 2012 and 2016 is not much better. In 2012 for the same job, women earn

$37,791 compared with $49,398 for men. Then in 2016 women earn $41,554 compared with

$51,640 for men for yearly wages. Even with the four year difference the difference between

men and women is still around $11,000. Analyzing these years show how these numbers stay

the same. Women have been fighting for this equal pay for equal work for years and the IWPR

just shows how even in the year 2016 where women in America had all the same rights as men,

that there is still gender discrimination in the workforce.

Time and time again, women are discarded and labeled to be unhelpful,

unaccomplished, and “second class”. If women are hurt, or if women speak out about an issue,
or if women try to accomplish something great, men always turn the other cheek, or start

criticizing the stamina of women. Hopefully in years to come, women and men will be equal and

women won’t be hurt, women will get equal pay, and there will be hundreds of more first to be

put in the history books. Hopefully there is someone or some way that these prayers of

thousands of women all over the world will be answered.