Women’s Rights Movement and Civil Rights Movement in the Fight for Equality
By the end of 1988, the Women’s Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Movement were very successful. They both achieved what they planned for in the long run and wouldn’t stop fighting for their freedom and equal rights. These two movements were happening at the same time but never interfered with one another. Each movement took a long time but it made the United States better in the end and overall, made everyone in the United States free.
The Women’s Rights Movement started on July 13, 1848 and ended in 1998. More than 100 years of continuous fighting for the right to vote for all women in the United States. Women resented being relegated to unequal citizenship and it was time for a change. There were two waves of the Women’s Rights Movement during this time period. The first wave happened in the years of 1848 through the 1920s. Their main goal for that time was being able to get the right to vote and wanted to be more active in society. Women wanted to be able to work outside of their home, wanted to own their own property, and wanted to have an education. Activists were holding countless number of conventions and powerful women speakers were stepping up and telling other women that how they are living is not right. There needs to be a drastic change in America for everyone to have equal rights.
Then comes the second wave that took place in the 1960s-1990s. Their primary goal for this time slot was definitely the workplace equality. Due to World War II, women were now working outside of their homes and were taking on men’s jobs which included being newspaper reporters and factories workers. They loved their new roles in life and had so many new opportunities. Unfortunately, when the war ended, majority of the women working lost their jobs and the work environment gave them back to the men who were at war. Even though women weren’t working in the factories or being newspaper reporters anymore, they had other opportunities for jobs. They could’ve worked in birth-control services, childcare centers, bookstores, cafes, and some jobs even dealt with rape crisis. During the 1960s, it produced new understandings of freedom and new rights.
Some of the things that women were fighting for was that “women weren’t allowed to vote for anything, married women had no property rights and couldn’t own their own property if they wanted, men were more favored if the parents got divorced and were given full child custody, they had no education or knowledge because colleges or universities wouldn’t accept women, and lastly, women were not allowed to have abortions”. The activists were the best method in order for people to start paying attention to this movement because they set up conventions so people can come out and listen and protested about how they’re feeling. They were so strong and powerful and their voices were definitely heard and that’s when things were starting to change for the better.
The Women’s Rights Movement was a very important topic of discussion back in the day but so was the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement took place during the 1950s and the 1960s which was sufficiently way less time than the Women’s Movement. The main goal during this movement was to get African Americans the same equal rights as whites. The Civil War actually abolished slavery but whites were still discriminating against African Americans and they wanted to change that. The movement was a struggle for social justice but eventually with time, they were successful. Talking about discrimination of African Americans, real estate agents would tell possible sellers that African Americans are moving into their neighborhood which would decrease the value of their home. Skin color should never decrease the value of something.
The Civil Rights Movement didn’t just want African Americans to have equal rights, the movement was also wanting to help the disabled, homosexuals and Native Americans. “While the expansion of rights for African Americans and women advanced slowly during the 1980s, rights for such other minorities as the disabled, homosexuals, and Native Americans were broadened.” There were two acts that were passed during the Civil Rights Movement. “…The Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act was passed in 1980 and this was a way to help protect the rights of disabled people in institutions, prisoners, and the elderly in government-run nursing homes and the Affirmative Action Backlash gave education and economic opportunities to women and most cases that were going to the Supreme Court about segregation in schools and homes went away.”
African Americans kept pushing and pushing for more government action until they got what they deserved. Few African Americans barely had any education so they couldn’t take advantage of job openings since they didn’t have enough knowledge. African Americans were the first ones to lose their jobs and the last ones to get hired so having an education would really benefit them in the long run. Soon after, the government started opening up more colleges and schools to minority students due to the Civil Rights Movement and the Affirmative Action programs. The best method for the Civil Rights Movement was when the African Americans first started to vote in the South. They were getting more knowledge about the government and were using it in smart ways. They kept protesting and making sure that not only one group heard them, they wanted to make sure everyone heard.
Both of these movements were very successful and were goal driven. They would not stop until they got what they deserved in the long run. The Women’s Movement was an important issue and achieved so many great things. For example, the Equal Pay Act in 1963 stated that both women and men should get paid the same if they had the same job, the Civil Rights Act in 1964 banned people from discriminating different genders, the Education Amendment Act of 1972 allowed women to go to school and get the same education as men, and the Roe V. Wade case in 1973 which made abortion legal. Moving on from the Women’s Rights Movement to the successful Civil Rights Movement. In 1957, thousands of African Americans across the South was registered to vote. They had voter clinics to educate the African Americans about the law and politics and this continued throughout the 1960s. In 1963, ‘March on Washington’ brought worldwide attention to the movement which Dr. Martin Luther King made his ‘I Have a Dream Speech’ which touched thousands of African Americans. President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which ended literacy tests which only African Americans had to take because it was a way to prevent them from voting in the South. President Johnson also signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which prohibits discrimination in financing, putting up for sale, or renting a house. “In 1988, Congress overrides President Reagan’s veto which will help pass the Civil Rights Restoration Act. This Act will help expand nondiscrimination laws from private institutions that receive federal funds.”
Overall, both groups did achieve their desired freedoms. They kept fighting for it until they were successful. The Civil Rights Movement was successful than the Women’s Rights Movement because it took a lot less time for them to be able to make changes. It took women more than 100 years to be able to gain freedom, gain their rights, and be equal to men while it took the Civil Rights Movement around twenty years. Both of their outcomes was exactly what they wanted and it was just a matter of timing that makes it seem like the Civil Rights Movement was more successful.
The activists and protesters were very crucial during this time to make this big of a change. They knew that it was a long shot but if you’re dedicated because you actually want the nation to change, you’re willing to fight for what is right until you achieve it. They both fought continuously even though they were disrespected and talked down upon. The United States would be very different today if it wasn’t for these two movements.
Cite this Essay
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below