Women Running the Race for Equality and Freedom Essay

Submitted By Keypitmovin30
Words: 973
Pages: 4

Women: Running the Race for Equality and Freedom

Tasha Graves


July 18, 2013
Dr. Matthew Butler

Women: Running the Race for Equality and Freedom

The United States Census Bureau reports that as of 2010, women make up 50.8% of the American population (United States Census Bureau, 2011). This figure makes women the demographical majority. However, women continue to suffer from some of the same inequalities and prejudicial biases as those considered minorities in American society. The women’s fight for equality, justice, and freedom started with the women’s liberation movement in the 1960s. Over the next four decades social change and progress was made in the women’s movement. There have been key efforts, leaders, and legislation that led to this change. Dating as far back as the early 19th century women were facing obstacles in their fight for equality. In fact, it wasn’t until 1920 that the United States Constitution was amended giving women considered second class citizens the right to vote (The Post & Courier, 2009). Another of the most troubling obstacles faced by women, has been gender-based discrimination in employment. In the 1960s women were discriminated against by corporations in their unfair hiring and promotion practices (Sacramento Observer, 1968). In 1964 the Civil Rights Act Title VII was passed that made it illegal for those employers to continue to discriminate in their employment practices based on gender (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2009). Another obstacle faced by women related to employment discrimination was the legal and deliberate act of paying women unfair and unequal salaries. This problem was supposed to be eliminated by the Equal Pay Act of 1963. This act made wage discrimination based on gender illegal (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1947). However, as of 1970 women who held identical positions earned 41% less than their male counterparts (Rosen, 2013). Despite a narrowing gender gap, as of 2011, women are still paid 23% less than their male counterparts (National Women’s Law Center, 2012), Women protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 have the constitutional right to seek prosperity free from gender-based discrimination (Hewitt, 1972). The role of women in society has changed dramatically since the 1960s. Women have engaged themselves in a movement to optimize their educational opportunities. They no longer want to be closed into traditional domesticated roles (Brinkley, 2012). Instead women seek economic, political, and social statuses equal to those of men (Scholastic, 2013). They demand inclusion into male-dominated educational institutions, professions, politics, and athletics. The women’s movement of liberation was often inspired by civil rights activist such as Coretta Scott, King, Shirley Chilsom, and Mary McLeod Bethune. Ms. King urged African-American women to use their experiences of suffering and struggle in the fight for women’s equality. She urged all women to participate in the women’s liberation movement, which undoubtedly would help make the world a better place in which to live for future generations (Sacramento Observer, 1971). Events such as the August 27, 1970 march in New York have inspired changes in the way women are viewed in society. In this protest more than 50,000 women joined together to demand legalized abortion, equal pay, and universal childcare (Rosen, 2013). The women’s liberation movement has championed some change. Organizations such as NOW – the National Organization for Women, NYRW – New York Radical Women, and the CWLU – Chicago Women’s Liberation Union have been leaders in drawing national attention to the cause of gender equality. Most of these organizations were short lived. However, the National Women’s Liberation is still a viable organization that seeks freedom from oppression and male supremacy (National Women's