Feminism: World War Ii and New Zealand Women Essay

Submitted By aeubanks14
Words: 1200
Pages: 5

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, European and other countries granted the right for women to vote. However in America the right to vote for women was passed in 1920. It may only be a 14 year difference, but to American women they showed American men how they wanted to be treated equally. American feminists were taking part in marches and parades on the US capital to show how they desired equal treatment and the ability to vote. The word feminist is derived from the word feminism which is defined as the political theory and practice to free all women. The right to vote, or women’s suffrage, was a pinnacle moment in USA history for women’s rights. The purpose of this paper is to discuss that American women’s rights was harder to achieve than European and other countries women’s rights, more so women’s right to vote and their role in the military, and politics.
American women had “no political rights, and were not allowed to vote. In 1776 The United States of America was founded, and the Constitution was adopted without giving women and slaves their political rights. European women who admired and came to study the new country on visits soon felt their enthusiasm dampened when they encountered the old sexual discrimination and the reality of slavery [1].” The” American civil war (1861-1865) salves were freed; women seized the opportunity to raise their demands once more. However this hope was soon disappointed women were told to wait and not to jeopardize the granting of black voting rights by pressing their own demand at the same time. Women experienced the most serious setback when, in the Fourteenth Amendment, the constitution for the first time explicitly defined voters as men [1].” In countries such as New Zealand women were gave the right to vote in 1893, Finland 1906. ‘The First World War produced social upheavals in Europe and secured the vote for women in the Netherlands and the Soviet Union 1917. Under the circumstances, the lack of women’s suffrage in the United States became an embarrassment. Therefore, in 1920, the country finally adopted the nineteenth amendment to the constitution granting the right to vote to women. A struggle of over seventy years had finally been won [1].” Three years later “the first’ Equal Rights Amendment’ was introduced in Congress stating; ‘Men and women shall have equal rights through the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction [1].’”
American women were able to be a part of the military however the roles for the women were to be nurses during World War II there were 60,000 Army nurses, and 14,000 Navy nurses. They were never allowed to be on the battlefield. However in World War II the Soviets had women as snipers, one of the more famous female snipers was “Senior Sergeant Roza Shanina whom had 54 confirmed kills, and received a medal of the Order of Glory [2]. Soviet women were also pilots during World War II, the Germans gave these women the ‘night witches’. The Night witches were night Bombers reported of flying 24,000 night missions during the war [7]. Multiple reports of Soviet wife and husband teams whom would spend their life savings to buy a tank destroyer, one example of a Soviet couple is Guards Lt. Nikolai Orlov and commander Guards Lt. Vera Orlova.[2]” This shows that during World War II, the Soviets view towards women was that they had an equal role to that of men. This proved that women could fight next to men equally in battle on the frontlines. This concept was not seen in America until the early 21st century. In 1991 during the “Gulf War was the first war where women served with men in integrated units within a warzone. However, women in the military suffered a setback. In 1994 Defense Secretary Les Aspin implemented a rule that prohibited women from serving in units, ’whose primary mission is to engage indirect ground combat [3].” Nineteen years later, in January 2013, Defense secretary Leon Panetta announced that the ban on