The Changing Role of Women in Society


“Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.” (Susan B. Anthony).  Since the beginning of time, women had generally had fewer rights than men. There have been many women throughout history that have fought for change and for equality between man and woman. There is no doubt that women’s role in society has changed throughout time, however, true equality is still being pushed and fought to this day.

The traditional idea of women solely being able to bear children and care for the household and nothing more has only recently changed. For example, in the United States, pioneers such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and others paved the way for women to finally have their voices heard in parliament. Before the women's suffrage movement, women had no choice in who they could elect. In addition, during the events of World War 2, women would undertake jobs that were predominantly exclusively made of men. After the war, this would lead to women working in jobs that were previously thought to be exclusive to men, disproving the notion that women could not do a man’s job. These events occurred only 76 and 100 years ago. Thanks to these events, women now have more representation and have the opportunity to rise to positions that were previously unobtainable. For example, women such as Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde, Kamala Harris, and Ursula von der Leyen are all in government positions that never would have been possible 200 years ago. In conclusion, women fought for cultural and societal and brought on ideas that women could do the same things men could.

While it is true that women have a lot more opportunities today than in the past, there is no doubt that the playing field between men and women is still not equal in today’s society. This is especially prevalent in the United States, where the woman’s annual salary is 82% of a man’s average yearly salary (Sonam). This pay gap gets worse with other ethnicities/races, where they are paid 52 to 63 cents for every dollar paid to a white man (Quantifying America’s Gender Wage Gap).  Men are also more likely to be promoted than a woman is (Gillett).

Much has changed in the last couple of centuries, from women fighting for their right to vote, changing societal views in the workplace, to women obtaining government positions. As great of accomplishments these are, there is still much work to be done. Discrimination in the workplace and the pay gap are something that must be solved promptly. Women’s role in society has changed and will continue to evolve for the foreseeable future.

Works Cited

Sonam Sheth, Madison Hoff. “These 8 Charts Show the Glaring Gap between Men's and Women's Salaries in the US.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 24 Mar. 2021, www.businessinsider.com/gender-wage-pay-gap-charts-2017-3#major-cities-show-an-even-bigger-discrepancy-3.

“Quantifying America’s Gender Wage Gap by Race/Ethnicity.” NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP FOR WOMEN & FAMILIES, Mar. 2021, www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/economic-justice/fair-pay/quantifying-americas-gender-wage-gap.pdf.

Gillett, Rachel. “Gender Bias Could Make It Harder for Women to Become Ceo, According to a Recent Study.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 17 Apr. 2020, www.businessinsider.com/why-women-almost-never-become-ceo-2016-9.

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