Women's Rights Essay Examples and Topics

Essay Examples
Essay Topics
Brief overview
Main Ideas

Women’s rights are entitlements and rights claimed for the female population worldwide. Women today are enjoying different rights than before. Thanks to the women’s rights movements that began in the 19th century and are still active in the form of feminism, the female population has gone a long way since the time when women had almost no rights at all.


The basis for the women’s right movement was formed in the 19th century followed by the feminist movements of the 20th and 21st century. Soon enough, women’s rights became supported by law or institutionalized by law in many countries around the world. The exact origin is uncertain since women’s rights still differ greatly based on location and throughout history.


Decades ago, women enjoyed far fewer rights compared to men. Their rights were ignored and suppressed – and they still are in some of the developing countries. In the last few decades, this became an important issue in the world, and the movements for women’s liberation and feminism resulted from the inequality and discrimination that occurred around the world.


As a result of long years of feminist movements, women are getting more rights around the world every day. The efforts of women’s rights movements come with mixed results. For example, the International Council of Women was the first female organization to work across national boundaries to advocate human rights for women. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to obtain a medical degree in the US. By the 1970s, the first British Sex Discrimination Act, the Equal Opportunities Commission, and the Equal Pay Act came into force.

Key Quotes
  • "If society will not admit of women's free development, then society must be remodeled."- Elizabeth Blackwell.
  • "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people." - Marie Shear.
Interesting Facts

Women in ancient Sumer had rights that were later taken away from the female population. They could own, buy, sell and inherit property, testify in court as witnesses, and engage in commerce. However, their husbands could divorce them for mild infractions and remarry. The first college to admit a female was Salem College, a primary school founded in 1882. The first university female student was after the 1862 after the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act was founded. Before the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978, female employees could be fired without any consequences just because they were pregnant. Today, over 30% of all businesses are operated and owned by women.

Arguments for

Issues associated with notions of women’s rights today include the right to vote, hold public office, the right to bodily integrity and autonomy, the right to enter into legal contracts, equal family law rights, the right to work and get equal pay or fair wages, to own property, to education, and the right to reproductive rights. Promoters of women’s right believe that women and men are equal and should have the same rights.

Arguments against

Many people believed and some still do that men and women are fundamentally different, which is why women should not sully themselves in fields like politics. Their other arguments were that women are the weaker gender and as such, men should provide and make the important decisions for them.

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