Women’s rights are the rights and entitlements claimed for women and girls all over the world. It formed during 19th century and the feminist movements started during 20th and 21st century. These rights are supported by law, local customs and behaviour. Issues of women’s rights includes right to integrity and autonomy, free from sexual violence, to vote, to hold public office, to enter into a legal contracts, to have equal rights in family law, to work, to equal pay, to own a property and to have education.
Women in ancient times could buy, own, sell and inherit property, engage in commerce and testify in court as witnesses. In Egypt, women enjoys the same rights as men but depends upon social class. Women are entitled to administer their own property. Women can be executor in wills and witness to legal documents, bring court action and adopt children. Women in India can marry at the mature age and are free to select their own husbands.
Aristotle denied that women were slaves and subject to property saying that ‘nature has distinguished between the female and the slave’. According to him, labour of girls added no value because ‘the art of household management isn’t identical with the art of getting wealth’.
Roman society was patriarchal, women were not allowed to vote, hold public office or serve in the military. Women exercised political influence through marriage and motherhood. They recognized rape as a crime in which victim has no guilt and was considered an attack on her family and father’s honour.
Women were considered inferior in China. Their status was low in comparison to men.
In mediaeval Europe, women were inferior to men in legal status. Women were not allowed to attend courts and leave all kinds of legal business affairs to her husband.
Role of women is severely restricted. Women can represent herself in the court, make contracts, and right to purchase, own, sell and inherit property.
It prescribes limited rights to women in marriage, divorce and inheritance.
By 1500, Europe was divided into two sorts of secular law:
Customary Law: It favoured men more than women. It was predominant in Northern France and England. Inheritance was passed to oldest male heir. It gave men power over lives, property and bodies of their wives.
Written Laws: Women were under male guardianship in matters of property or law, fathers seeing daughters, etc. It was predominant in Southern France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
John Locke opposed marital inequality and mistreatment of women.
English women had fewer grounds for divorce than men till 1923.
Husband controlled their wives.
Children were husband’s property.
Rape was legally impossible in a marriage.
In late 18th century, movements emerged in Europe which demanded freedom of faith, abolition of slavery, rights for women, rights for those who doesn’t own property, and universal suffrage.
Women’s rights in Canada focuses on women’s suffrage, increased property rights, and access to education. From mid 20th century, status of women improved greatly.
Central Asian culture is patriarchal. In Mongolia, more women than men completed school and are higher earners.
Women can be the powerful actors for peace, security and prosperity. When they participate in decision-making processes, they play an important role in initiating and inspiring progress on human rights and justice.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge