Women in History / Women Suffrage Movement Essay

Attitude to women characterizes the level of the social development. In the contemporary society, women can enjoy rights and freedoms, which make them the equal part of the social community. Unfortunately, in the recent past women had to fight for their basic rights. The right to vote, the right to work, the right to have control over their own bodies and many other basic rights, contemporary women believe to be basic rights, were achieved through persistent struggle. Women have made significant input into becoming of the contemporary society. Through the centuries they have had to fight for their right and liberties and their natural right to take an active part in the social and cultural life.

Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Staar opened the first Hull House in 1889. This house became a unique opportunity for women with low income. It gave support and assistance to different categories of women. It gave classes of English literacy, art and other subjects. It also provided services of daycare for children, community kitchen and nurses. The center was founded in the troubling region of Chicago. A lot of immigrants found their new home in this region. Women with children had little chances to find jobs and give material support to their families. The Hull House became that center of support, which helped them go through the most difficult periods of their lives.

Jane Addams possessed this idea in London, where centers of social care were organized in order to support the poorest categories of women.  What is notable, the Hull House became the source of support and inspiration not only for women, who came there for help. It also became the means of self-expression for educated women from middle class who worked there. They had finally got an opportunity to show their skills and become active members of the society. Addams became an influential figure in the contemporary society. She attracted public attention to different problems the women of her time came through. She took active social and political position. “Addams believed in an individual’s obligation to help his or her community, but she also thought the government could help make Americans’ lives safer and healthier. In this way, Addams and many other Americans in the 1890s and 1900s were part of the Progressive movement” (Activists&Reformers: Jane Addams).  For a lot of women she has become the symbol of change and transformation. She has become an example of how one woman can change other people’s lives.

During the WWI and the WWII women got the chance to perform new social roles and functions. During the WWI men took active part in the warship.  Need for workforce and problems caused by the wars made the government and private owners friendlier in their employment policy. Women took part in the war as medical workers. Some of them even took part in the military actions. “When the United States government entered a war, it offered work opportunities to women in significantly higher numbers than had been seen previously» (Moore, 2016).   Women also got opportunities to get jobs in the cities and towns. Men, who left for war, created job openings and a lot of women got the chance to get the job during the WWI.  The need in weapon and growing military potential also created demand for the workforce.  A lot of factories produced weapons and these factories hired women during the war period. “For centuries women have followed armies, many of them soldiers’ wives, providing indispensable services such as cooking, nursing, and laundry—in fact, armies could not have functioned as well, perhaps could not have functioned at all, without the service of women.” (Hacker, 1981).  Women got lower wages. Finally, this became the subject of concern for men, who felt they could lost their dominant position on the job market. Unfortunately, after the end of the WWI women lost their positions, which were taken by men, who returned from the war. Major part of women lost their jobs and were left without the chance to earn their living. The situation was repeated during the WWII. There emerged need in working hands and women got an opportunity to get job position in the different spheres, which were previously closed for them.   Women had made significant contribution to the military success. The WWII helped the US enhance its position on the world political stage and women had become the part of this success.

Margaret Sanger is another outstanding historical personality, who made significant contribution to the protection of women’s rights and freedoms. Birth control pills have become the break-through in the sphere of the birth control. Since ancient times people have been looking for the ways to control babies’ birth.  Illegal abortions and attempts to stop pregnancy took away hundreds of thousands of women’s lives all over the world.  Margaret Sanger is an outstanding personality in the sphere of birth control. This woman dedicated her life to the problem of the birth control and her achievements made the great contribution to this sphere. In 1916 she opened the first birth control clinics in the US. She was put to prison for breaking some regulations and spent 30 days in prison. After leaving the prison she continued working in the sphere of birth control and, finally, in the 1950s she introduced the project aiming to create an oral birth-control pill. This project required $150,000. Margaret Sanger was in her 80s when this project started.  Finally, in the 1960s the first oral contraceptive was introduced and approved by FDA. The name of the contraceptive was Envoid.

The invention of the oral contraception has become the great achievement in the sphere of birth control and this has given more opportunities for women and helped to protect their rights. This invention can be definitely called one of the greatest medical achievements of the contemporary medicine. Margaret Sanger became an outstanding personality and it is hard to overestimate her role in projecting medical advances, which protected women’s health and gave them control over their lives and bodies.

Rosa Parks became another outstanding woman, who made her significant input into the civil right movement. On December 1, 1955 she was arrested because she dared to seat on the bus sit, which was reserved only for white passengers. Rosa consciously refused to live the seat and her arrest provoked social   protests. Finally, her arrest resulted in the bus boycott. Martin Luther King Jr. became famous during these events.  “Her arrest became a rallying point around which the African American community organized a bus boycott in protest of the discrimination they had endured for years. Martin Luther King, Jr., the 26-year-old minister of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, emerged as a leader during the well-coordinated, peaceful boycott that lasted 381 days and captured the world’s attention» (Bredhoff,   Wynell   and   Potter, 1999). As the result, Park’s arrest played an important role in the Browder v.Gayle case. Court decision in the case officially prohibited segregation.

Through the centuries the outstanding women have made a significant impact on the process of social development and becoming of women the equal members of the social community. Despite the fact that women have been historically deprived of the possibility to express themselves actively in the society, they still found their own ways to make serious impact on the social processes and become the instrument of the social change. Women have made significant contribution to different spheres of social, cultural and political life. In contrast to men, they have had to fight for their right to take an active part in the life of the state and society.


Activists & Reformers:  Jane Addams, America’s Story,  The Library of Congress, http://www.americaslibrary.gov/aa/addams/aa_addams_work_1.html

Bredhoff, Stacey, Wynell Schamel, and Lee Ann Potter. (May/June 1999): “The Arrest Records of Rosa Parks.” Social Education 63, 4 207-211.

Available at https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/rosa-parks

Lara, K. (2011). Re-Defining Democracy: Jane Addams and the Hull-House

Settlement. The Journal of American History, (3), 782. doi:10.1093/jahist/jar510

Available: http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=7&sid=685b4bc8-cd08-4630-b056-5a5b0ba2c7e9%40sessionmgr104

Moore. C. (2016). Women Workers in Wartime. Prologue Magazine, Vol. 48. No 3.


Murrin, J. M.,  Johnson, P. E., McPherson, J. M.,  Fahs, A., Gerstle, G. (2012). Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People (6th ed.). Wadsworth, Cengage Learning,

Hacker, B. C. (1981).   “Women and Military Institutions in Early Modern Europe: A Reconnaissance,” Signs 6, no. 4 644.

Daniels, K, Mosher, WD and Jones J, (2013). Contraceptive methods women have ever used: United States, 1982–2010, National Health Statistics Reports, No. 62, <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr062.pdf>, accessed Mar. 20, 2013.

Katzive, C. E. (2015). Margaret Sanger: Demonstrating Leadership and Legacy Through

Her Crusade for Women’ s Reproductive Rights. Retrieved from


The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]
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