Women's rights

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For the album by Childbirth, see Women's Rights (album). Women's rights_sentence_0

Women's rights are the rights and entitlements claimed for women and girls worldwide, and they formed the basis for the women's rights movement in the 19th century and the feminist movements during the 20th and 21st centuries. Women's rights_sentence_1

In some countries, these rights are institutionalized or supported by law, local custom, and behavior, whereas in others, they are ignored and suppressed. Women's rights_sentence_2

They differ from broader notions of human rights through claims of an inherent historical and traditional bias against the exercise of rights by women and girls, in favor of men and boys. Women's rights_sentence_3

Issues commonly associated with notions of women's rights include the right to bodily integrity and autonomy, to be free from sexual violence, to vote, to hold public office, to enter into legal contracts, to have equal rights in family law, to work, to fair wages or equal pay, to have reproductive rights, to own property, and to education. Women's rights_sentence_4

History Women's rights_section_0

See also: Legal rights of women in history and Timeline of women's rights (other than voting) Women's rights_sentence_5

Ancient history Women's rights_section_1

Mesopotamia Women's rights_section_2

Women in ancient Sumer could buy, own, sell, and inherit property. Women's rights_sentence_6

They could engage in commerce and testify in court as witnesses. Women's rights_sentence_7

Nonetheless, their husbands could divorce them for mild infractions, and a divorced husband could easily remarry another woman, provided that his first wife had borne him no offspring. Women's rights_sentence_8

Female deities, such as Inanna, were widely worshipped. Women's rights_sentence_9

The Akkadian poetess Enheduanna, the priestess of Inanna and daughter of Sargon, is the earliest known poet whose name has been recorded. Women's rights_sentence_10

Old Babylonian law codes permitted a husband to divorce his wife under any circumstances, but doing so required him to return all of her property and sometimes pay her a fine. Women's rights_sentence_11

Most law codes forbade a woman to request her husband for a divorce and enforced the same penalties on a woman asking for divorce as on a woman caught in the act of adultery. Women's rights_sentence_12

Some Babylonian and Assyrian laws, however, afforded women the same right to divorce as men, requiring them to pay exactly the same fine. Women's rights_sentence_13

The majority of East Semitic deities were male. Women's rights_sentence_14

Egypt Women's rights_section_3

Main article: Women in ancient Egypt Women's rights_sentence_15

In ancient Egypt, women enjoyed the same rights under the law as a man, however rightful entitlements depended upon social class. Women's rights_sentence_16

Landed property descended in the female line from mother to daughter, and women were entitled to administer their own property. Women's rights_sentence_17

Women in ancient Egypt could buy, sell, be a partner in legal contracts, be executor in wills and witness to legal documents, bring court action, and adopt children. Women's rights_sentence_18

India Women's rights_section_4

Main article: Women in India Women's rights_sentence_19

Women during the early Vedic period enjoyed equal status with men in all aspects of life. Women's rights_sentence_20

Works by ancient Indian grammarians such as Patanjali and Katyayana suggest that women were educated in the early Vedic period. Women's rights_sentence_21

Rigvedic verses suggest that women married at a mature age and were probably free to select their own husbands in a practice called swayamvar or live-in relationship called Gandharva marriage. Women's rights_sentence_22

Greece Women's rights_section_5

Further information: Women in Greece Women's rights_sentence_23

Although most women lacked political and equal rights in the city states of ancient Greece, they enjoyed a certain freedom of movement until the Archaic age. Women's rights_sentence_24

Records also exist of women in ancient Delphi, Gortyn, Thessaly, Megara, and Sparta owning land, the most prestigious form of private property at the time. Women's rights_sentence_25

However, after the Archaic age, legislators began to enact laws enforcing gender segregation, resulting in decreased rights for women. Women's rights_sentence_26

Women in Classical Athens had no legal personhood and were assumed to be part of the oikos headed by the male kyrios. Women's rights_sentence_27

Until marriage, women were under the guardianship of their father or other male relative. Women's rights_sentence_28

Once married, the husband became a woman's kyrios. Women's rights_sentence_29

As women were barred from conducting legal proceedings, the kyrios would do so on their behalf. Women's rights_sentence_30

Athenian women could only acquire rights over property through gifts, dowry, and inheritance, though her kyrios had the right to dispose of a woman's property. Women's rights_sentence_31

Athenian women could only enter into a contract worth less than the value of a "medimnos of barley" (a measure of grain), allowing women to engage in petty trading. Women's rights_sentence_32

Women were excluded from ancient Athenian democracy, both in principle and in practice. Women's rights_sentence_33

Slaves could become Athenian citizens after being freed, but no woman ever acquired citizenship in ancient Athens. Women's rights_sentence_34

In classical Athens women were also barred from becoming poets, scholars, politicians, or artists. Women's rights_sentence_35

During the Hellenistic period in Athens, the philosopher Aristotle thought that women would bring disorder and evil, therefore it was best to keep women separate from the rest of the society. Women's rights_sentence_36

This separation would entail living in a room called a gynaikeion, while looking after the duties in the home and having very little exposure with the male world. Women's rights_sentence_37

This was also to ensure that wives only had legitimate children from their husbands. Women's rights_sentence_38

Athenian women received little education, except home tutorship for basic skills such as spin, weave, cook and some knowledge of money. Women's rights_sentence_39

Although Spartan women were formally excluded from military and political life, they enjoyed considerable status as mothers of Spartan warriors. Women's rights_sentence_40

As men engaged in military activity, women took responsibility for running estates. Women's rights_sentence_41

Following protracted warfare in the 4th century BC Spartan women-owned approximately between 35% and 40% of all Spartan land and property. Women's rights_sentence_42

By the Hellenistic Period, some of the wealthiest Spartans were women. Women's rights_sentence_43

Spartan women controlled their own properties, as well as the properties of male relatives who were away with the army. Women's rights_sentence_44

Girls, as well as boys, received an education. Women's rights_sentence_45

But despite relatively greater freedom of movement for Spartan women, their role in politics was just as the same as Athenian women. Women's rights_sentence_46

Plato acknowledged that extending civil and political rights to women would substantively alter the nature of the household and the state. Women's rights_sentence_47

Aristotle, who had been taught by Plato, denied that women were slaves or subject to property, arguing that "nature has distinguished between the female and the slave", but he considered wives to be "bought". Women's rights_sentence_48

He argued that women's main economic activity is that of safeguarding the household property created by men. Women's rights_sentence_49

According to Aristotle, the labour of women added no value because "the art of household management is not identical with the art of getting wealth, for the one uses the material which the other provides". Women's rights_sentence_50

Contrary to these views, the Stoic philosophers argued for equality of the sexes, sexual inequality being in their view contrary to the laws of nature. Women's rights_sentence_51

In doing so, they followed the Cynics, who argued that men and women should wear the same clothing and receive the same kind of education. Women's rights_sentence_52

They also saw marriage as a moral companionship between equals rather than a biological or social necessity and practiced these views in their lives as well as their teachings. Women's rights_sentence_53

The Stoics adopted the views of the Cynics and added them to their own theories of human nature, thus putting their sexual egalitarianism on a strong philosophical basis. Women's rights_sentence_54

Rome Women's rights_section_6

Further information: Women in ancient Rome Women's rights_sentence_55

Roman law, similar to Athenian law, was created by men in favor of men. Women's rights_sentence_56

Women had no public voice and no public role, which only improved after the 1st century to the 6th century BCE. Women's rights_sentence_57

Freeborn women of ancient Rome were citizens who enjoyed legal privileges and protections that did not extend to non-citizens or slaves. Women's rights_sentence_58

Roman society, however, was patriarchal, and women could not vote, hold public office, or serve in the military. Women's rights_sentence_59

Women of the upper classes exercised political influence through marriage and motherhood. Women's rights_sentence_60

During the Roman Republic, the mothers of the Gracchus brothers and of Julius Caesar were noted as exemplary women who advanced the careers of their sons. Women's rights_sentence_61

During the Imperial period, women of the emperor's family could acquire considerable political power and were regularly depicted in official art and on coinage. Women's rights_sentence_62

The central core of the Roman society was the pater familias or the male head of the household who exercised his authority over all his children, servants, and wife. Women's rights_sentence_63

Girls had equal inheritance rights with boys if their father died without leaving a will. Women's rights_sentence_64

Similar to Athenian women, Roman women had a guardian or as it was called "tutor" who managed and oversaw all her activity. Women's rights_sentence_65

This tutelage had limited female activity but by the first century to sixth century BCE, tutelage became very relaxed and women were accepted to participate in more public roles such as owning or managing property and or acting as municipal patrons for gladiator games and other entertainment activities Childbearing was encouraged by the state. Women's rights_sentence_66

By 27–14 BCE the ius tritium liberorum ("legal right of three children") granted symbolic honors and legal privileges to a woman who had given birth to three children and freed her from any male guardianship. Women's rights_sentence_67

In the earliest period of the Roman Republic, a bride passed from her father's control into the "hand" (manus) of her husband. Women's rights_sentence_68

She then became subject to her husband's potestas, though to a lesser degree than their children. Women's rights_sentence_69

This archaic form of manus marriage was largely abandoned by the time of Julius Caesar, when a woman remained under her father's authority by law even when she moved into her husband's home. Women's rights_sentence_70

This arrangement was one of the factors in the independence Roman women enjoyed. Women's rights_sentence_71

Although women had to answer to their father in legal matters, they were free of his direct scrutiny in her daily life, and her husband had no legal power over her. Women's rights_sentence_72

When her father died, she became legally emancipated (sui iuris). Women's rights_sentence_73

A married woman retained ownership of any property she brought into the marriage. Women's rights_sentence_74

Girls had equal inheritance rights with boys if their father died without leaving a will. Women's rights_sentence_75

Under classical Roman law, a husband had no right to abuse his wife physically or compel her to have sex. Women's rights_sentence_76

Wife beating was sufficient grounds for divorce or other legal action against the husband. Women's rights_sentence_77

Because of their legal status as citizens and the degree to which they could become emancipated, women in ancient Rome could own property, enter contracts, and engage in business. Women's rights_sentence_78

Some acquired and disposed of sizable fortunes, and are recorded in inscriptions as benefactors in funding major public works. Women's rights_sentence_79

Roman women could appear in court and argue cases, though it was customary for them to be represented by a man. Women's rights_sentence_80

They were simultaneously disparaged as too ignorant and weak-minded to practice law, and as too active and influential in legal matters—resulting in an edict that limited women to conducting cases on their own behalf instead of others'. Women's rights_sentence_81

But even after this restriction was put in place, there are numerous examples of women taking informed actions in legal matters, including dictating legal strategy to their male advocates. Women's rights_sentence_82

Roman law recognized rape as a crime in which the victim bore no guilt and a capital crime. Women's rights_sentence_83

The rape of a woman was considered an attack on her family and father's honour, and rape victims were shamed for allowing the bad name in her father's honour. Women's rights_sentence_84

As a matter of law, rape could be committed only against a citizen in good standing. Women's rights_sentence_85

The rape of a slave could be prosecuted only as damage to her owner's property. Women's rights_sentence_86

The first Roman emperor, Augustus, framed his ascent to sole power as a return to traditional morality, and attempted to regulate the conduct of women through moral legislation. Women's rights_sentence_87

Adultery, which had been a private family matter under the Republic, was criminalized, and defined broadly as an illicit sex act (stuprum) that occurred between a male citizen and a married woman, or between a married woman and any man other than her husband. Women's rights_sentence_88

Therefore, a married woman could have sex only with her husband, but a married man did not commit adultery when he had sex with a prostitute, slave, or person of marginalized status (infamis). Women's rights_sentence_89

Most prostitutes in ancient Rome were slaves, though some slaves were protected from forced prostitution by a clause in their sales contract. Women's rights_sentence_90

A free woman who worked as a prostitute or entertainer lost her social standing and became infamis, "disreputable"; by making her body publicly available, she had in effect surrendered her right to be protected from sexual abuse or physical violence. Women's rights_sentence_91

Stoic philosophies influenced the development of Roman law. Women's rights_sentence_92

Stoics of the Imperial era such as Seneca and Musonius Rufus developed theories of just relationships. Women's rights_sentence_93

While not advocating equality in society or under the law, they held that nature gives men and women equal capacity for virtue and equal obligations to act virtuously, and that therefore men and women had an equal need for philosophical education. Women's rights_sentence_94

These philosophical trends among the ruling elite are thought to have helped improve the status of women under the Empire. Women's rights_sentence_95

Rome had no system of state-supported schooling, and education was available only to those who could pay for it. Women's rights_sentence_96

The daughters of senators and knights seem to have regularly received a primary education (for ages 7 to 12). Women's rights_sentence_97

Regardless of gender, few people were educated beyond that level. Women's rights_sentence_98

Girls from a modest background might be schooled in order to help with the family business or to acquire literacy skills that enabled them to work as scribes and secretaries. Women's rights_sentence_99

The woman who achieved the greatest prominence in the ancient world for her learning was Hypatia of Alexandria, who taught advanced courses to young men and advised the Roman prefect of Egypt on politics. Women's rights_sentence_100

Her influence put her into conflict with the bishop of Alexandria, Cyril, who may have been implicated in her violent death in the year 415 at the hands of a Christian mob. Women's rights_sentence_101

Byzantine Empire Women's rights_section_7

Since Byzantine law was essentially based on Roman law, the legal status of women did not change significantly from the practices of the 6th century. Women's rights_sentence_102

But the traditional restriction of women in the public life as well as the hostility against independent women still continued. Women's rights_sentence_103

Greater influence of Greek culture contributed to strict attitudes about women'roles being domestic instead of being public. Women's rights_sentence_104

There was also a growing trend of women who were not prostitutes, slaves or entertainers to be entirely veiled. Women's rights_sentence_105

Like previous Roman law, women could not be legal witnesses, hold administrations or run banking but they could still inherit properties and own land. Women's rights_sentence_106

As a rule, the influence of the church was exercised in favor of the abolition of the disabilities imposed by the older law upon celibacy and childlessness, of increased facilities for entering a professed religious life, and of due provision for the wife. Women's rights_sentence_107

The church also supported the political power of those who were friendly toward the clergy. Women's rights_sentence_108

The appointment of mothers and grandmothers as tutors was sanctioned by Justinian. Women's rights_sentence_109

The restrictions on the marriage of senators and other men of high rank with women of low rank were extended by Constantine, but it was almost entirely removed by Justinian. Women's rights_sentence_110

Second marriages were discouraged, especially by making it legal to impose a condition that a widow's right to property should cease on remarriage, and the Leonine Constitutions at the end of the 9th century made third marriages punishable. Women's rights_sentence_111

The same constitutions made the benediction of a priest a necessary part of the ceremony of marriage. Women's rights_sentence_112

China Women's rights_section_8

Main articles: Women in ancient and imperial China and Women in China Women's rights_sentence_113

Women throughout historical and ancient China were considered inferior and had subordinate legal status based on Confucian law. Women's rights_sentence_114

In Imperial China, the "Three Obediences" promoted daughters to obey their fathers, wives to obey their husbands, and widows to obey their sons. Women's rights_sentence_115

Women could not inherit businesses or wealth and men had to adopt a son for such financial purposes. Women's rights_sentence_116

Late imperial law also featured seven different types of divorces. Women's rights_sentence_117

A wife could be ousted if she failed to birth a son, committed adultery, disobeyed her parents-in-law, spoke excessively, stole, was given to bouts of jealousy, or suffered from an incurable or loathsome disease or disorder. Women's rights_sentence_118

But there were also limits for the husband – for example, he could not divorce if she observed her parent's in-law's mourning sites, if she had no family to return to, or if the husband's family used to be poor and since then had become richer. Women's rights_sentence_119

The status of women in China was also low, largely due to the custom of foot binding. Women's rights_sentence_120

About 45% of Chinese women had bound feet in the 19th century. Women's rights_sentence_121

For the upper classes, it was almost 100%. Women's rights_sentence_122

In 1912, the Chinese government ordered the cessation of foot-binding. Women's rights_sentence_123

Foot-binding involved alteration of the bone structure so that the feet were only about 4 inches long. Women's rights_sentence_124

The bound feet caused difficulty of movement, thus greatly limiting the activities of women. Women's rights_sentence_125

Due to the social custom that men and women should not be near each other, the women of China were reluctant to be treated by male doctors of Western Medicine. Women's rights_sentence_126

This resulted in a tremendous need for female doctors of Western Medicine in China. Women's rights_sentence_127

Thus, female medical missionary Dr. Mary H. Fulton (1854–1927) was sent by the Foreign Missions Board of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to found the first medical college for women in China. Women's rights_sentence_128

Known as the Hackett Medical College for Women (夏葛女子醫學院), the college was enabled in Guangzhou, China, by a large donation from Edward A.K. Women's rights_sentence_129

Hackett (1851–1916) of Indiana, US. Women's rights_sentence_130

The college was aimed at the spreading of Christianity and modern medicine and the elevation of Chinese women's social status. Women's rights_sentence_131

During the Republic of China (1912–49) and earlier Chinese governments, women were legally bought and sold into slavery under the guise of domestic servants. Women's rights_sentence_132

These women were known as Mui Tsai. Women's rights_sentence_133

The lives of Mui Tsai were recorded by American feminist Agnes Smedley in her book Portraits of Chinese Women in Revolution. Women's rights_sentence_134

However, in 1949 the Republic of China had been overthrown by communist guerillas led by Mao Zedong, and the People's Republic of China was founded in the same year. Women's rights_sentence_135

In May 1950 the People's Republic of China enacted the New Marriage Law to tackle the sale of women into slavery. Women's rights_sentence_136

This outlawed marriage by proxy and made marriage legal so long as both partners consent. Women's rights_sentence_137

The New Marriage Law raised the legal age of marriage to 20 for men and 18 for women. Women's rights_sentence_138

This was an essential part of countryside land reform as women could no longer legally be sold to landlords. Women's rights_sentence_139

The official slogan was "Men and women are equal; everyone is worth his (or her) salt". Women's rights_sentence_140

Post-classical history Women's rights_section_9

Religious scriptures Women's rights_section_10

Bible Women's rights_section_11

Main article: Women in the Bible Women's rights_sentence_141

Both before and during biblical times, the roles of women in society were severely restricted. Women's rights_sentence_142

Nonetheless, in the Bible, women are depicted as having the right to represent themselves in court, the ability to make contracts, and the rights to purchase, own, sell, and inherit property. Women's rights_sentence_143

The Bible guarantees women the right to sex with their husbands and orders husbands to feed and clothe their wives. Women's rights_sentence_144

Breach of these Old Testament rights by a polygamous man gave the woman grounds for divorce: "If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. Women's rights_sentence_145

If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money" (). Women's rights_sentence_146

Qur'an Women's rights_section_12

See also: Early reforms under Islam, Women in Islam, Islamic feminism, and Sex segregation and Islam Women's rights_sentence_147

The Qur'an, revealed to Muhammad over the course of 23 years, provided guidance to the Islamic community and modified existing customs in Arab society. Women's rights_sentence_148

From 610 and 661, known as the early reforms under Islam, the Qur'an introduced fundamental reforms to customary law and introduced rights for women in marriage, divorce, and inheritance. Women's rights_sentence_149

By providing that the wife, not her family, would receive a dowry from the husband, which she could administer as her personal property, the Qur'an made women a legal party to the marriage contract. Women's rights_sentence_150

While in customary law, inheritance was limited to male descendants, the Qur'an introduced rules on inheritance with certain fixed shares being distributed to designated heirs, first to the nearest female relatives and then the nearest male relatives. Women's rights_sentence_151

According to Annemarie Schimmel "compared to the pre-Islamic position of women, Islamic legislation meant an enormous progress; the woman has the right, at least according to the letter of the law, to administer the wealth she has brought into the family or has earned by her own work." Women's rights_sentence_152

The general improvement of the status of Arab women included prohibition of female infanticide and recognizing women's full personhood. Women's rights_sentence_153

Women generally gained greater rights than women in pre-Islamic Arabia and medieval Europe. Women's rights_sentence_154

Women were not accorded with such legal status in other cultures until centuries later. Women's rights_sentence_155

According to Professor William Montgomery Watt, when seen in such historical context, Muhammad "can be seen as a figure who testified on behalf of women's rights." Women's rights_sentence_156

Western Europe Women's rights_section_13

Women's rights were protected already by early Medieval Christian Church: one of the first formal legal provision for the right of wives was promulgated by council of Adge in 506, which in Canon XVI stipulated that if a young married man wished to be ordained, he required the consent of his wife. Women's rights_sentence_157

The English Church and culture in the Middle Ages regarded women as weak, irrational and vulnerable to temptation who was constantly needed to be kept in check. Women's rights_sentence_158

This was reflected on the Christian culture in England through the story of Adam and Eve where Eve fell to Satan's temptations and led Adam to eat the apple. Women's rights_sentence_159

It was belief based on St.Paul, that the pain of childbirth was a punishment for this deed that led mankind to be banished from the Garden of Eden. Women's rights_sentence_160

Women's inferiority also appears in many medieval writing for example the 1200 AD theologian Jacques de Vitry (who was rather sympathetic to women over others) emphasized for female obedience towards their men and expressed women as being slippery, weak, untrustworthy, devious, deceitful and stubborn. Women's rights_sentence_161

The church also promoted the Virgin Mary as a role model for women to emulate by being innocent in her sexuality, being married to a husband and eventually becoming a mother. Women's rights_sentence_162

That was the core purpose set out both culturally and religiously across Medieval Europe. Women's rights_sentence_163

Rape was also seen in medieval England as a crime against the father or husband and violation of their protection and guardianship of the women whom they look after in the household. Women's rights_sentence_164

Women's identity in the Middle Ages was also referred through her relations with men she was associated with for example "His daughter" or "So and so's wife". Women's rights_sentence_165

Despite all this, the Church still emphasized on the importance of love and mutual counselling within a marriage and prohibited any form of divorce so the wife would have someone to look after her. Women's rights_sentence_166

In overall Europe during the Middle Ages, women were inferior to that of a man in legal status. Women's rights_sentence_167

Throughout medieval Europe, women were pressured to not attend courts and leave all legal business affairs to their husbands. Women's rights_sentence_168

In the legal system, women were regarded as the properties of men so any threat or injury to them was in the duty of their male guardians. Women's rights_sentence_169

In Irish law, women were forbidden to act as witnesses in courts. Women's rights_sentence_170

In Welsh law, women's testimony can be accepted towards other women but not against another man, but Welsh laws, specifically The Laws of Hywel Dda also reflected accountability for men to pay child maintenance for children born out of wedlock, which empowered women to claim rightful payment. Women's rights_sentence_171

In France, women's testimony must corroborate with other accounts or would not be accepted. Women's rights_sentence_172

Although women were expected to not attend courts, this however was not always true. Women's rights_sentence_173

Sometimes regardless of expectation, women did participate and attend court cases and court meetings. Women's rights_sentence_174

But women could not act as justices in courts, be attorneys, they could not be members of a jury and they could not accuse another person of a felony unless it's the murder of her husband. Women's rights_sentence_175

For most part, the best thing a woman could do in medieval courts is observe the legal proceedings taking place. Women's rights_sentence_176

The Swedish law protected women from the authority of their husbands by transferring the authority to their male relatives. Women's rights_sentence_177

A wife's property and land also could not be taken by the husband without her family's consent but neither could the wife. Women's rights_sentence_178

This mean a woman could not transfer her property to her husband without her family or kinsman's consent either. Women's rights_sentence_179

In Swedish law, women would also only get half that of her brother in inheritance. Women's rights_sentence_180

Despite these legal issues, Sweden was largely ahead and much superior in their treatment towards women than most European countries. Women's rights_sentence_181

Medieval marriages among the elites were arranged in a way that would meet the interests of the family as a whole. Women's rights_sentence_182

Theoretically a woman needed to consent before a marriage took place and the Church encouraged this consent to be expressed in present tense and not future. Women's rights_sentence_183

Marriage could also take place anywhere and minimum age for girls would have to be 12 while 14 for boys. Women's rights_sentence_184

Northern Europe Women's rights_section_14

The rate of Wergild suggested that women in these societies were valued mostly for their breeding purposes. Women's rights_sentence_185

The Wergild of woman was double that of a man with same status in the Aleman and Bavarian legal codes. Women's rights_sentence_186

The Wergild of a woman meanwhile was triple that of a man with same status in Salic and Repuarian legal codes for women of child-bearing age, which constituted from 12–40 years old. Women's rights_sentence_187

One of the most Germanic codes from the Lombard tradition, legislated that women be under the control of a male mundoald which constituted her father, husband, older son or eventually the king as a last resort if she had no male relatives. Women's rights_sentence_188

A woman needed her mundold's permission to manage property but still could own her own lands and goods. Women's rights_sentence_189

Certain areas with Visgothic inheritance laws until the 7th century were favorable to women while all the other laws were not. Women's rights_sentence_190

Before Christianization of Europe, there was little space for women's consent for marriage and marriage through purchase (or Kaufehe) was actually the civil norm as opposed to the alternative marriage through capture (or Raubehe). Women's rights_sentence_191

However Christianity was slow to reach other Baltic and Scandinavian areas with it only reaching King Harald Bluetooth of Denmark in the year 950 AD. Women's rights_sentence_192

Those living under Norwegian and Icelandic laws used marriages to forge alliances or create peace usually without the women's say or consent. Women's rights_sentence_193

However divorce rights were permitted to women who suffered physical abuse but protections from harm were not given to those termed "wretched" women such as beggars, servants and slave women. Women's rights_sentence_194

Having sex with them through force or without consent usually had zero legal consequence or punishment. Women's rights_sentence_195

During the Viking Age, women had a relatively free status in the Nordic countries of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, illustrated in the Icelandic Grágás and the Norwegian Frostating laws and Gulating laws. Women's rights_sentence_196

The paternal aunt, paternal niece and paternal granddaughter, referred to as odalkvinna, all had the right to inherit property from a deceased man. Women's rights_sentence_197

In the absence of male relatives, an unmarried woman with no son could, further more, inherit not only property, but also the position as head of the family from a deceased father or brother: a woman with such status was referred to as ringkvinna, and she exercised all the rights afforded to the head of a family clan, such as for example the right to demand and receive fines for the slaughter of a family member, unless she married, by which her rights were transferred to her husband. Women's rights_sentence_198

After the age of 20, an unmarried woman, referred to as maer and mey, reached legal majority and had the right to decide of her place of residence and was regarded as her own person before the law. Women's rights_sentence_199

An exception to her independence was the right to choose a marriage partner, as marriages was normally arranged by the clan. Women's rights_sentence_200

Widows enjoyed the same independent status as unmarried women. Women's rights_sentence_201

Women had religious authority and were active as priestesses (gydja) and oracles (sejdkvinna); they were active within art as poets (skalder) and rune masters, and as merchants and medicine women. Women's rights_sentence_202

They may also have been active within military office: the stories about shieldmaidens is unconfirmed, but some archaeological finds such as the Birka female Viking warrior may indicate that at least some women in military authority existed. Women's rights_sentence_203

A married woman could divorce her husband and remarry. Women's rights_sentence_204

It was also socially acceptable for a free woman to cohabit with a man and have children with him without marrying him, even if that man was married: a woman in such a position was called frilla. Women's rights_sentence_205

There was no distinction made between children born inside or outside of marriage: both had the right to inherit property after their parents, and there was no "legitimate" or "illegitimate" children. Women's rights_sentence_206

These liberties gradually disappeared from the changed after the introductions of Christianity, and from the late 13th-century, they are no longer mentioned. Women's rights_sentence_207

During the Christian Middle Ages, the Medieval Scandinavian law applied different laws depending on the local county law, signifying that the status of women could vary depending on which county she was living in. Women's rights_sentence_208

Modern history Women's rights_section_15

Europe Women's rights_section_16

16th and 17th century Europe Women's rights_section_17

The 16th and 17th century saw numerous witch trials, which resulted in thousands of people across Europe being executed, of whom 75–95% were women (depending on time and place). Women's rights_sentence_209

The executions mostly took place in German-speaking lands, and during the 15th century the terminology "witchcraft" was definitely viewed as something feminine as opposed to prior years. Women's rights_sentence_210

Famous witchcraft manuals such as the Malleus Maleficarum and Summis Desiderantes depicted witches as diabolical conspirators who worshipped Satan and were primarily women. Women's rights_sentence_211

Culture and art at the time depicted these witches as seductive and evil, further fuelling moral panic in fusion with rhetoric from the Church. Women's rights_sentence_212

The origin of the female "witch" myth traces back to Roman mythical night creatures known as Strix, who were thought to appear and disappear mysteriously in the night. Women's rights_sentence_213

They were also believed by many to be of transformed women by their own supernatural powers. Women's rights_sentence_214

This Roman myth itself is believed to originate from the Jewish Sabbath which described non-supernatural women who would suspiciously leave and return home swiftly during the night. Women's rights_sentence_215

Authors of the Malleus Maleficarum strongly established the link between witchcraft and women by proclaiming greater likelihood for women to be addicted to "evil". Women's rights_sentence_216

The authors and inquisitors Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprengerh justified these beliefs by claiming women had greater credulity, impressionability, feeble minds, feeble bodies, impulsivity and carnal natures which were flaws susceptible to "evil" behavior and witchcraft. Women's rights_sentence_217

These sort of beliefs at the time could send female hermits or beggars to trials just for offering remedies or herbal medicine. Women's rights_sentence_218

These set of developed myths eventually lead to the 16–17th century witch trials which found thousands of women burned at stake. Women's rights_sentence_219

By 1500, Europe was divided into two types of secular law. Women's rights_sentence_220

One was customary law which was predominant in northern France, England and Scandinavia, and the other was Roman based written laws which was predominant in southern France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Women's rights_sentence_221

Customary laws favoured men more than women. Women's rights_sentence_222

For example, inheritance among the elites in Italy, England, Scandinavia and France was passed on to the eldest male heir. Women's rights_sentence_223

In all of the regions, the laws also gave men substantial powers over lives, property and bodies of their wives. Women's rights_sentence_224

However, there were some improvements for women as opposed to ancient custom for example they could inherit in the absence of their brothers, do certain trades without their husbands and widows to receive dower. Women's rights_sentence_225

In areas governed by Roman-based written laws women were under male guardianship in matters involving property and law, fathers overseeing daughters, husbands overseeing wives and uncles or male relatives overseeing widows. Women's rights_sentence_226

Throughout Europe, women's legal status centered around her marital status while marriage itself was the biggest factor in restricting women's autonomy. Women's rights_sentence_227

Custom, statue and practice not only reduced women's rights and freedoms but prevented single or widowed women from holding public office on the justification that they might one day marry. Women's rights_sentence_228

According to English Common Law, which developed from the 12th century onward, all property which a wife held at the time of marriage became a possession of her husband. Women's rights_sentence_229

Eventually English courts forbade a husband's transferring property without the consent of his wife, but he still retained the right to manage it and to receive the money which it produced. Women's rights_sentence_230

French married women suffered from restrictions on their legal capacity which were removed only in 1965. Women's rights_sentence_231

In the 16th century, the Reformation in Europe allowed more women to add their voices, including the English writers Jane Anger, Aemilia Lanyer, and the prophetess Anna Trapnell. Women's rights_sentence_232

English and American Quakers believed that men and women were equal. Women's rights_sentence_233

Many Quaker women were preachers. Women's rights_sentence_234

Despite relatively greater freedom for Anglo-Saxon women, until the mid-19th century, writers largely assumed that a patriarchal order was a natural order that had always existed. Women's rights_sentence_235

This perception was not seriously challenged until the 18th century when Jesuit missionaries found matrilineality in native North American peoples. Women's rights_sentence_236

The philosopher John Locke opposed marital inequality and the mistreatment of women during this time. Women's rights_sentence_237

He was well known for advocating for marital equality among the sexes in his work during the 17th century. Women's rights_sentence_238

According to a study published in the American Journal of Social Issues & Humanities, the condition for women during Locke's time were as quote: Women's rights_sentence_239

Women's rights_unordered_list_0

  • English women had fewer grounds for divorce than men until 1923Women's rights_item_0_0
  • Husbands controlled most of their wives' personal property until the Married Women's Property Act 1870 and Married Women's Property Act 1882Women's rights_item_0_1
  • Children were the husband's propertyWomen's rights_item_0_2
  • Rape was legally impossible within a marriageWomen's rights_item_0_3
  • Wives lacked crucial features of legal personhood, since the husband was taken as the representative of the family (thereby eliminating the need for women's suffrage). These legal features of marriage suggest that the idea of a marriage between equals appeared unlikely to most Victorians. (Quoted from Gender and Good Governance in John Locke, American Journal of Social Issues & Humanities Vol 2)Women's rights_item_0_4

Other philosophers have also made the statements regarding women's rights during this time. Women's rights_sentence_240

For example, Thomas Paine wrote in An Occasional Letter on the Female Sex 1775 where he states (as quote) : Women's rights_sentence_241

"If we take a survey of ages and of countries, we shall find the women, almost without exception... adored and oppressed... they are ... robbed of freedom of will by the laws...Yet such, I am sorry to say, is the lot of women over the whole earth. Women's rights_sentence_242

Man with regard to them, has been either an insensible husband or an oppressor." Women's rights_sentence_243

A paternal society can find prefer to make women's rights a man's duty, for instance under English common law husbands had to maintain their wives. Women's rights_sentence_244

This duty was abolished in 2010. Women's rights_sentence_245

18th and 19th century Europe Women's rights_section_18

Starting in the late 18th century, and throughout the 19th century, rights, as a concept and claim, gained increasing political, social, and philosophical importance in Europe. Women's rights_sentence_246

Movements emerged which demanded freedom of religion, the abolition of slavery, rights for women, rights for those who did not own property, and universal suffrage. Women's rights_sentence_247

In the late 18th century the question of women's rights became central to political debates in both France and Britain. Women's rights_sentence_248

At the time some of the greatest thinkers of the Enlightenment, who defended democratic principles of equality and challenged notions that a privileged few should rule over the vast majority of the population, believed that these principles should be applied only to their own gender and their own race. Women's rights_sentence_249

The philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, for example, thought that it was the order of nature for woman to obey men. Women's rights_sentence_250

He wrote "Women do wrong to complain of the inequality of man-made laws" and claimed that "when she tries to usurp our rights, she is our inferior". Women's rights_sentence_251

in 1754, Dorothea Erxleben became the first German woman receiving a M.D. Women's rights_sentence_252

(University of Halle) Women's rights_sentence_253

In 1791 the French playwright and political activist Olympe de Gouges published the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen, modelled on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789. Women's rights_sentence_254

The Declaration is ironic in formulation and exposes the failure of the French Revolution, which had been devoted to equality. Women's rights_sentence_255

It states that: "This revolution will only take effect when all women become fully aware of their deplorable condition, and of the rights they have lost in society". Women's rights_sentence_256

The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen follows the seventeen articles of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen point for point and has been described by Camille Naish as "almost a parody...of the original document". Women's rights_sentence_257

The first article of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen proclaims that "Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Women's rights_sentence_258

Social distinctions may be based only on common utility." Women's rights_sentence_259

The first article of Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen replied: "Woman is born free and remains equal to man in rights. Women's rights_sentence_260

Social distinctions may only be based on common utility". Women's rights_sentence_261

De Gouges expands the sixth article of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which declared the rights of citizens to take part in the formation of law, to: Women's rights_sentence_262

De Gouges also draws attention to the fact that under French law women were fully punishable, yet denied equal rights. Women's rights_sentence_263

Mary Wollstonecraft, a British writer and philosopher, published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792, arguing that it was the education and upbringing of women that created limited expectations. Women's rights_sentence_264

Wollstonecraft attacked gender oppression, pressing for equal educational opportunities, and demanded "justice!" Women's rights_sentence_265

and "rights to humanity" for all. Women's rights_sentence_266

Wollstonecraft, along with her British contemporaries Damaris Cudworth and Catharine Macaulay started to use the language of rights in relation to women, arguing that women should have greater opportunity because like men, they were moral and rational beings. Women's rights_sentence_267

In his 1869 essay "The Subjection of Women" the English philosopher and political theorist John Stuart Mill described the situation for women in Britain as follows: Women's rights_sentence_268

Then a member of parliament, Mill argued that women deserve the right to vote, though his proposal to replace the term "man" with "person" in the second Reform Bill of 1867 was greeted with laughter in the House of Commons and defeated by 76 to 196 votes. Women's rights_sentence_269

His arguments won little support amongst contemporaries but his attempt to amend the reform bill generated greater attention for the issue of women's suffrage in Britain. Women's rights_sentence_270

Initially only one of several women's rights campaigns, suffrage became the primary cause of the British women's movement at the beginning of the 20th century. Women's rights_sentence_271

At the time, the ability to vote was restricted to wealthy property owners within British jurisdictions. Women's rights_sentence_272

This arrangement implicitly excluded women as property law and marriage law gave men ownership rights at marriage or inheritance until the 19th century. Women's rights_sentence_273

Although male suffrage broadened during the century, women were explicitly prohibited from voting nationally and locally in the 1830s by the Reform Act 1832 and the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. Women's rights_sentence_274

Millicent Fawcett and Emmeline Pankhurst led the public campaign on women's suffrage and in 1918 a bill was passed allowing women over the age of 30 to vote. Women's rights_sentence_275

By the 1860s, the economic sexual politics of middle-class women in Britain and its neighboring Western European countries was guided by factors such as the evolution of 19th century consumer culture, including the emergence of the department store, and Separate spheres. Women's rights_sentence_276

In Come Buy, Come Buy: Shopping and the Culture of Consumption in Victorian Women's Writing, Krista Lysack's literary analysis of 19th century contemporary literature claims through her resources' reflection of common contemporary norms, "Victorian femininity as characterized by self-renunciation and the regulation of appetite." Women's rights_sentence_277

And while women, particularly those in the middle class, obtained modest control of daily household expenses and had the ability to leave the house, attend social events, and shop for personal and household items in the various department stores developing in late 19th century Europe, Europe's socioeconomic climate pervaded the ideology that women were not in complete control over their urges to spend (assuming) their husband or father's wages. Women's rights_sentence_278

As a result, many advertisements for socially 'feminine' goods revolved around upward social progression, exoticisms from the Orient, and added efficiency for household roles women were deemed responsible for, such as cleaning, childcare, and cooking. Women's rights_sentence_279

Russia Women's rights_section_19

By law and custom, Muscovite Russia was a patriarchal society that subordinated women to men, and the young to their elders. Women's rights_sentence_280

Peter the Great relaxed the second custom, but not the subordination of women. Women's rights_sentence_281

A decree of 1722 explicitly forbade any forced marriages by requiring both bride and groom to consent, while parental permission still remained a requirement. Women's rights_sentence_282

But during Peter's reign, only the man could get rid of his wife by putting her in a nunnery. Women's rights_sentence_283

In terms of laws, there were double standards to women. Women's rights_sentence_284

Adulterous wives were sentenced to forced labor, while men who murdered their wives were merely flogged. Women's rights_sentence_285

After the death Peter the Great, laws and customs pertaining to men's marital authority over their wives increased. Women's rights_sentence_286

In 1782, civil law reinforced women's responsibility to obey her husband. Women's rights_sentence_287

By 1832, the Digest of laws changed this obligation into "unlimited obedience". Women's rights_sentence_288

In the 18th century, Russian orthodox church further got its authority over marriage and banned priests from granting divorce, even for severely abused wives. Women's rights_sentence_289

By 1818, Russian senate had also forbade separation of married couples. Women's rights_sentence_290

During World War I, caring for children was increasingly difficult for women, many of whom could not support themselves, and whose husbands had died or were fighting in the war. Women's rights_sentence_291

Many women had to give up their children to children's homes infamous for abuse and neglect. Women's rights_sentence_292

These children's homes were unofficially dubbed as "angel factories". Women's rights_sentence_293

After the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks shut down an infamous angel factory known as the 'Nikolaev Institute' situated near the Moika Canal. Women's rights_sentence_294

The Bolsheviks then replaced the Nikolaev Institute with a modern maternity home called the 'Palace for Mothers and Babies'. Women's rights_sentence_295

This maternity home was used by the Bolsheviks as a model for future maternity hospitals. Women's rights_sentence_296

The countess who ran the old Institute was moved to a side wing, however she spread rumours that the Bolsheviks had removed sacred pictures, and that the nurses were promiscuous with sailors. Women's rights_sentence_297

The maternity hospital was burnt down hours before it was scheduled to open, and the countess was suspected of being responsible. Women's rights_sentence_298

Russian women had restrictions in owning property until the mid 18th century. Women's rights_sentence_299

Women's rights had improved after the rise of the Soviet Union under the Bolsheviks. Women's rights_sentence_300

Under the Bolsheviks, Russia became the first country in human history to provide free abortions to women in state run hospitals. Women's rights_sentence_301

North America Women's rights_section_20

Canada Women's rights_section_21

Women's rights activism in Canada during the 19th and early 20th centuries focused on increasing women's role in public life, with goals including women's suffrage, increased property rights, increased access to education, and recognition of women as "persons" under the law. Women's rights_sentence_302

The Famous Five were five Canadian women – Emily Murphy, Irene Marryat Parlby, Nellie Mooney McClung, Louise Crummy McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards – who, in 1927, asked the Supreme Court of Canada to answer the question, "Does the word 'Persons' in Section 24 of the British North America Act, 1867, include female persons?" Women's rights_sentence_303

in the case Edwards v. Canada (Attorney General). Women's rights_sentence_304

After Canada's Supreme Court summarized its unanimous decision that women are not such "persons", the judgment was appealed and overturned in 1929 by the British Judicial Committee of the Imperial Privy Council, at that time the court of last resort for Canada within the British Empire and Commonwealth. Women's rights_sentence_305

United States Women's rights_section_22

Further information: Timeline of women's legal rights in the United States (other than voting) Women's rights_sentence_306

The Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was established in 1873 and championed women's rights, including advocating for prostitutes and for women's suffrage. Women's rights_sentence_307

Under the leadership of Frances Willard, "the WCTU became the largest women's organization of its day and is now the oldest continuing women's organization in the United States." Women's rights_sentence_308

Asia Women's rights_section_23

East Asia Women's rights_section_24
Japan Women's rights_section_25

Main article: Women in Japan Women's rights_sentence_309

The extent to which women could participate in Japanese society has varied over time and social classes. Women's rights_sentence_310

In the 8th century, Japan had women emperors, and in the 12th century (Heian period) women in Japan occupied a relatively high status, although still subordinated to men. Women's rights_sentence_311

From the late Edo period, the status of women declined. Women's rights_sentence_312

In the 17th century, the "Onna Daigaku", or "Learning for Women", by Confucianist author Kaibara Ekken, spelled out expectations for Japanese women, lowering significantly their status. Women's rights_sentence_313

During the Meiji period, industrialization and urbanization reduced the authority of fathers and husbands, but at the same time the Meiji Civil Code of 1898 denied women legal rights and subjugated them to the will of household heads. Women's rights_sentence_314

From the mid 20th century the status of women improved greatly. Women's rights_sentence_315

Although Japan is often considered a very conservative country, it was in fact earlier than many European countries on giving women legal rights in the 20th century, as the 1947 Constitution of Japan provided a legal framework favorable to the advancement of women's equality in Japan. Women's rights_sentence_316

Japan for instance enacted women's suffrage in 1946, earlier than several European countries such as Switzerland (1971 at federal level; 1990 on local issues in the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden), Portugal (1976 on equal terms with men, with restrictions since 1931), San Marino in 1959, Monaco in 1962, Andorra in 1970, and Liechtenstein in 1984. Women's rights_sentence_317

Central Asia Women's rights_section_26

Central Asian cultures largely remain patriarchal, however, since the fall of the former Soviet Union, the secular societies of the region have become more progressive to women's roles outside the traditional construct of being wholly subservient to men. Women's rights_sentence_318

In Mongolia, more women than men complete school and are higher earners as result. Women's rights_sentence_319

The UN Development Programme notes "significant progress" in gender equality in Kazakhstan but discrimination persists. Women's rights_sentence_320

Marriage by abduction remains a serious problem in this region; the practice of bride kidnapping is prevalent in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan. Women's rights_sentence_321

Oceania Women's rights_section_27

Australia Women's rights_section_28

The history of women's rights in Australia is a contradictory one: while Australia led the world in women's suffrage rights in the 19th century, it has been very slow in recognizing women's professional rights – it was not until 1966 that its marriage bar was removed. Women's rights_sentence_322

On the other hand, reforms which allowed women both to vote and stand for office in South Australia in the late 19th century were a cornerstone for women's political rights in other parts of the world. Women's rights_sentence_323

In this regard, Australia differs from other cultures, in that women's suffrage in Australia was one of the earliest objectives of the feminist movement there (beginning with South Australia and Western Australia) unlike other cultures, such as Eastern European cultures, where at the turn of the 20th century the feminist movement focused on labour rights, access to professions and education, rather than political rights. Women's rights_sentence_324

To this day, Australia has a quite low percentage of women in business executive roles compared to other countries with equivalent corporate structures. Women's rights_sentence_325

Core concepts Women's rights_section_29

Natural rights Women's rights_section_30

17th century natural law philosophers in Britain and America, such as Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Locke, developed the theory of natural rights in reference to ancient philosophers such as Aristotle and the Christian theologist Aquinas. Women's rights_sentence_326

Like the ancient philosophers, 17th century natural law philosophers defended slavery and an inferior status of women in law. Women's rights_sentence_327

Relying on ancient Greek philosophers, natural law philosophers argued that natural rights were not derived from god, but were "universal, self-evident, and intuitive", a law that could be found in nature. Women's rights_sentence_328

They believed that natural rights were self-evident to "civilised man" who lives "in the highest form of society". Women's rights_sentence_329

Natural rights derived from human nature, a concept first established by the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno of Citium in Concerning Human Nature. Women's rights_sentence_330

Zeno argued that each rational and civilized male Greek citizen had a "divine spark" or "soul" within him that existed independent of the body. Women's rights_sentence_331

Zeno founded the Stoic philosophy and the idea of a human nature was adopted by other Greek philosophers, and later natural law philosophers and western humanists. Women's rights_sentence_332

Aristotle developed the widely adopted idea of rationality, arguing that man was a "rational animal" and as such a natural power of reason. Women's rights_sentence_333

Concepts of human nature in ancient Greece depended on gender, ethnicity, and other qualifications and 17th century natural law philosophers came to regard women along with children, slaves and non-whites, as neither "rational" nor "civilised". Women's rights_sentence_334

Natural law philosophers claimed the inferior status of women was "common sense" and a matter of "nature". Women's rights_sentence_335

They believed that women could not be treated as equal due to their "inner nature". Women's rights_sentence_336

The views of 17th century natural law philosophers were opposed in the 18th and 19th century by evangelical natural theology philosophers such as William Wilberforce and Charles Spurgeon, who argued for the abolition of slavery and advocated for women to have rights equal to that of men. Women's rights_sentence_337

Modern natural law theorists, and advocates of natural rights, claim that all people have a human nature, regardless of gender, ethnicity or other qualifications, therefore all people have natural rights. Women's rights_sentence_338

Equal employment Women's rights_section_31

Further information: Employment discrimination law in the European Union Women's rights_sentence_339

Employment rights for women include non-discriminatory access of women to jobs and equal pay. Women's rights_sentence_340

The rights of women and men to have equal pay and equal benefits for equal work were openly denied by the British Hong Kong Government up to the early 1970s. Women's rights_sentence_341

Leslie Wah-Leung Chung (鍾華亮, 1917–2009), President of the Hong Kong Chinese Civil Servants' Association 香港政府華員會 (1965–68), contributed to the establishment of equal pay for men and women, including the right for married women to be permanent employees. Women's rights_sentence_342

Before this, the job status of a woman changed from permanent employee to temporary employee once she was married, thus losing the pension benefit. Women's rights_sentence_343

Some of them even lost their jobs. Women's rights_sentence_344

Since nurses were mostly women, this improvement of the rights of married women meant much to the nursing profession. Women's rights_sentence_345

In some European countries, married women could not work without the consent of their husbands until a few decades ago, for example in France until 1965 and in Spain until 1975. Women's rights_sentence_346

In addition, marriage bars, a practice adopted from the late 19th century to the 1970s across many countries, including Austria, Australia, Ireland, Canada, and Switzerland, restricted married women from employment in many professions. Women's rights_sentence_347

A key issue towards insuring gender equality in the workplace is the respecting of maternity rights and reproductive rights of women. Women's rights_sentence_348

Maternity leave (and paternity leave in some countries) and parental leave are temporary periods of absence from employment granted immediately before and after childbirth in order to support the mother's full recovery and grant time to care for the baby. Women's rights_sentence_349

Different countries have different rules regarding maternity leave, paternity leave and parental leave. Women's rights_sentence_350

In the European Union (EU) the policies vary significantly by country, but the EU members must abide by the minimum standards of the Pregnant Workers Directive and Parental Leave Directive. Women's rights_sentence_351

Right to vote Women's rights_section_32

Main article: Women's suffrage Women's rights_sentence_352

During the 19th century some women began to ask for, demand, and then agitate and demonstrate for the right to vote – the right to participate in their government and its law making. Women's rights_sentence_353

Other women opposed suffrage, like Helen Kendrick Johnson, who argued in the 1897 pamphlet Woman and the Republic that women could achieve legal and economic equality without having the vote. Women's rights_sentence_354

The ideals of women's suffrage developed alongside that of universal suffrage and today women's suffrage is considered a right (under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). Women's rights_sentence_355

During the 19th century the right to vote was gradually extended in many countries, and women started to campaign for their right to vote. Women's rights_sentence_356

In 1893 New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote on a national level. Women's rights_sentence_357

Australia gave women the right to vote in 1902. Women's rights_sentence_358

A number of Nordic countries gave women the right to vote in the early 20th century – Finland (1906), Norway (1913), Denmark and Iceland (1915). Women's rights_sentence_359

With the end of the First World War many other countries followed – the Netherlands (1917), Austria, Azerbaijan, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Georgia, Poland and Sweden (1918), Germany and Luxembourg (1919), Turkey (1934), and the United States (1920). Women's rights_sentence_360

Late adopters in Europe were Greece in 1952, Switzerland (1971 at federal level; 1959–1991 on local issues at canton level), Portugal (1976 on equal terms with men, with restrictions since 1931) as well as the microstates of San Marino in 1959, Monaco in 1962, Andorra in 1970, and Liechtenstein in 1984. Women's rights_sentence_361

In Canada, most provinces enacted women's suffrage between 1917–1919, late adopters being Prince Edward Island in 1922, Newfoundland in 1925 and Quebec in 1940. Women's rights_sentence_362

In Latin America some countries gave women the right to vote in the first half of the 20th century – Ecuador (1929), Brazil (1932), El Salvador (1939), Dominican Republic (1942), Guatemala (1956) and Argentina (1946). Women's rights_sentence_363

In India, under colonial rule, universal suffrage was granted in 1935. Women's rights_sentence_364

Other Asian countries gave women the right to vote in the mid 20th century – Japan (1945), China (1947) and Indonesia (1955). Women's rights_sentence_365

In Africa, women generally got the right to vote along with men through universal suffrage – Liberia (1947), Uganda (1958) and Nigeria (1960). Women's rights_sentence_366

In many countries in the Middle East universal suffrage was acquired after World War II, although in others, such as Kuwait, suffrage is very limited. Women's rights_sentence_367

On 16 May 2005, the Parliament of Kuwait extended suffrage to women by a 35–23 vote. Women's rights_sentence_368

Property rights Women's rights_section_33

During the 19th century some women, such as Ernestine Rose, Paulina Wright Davis, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Beecher Stowe, in the United States and Britain began to challenge laws that denied them the right to their property once they married. Women's rights_sentence_369

Under the common law doctrine of coverture husbands gained control of their wives' real estate and wages. Women's rights_sentence_370

Beginning in the 1840s, state legislatures in the United States and the British Parliament began passing statutes that protected women's property from their husbands and their husbands' creditors. Women's rights_sentence_371

These laws were known as the Married Women's Property Acts. Women's rights_sentence_372

Courts in the 19th-century United States also continued to require privy examinations of married women who sold their property. Women's rights_sentence_373

A privy examination was a practice in which a married woman who wished to sell her property had to be separately examined by a judge or justice of the peace outside of the presence of her husband and asked if her husband was pressuring her into signing the document. Women's rights_sentence_374

Property rights for women continued to be restricted in many European countries until legal reforms of the 1960-70s. Women's rights_sentence_375

For example, in West Germany, the law pertaining to rural farm succession favored male heirs until 1963. Women's rights_sentence_376

In the US, Head and master laws, which gave sole control of marital property to the husband, were common until a few decades ago. Women's rights_sentence_377

The Supreme Court, in Kirchberg v. Feenstra (1981), declared such laws unconstitutional. Women's rights_sentence_378

Freedom of movement Women's rights_section_34

Freedom of movement is an essential right, recognized by international instruments, including Article 15 (4) of CEDAW. Women's rights_sentence_379

Nevertheless, in many regions of the world, women have this right severely restricted, in law or in practice. Women's rights_sentence_380

For instance, in some countries women may not leave the home without a male guardian, or without the consent of the husband – for example the personal law of Yemen states that a wife must obey her husband and must not get out of the home without his consent. Women's rights_sentence_381

Even in countries which do not have legal restrictions, women's movement may be prevented in practice by social and religious norms such as purdah. Women's rights_sentence_382

Laws restricting women from travelling existed until relatively recently in some Western countries: until 1983, in Australia the passport application of a married woman had to be authorized by her husband. Women's rights_sentence_383

Several Middle Eastern countries also follow the male guardianship system in the modern era, where women are required to seek permission from the male family member for several things, including traveling to other nations. Women's rights_sentence_384

In August 2019, Saudi Arabia ended its male guardianship laws, allowing women to travel by themselves. Women's rights_sentence_385

However, reports relieved that women's rights activists, who have campaigned for greater gender equality in the country, remain in detention or on trial. Women's rights_sentence_386

Rights group called for the release of these imprisoned activists. Women's rights_sentence_387

They also argued that reforms do not mend things entirely and that Saudi women will still require permission of a male relative to marry or to leave prison or women's shelters. Women's rights_sentence_388

The sister-duo from Saudi Arabia, Dua and Dalal AlShowaiki, who fled from a family vacation in Istanbul, Turkey to escape suppression faced at home following the male guardianship law, still fear their father and for their lives. Women's rights_sentence_389

Various practices have been used historically to restrict women's freedom of movement, such as foot binding, the custom of applying painfully tight binding to the feet of young Chinese girls, which was common between the 10th and 20th century. Women's rights_sentence_390

Women's freedom of movement may be restricted by laws, but it may also be restricted by attitudes towards women in public spaces. Women's rights_sentence_391

In areas where it is not socially accepted for women to leave the home, women who are outside may face abuse such as insults, sexual harassment and violence. Women's rights_sentence_392

Many of the restrictions on women's freedom of movement are framed as measures to "protect" women. Women's rights_sentence_393

Informing women about their legal rights Women's rights_section_35

The lack of legal knowledge among many women, especially in developing countries, is a major obstacle in the improvement of women's situation. Women's rights_sentence_394

International bodies, such as the United Nations, have stated that the obligation of states does not only consist in passing relevant laws, but also in informing women about the existence of such laws, in order to enable them to seek justice and realize in practice their rights. Women's rights_sentence_395

Therefore, states must popularize the laws, and explain them clearly to the public, in order to prevent ignorance, or misconceptions originating in popular myths, about the laws. Women's rights_sentence_396

The United Nations Development Programme states that, in order to advance gender justice, "Women must know their rights and be able to access legal systems", and the 1993 UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women states at Art. Women's rights_sentence_397

4 (d) [...] "States should also inform women of their rights in seeking redress through such mechanisms". Women's rights_sentence_398

Discrimination Women's rights_section_36

Women's rights movements focus on ending discrimination of women. Women's rights_sentence_399

In this regard, the definition of discrimination itself is important. Women's rights_sentence_400

According to the jurisprudence of the ECHR, the right to freedom from discrimination includes not only the obligation of states to treat in the same way persons who are in analogous situations, but also the obligation to treat in a different way persons who are in different situations. Women's rights_sentence_401

In this regard equity, not just "equality" is important. Women's rights_sentence_402

Therefore, states must sometimes differentiate between women and men – through for example offering maternity leave or other legal protections surrounding pregnancy and childbirth (to take into account the biological realities of reproduction), or through acknowledging a specific historical context. Women's rights_sentence_403

For example, acts of violence committed by men against women do not happen in a vacuum, but are part of a social context: in Opuz v Turkey, the ECHR defined violence against women as a form of discrimination against women; this is also the position of the Istanbul Convention which at Article 3 states that "violence against women" is understood as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women [...]". Women's rights_sentence_404

There are different views on where it is appropriate to differentiate between women and men, and one view is that the act of sexual intercourse is an act where this difference must be acknowledged, both due to the increased physical risks for the woman, and due to the historical context of women being systematically subjected to forced sexual intercourse while in a socially subordinated position (particularly within marriage and during war). Women's rights_sentence_405

States must also differentiate with regard to healthcare by ensuring that women's health – particularly with regard to reproductive health such as pregnancy and childbirth – is not neglected. Women's rights_sentence_406

According to the World Health Organization "Discrimination in health care settings takes many forms and is often manifested when an individual or group is denied access to health care services that are otherwise available to others. Women's rights_sentence_407

It can also occur through denial of services that are only needed by certain groups, such as women." Women's rights_sentence_408

The refusal of states to acknowledge the specific needs of women, such as the necessity of specific policies like the strong investment of states in reducing maternal mortality can be a form of discrimination. Women's rights_sentence_409

In this regard treating women and men similarly does not work because certain biological aspects such as menstruation, pregnancy, labor, childbirth, breastfeeding, as well as certain medical conditions, only affect women. Women's rights_sentence_410

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women stipulates in its General recommendation No. Women's rights_sentence_411

35 on gender based violence against women, updating general recommendation No. Women's rights_sentence_412

19 that states should "Examine gender neutral laws and policies to ensure that they do not create or perpetuate existing inequalities and repeal or modify them if they do so". Women's rights_sentence_413

(paragraph 32). Women's rights_sentence_414

Another example of gender neutral policy which harms women is that where medication tested in medical trials only on men is also used on women assuming that there are no biological differences. Women's rights_sentence_415

Right to health Women's rights_section_37

Health is defined by the World Health Organization as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Women's rights_sentence_416

Women's health refers to the health of women, which differs from that of men in many unique ways. Women's rights_sentence_417

Women's health is severely impaired in some parts of the world, due to factors such as inequality, confinement of women to the home, indifference of medical workers, lack of autonomy of women, lack of financial resources of women. Women's rights_sentence_418

Discrimination against women occurs also through denial of medical services that are only needed by women. Women's rights_sentence_419

Violations of women's right to health may result in maternal death, accounting for more than 300.000 deaths per year, most of them in developing countries. Women's rights_sentence_420

Certain traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation, also affect women's health. Women's rights_sentence_421

Worldwide, young women and adolescent girls are the population most affected by HIV/AIDS. Women's rights_sentence_422

Right to education Women's rights_section_38

Further information: Right to education, Female education, and Gender and education Women's rights_sentence_423

The right to education is a universal entitlement to education. Women's rights_sentence_424

The Convention against Discrimination in Education prohibits discrimination in education, with discrimination being defined as "any distinction, exclusion, limitation or preference which, being based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic condition or birth, has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing equality of treatment in education". Women's rights_sentence_425

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states at Article 3 that "The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the present Covenant", with Article 13 recognizing "the right of everyone to education". Women's rights_sentence_426

While women's right to access to academic education is recognized as very important, it is increasingly recognized that academic education must be supplemented with education on human rights, non-discrimination, ethics and gender equality, in order for social advancement to be possible. Women's rights_sentence_427

This was pointed out by Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the current United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who stressed the importance of human rights education for all children: "What good was it to humanity that Josef Mengele had advanced degrees in medicine and anthropology, given that he was capable of committing the most inhuman crimes? Women's rights_sentence_428

Eight of the 15 people who planned the Holocaust at Wannsee in 1942 held PhDs. Women's rights_sentence_429

They shone academically, and yet they were profoundly toxic to the world. Women's rights_sentence_430

Radovan Karadžić was a trained psychiatrist. Women's rights_sentence_431

Pol Pot studied radio electronics in Paris. Women's rights_sentence_432

Does this matter, when neither of them showed the smallest shred of ethics and understanding?" Women's rights_sentence_433

There has been increased attention given in recent decades to the raising of student awareness to the importance of gender equality. Women's rights_sentence_434

Reproductive rights Women's rights_section_39

Main article: Reproductive rights Women's rights_sentence_435

Legal rights Women's rights_section_40

Reproductive rights are legal rights and freedoms relating to reproduction and reproductive health. Women's rights_sentence_436

Reproductive rights were endorsed by the twenty-year Cairo Programme of Action which was adopted in 1994 at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, and by the Beijing Declaration and Beijing Platform for Action in 1995. Women's rights_sentence_437

In the 1870s feminists advanced the concept of voluntary motherhood as a political critique of involuntary motherhood and expressing a desire for women's emancipation. Women's rights_sentence_438

Advocates for voluntary motherhood disapproved of contraception, arguing that women should only engage in sex for the purpose of procreation and advocated for periodic or permanent abstinence. Women's rights_sentence_439

Reproductive rights represents a broad concept, that may include some or all of the following rights: the right to legal or safe abortion, the right to control one's reproductive functions, the right to access quality reproductive healthcare, and the right to education and access in order to make reproductive choices free from coercion, discrimination, and violence. Women's rights_sentence_440

Reproductive rights may also be understood to include education about contraception and sexually transmitted infections. Women's rights_sentence_441

Reproductive rights are often defined to include freedom from female genital mutilation (FGM), and forced abortion and forced sterilization. Women's rights_sentence_442

The Istanbul Convention recognizes these two rights at Article 38 – Female genital mutilation and Article 39 – Forced abortion and forced sterilisation. Women's rights_sentence_443

Reproductive rights are understood as rights of both men and women, but are most frequently advanced as women's rights. Women's rights_sentence_444

In the 1960s, reproductive rights activists promoted women's right to bodily autonomy, with these social movements leading to the gain of legal access to contraception and abortion during the next decades in many countries. Women's rights_sentence_445

Birth control Women's rights_section_41

In the early 20th century birth control was advanced as alternative to the then fashionable terms family limitation and voluntary motherhood. Women's rights_sentence_446

The phrase "birth control" entered the English language in 1914 and was popularised by Margaret Sanger, who was mainly active in the US but had gained an international reputation by the 1930s. Women's rights_sentence_447

The British birth control campaigner Marie Stopes made contraception acceptable in Britain during the 1920s by framing it in scientific terms. Women's rights_sentence_448

Stopes assisted emerging birth control movements in a number of British colonies. Women's rights_sentence_449

The birth control movement advocated for contraception so as to permit sexual intercourse as desired without the risk of pregnancy. Women's rights_sentence_450

By emphasizing control, the birth control movement argued that women should have control over their reproduction, an idea that aligned closely to the theme of the feminist movement. Women's rights_sentence_451

Slogans such as "control over our own bodies" criticised male domination and demanded women's liberation, a connotation that is absent from the family planning, population control and eugenics movements. Women's rights_sentence_452

In the 1960s and 1970s the birth control movement advocated for the legalisation of abortion and large-scale education campaigns about contraception by governments. Women's rights_sentence_453

In the 1980s birth control and population control organisations co-operated in demanding rights to contraception and abortion, with an increasing emphasis on "choice". Women's rights_sentence_454

Birth control has become a major theme in United States politics. Women's rights_sentence_455

Reproductive issues are cited as examples of women's powerlessness to exercise their rights. Women's rights_sentence_456

The societal acceptance of birth control required the separation of sex from procreation, making birth control a highly controversial subject in the 20th century. Women's rights_sentence_457

Birth control in the United States has become an arena for conflict between liberal and conservative values, raising questions about family, personal freedom, state intervention, religion in politics, sexual morality and social welfare. Women's rights_sentence_458

Reproductive rights, that is rights relating to sexual reproduction and reproductive health, were first discussed as a subset of human rights at the United Nation's 1968 International Conference on Human Rights. Women's rights_sentence_459

Abortion Women's rights_section_42

Women's reproductive rights may be understood as including the right to easy access to a safe and legal abortion. Women's rights_sentence_460

Abortion laws vary from a full prohibition (the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Malta, Nicaragua, the Vatican) to countries such as Canada, where there are no legal restrictions. Women's rights_sentence_461

In many countries where abortion is permitted by law, women may only have limited access to safe abortion services. Women's rights_sentence_462

In some countries abortion is permitted only to save the pregnant woman's life, or if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. Women's rights_sentence_463

There are also countries where the law is liberal, but in practice it is very difficult to have an abortion, due to most doctors being conscientious objectors. Women's rights_sentence_464

The fact that in some countries where abortion is legal it is de facto very difficult to have access to one is controversial; the UN in its 2017 resolution on Intensification of efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls: domestic violence urged states to guarantee access to "safe abortion where such services are permitted by national law". Women's rights_sentence_465

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women considers the criminalization of abortion a "violations of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights" and a form of "gender based violence"; paragraph 18 of its General recommendation No. Women's rights_sentence_466

35 on gender based violence against women, updating general recommendation No. Women's rights_sentence_467

19 states that: "Violations of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, such as forced sterilizations, forced abortion, forced pregnancy, criminalisation of abortion, denial or delay of safe abortion and post abortion care, forced continuation of pregnancy, abuse and mistreatment of women and girls seeking sexual and reproductive health information, goods and services, are forms of gender based violence that, depending on the circumstances, may amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment." Women's rights_sentence_468

The same General Recommendation also urges countries at paragraph 31 to [...] In particular, repeal: a) Provisions that allow, tolerate or condone forms of gender based violence against women, including [...] legislation that criminalises abortion". Women's rights_sentence_469

According to Human Rights Watch, "Abortion is a highly emotional subject and one that excites deeply held opinions. Women's rights_sentence_470

However, equitable access to safe abortion services is first and foremost a human right. Women's rights_sentence_471

Where abortion is safe and legal, no one is forced to have one. Women's rights_sentence_472

Where abortion is illegal and unsafe, women are forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term or suffer serious health consequences and even death. Women's rights_sentence_473

Approximately 13% of maternal deaths worldwide are attributable to unsafe abortion—between 68,000 and 78,000 deaths annually." Women's rights_sentence_474

According to Human Rights Watch, "the denial of a pregnant woman's right to make an independent decision regarding abortion violates or poses a threat to a wide range of human rights." Women's rights_sentence_475

One can argue that even though women die from unsafe abortion, the legalization of abortion is considered a human right violation since it supports a cause that deprives the unborn of their humanity, which must be respected, and therefore another solution is needed in order to avoid maternal deaths (e.g., psychological and physiological support during and after pregnancy) whilst also avoiding abortion. Women's rights_sentence_476

According to World Health Organization, 56 million abortions on average occurred worldwide each year in 2010–2014. Women's rights_sentence_477

African American women are 5 times likely to have an abortion rather than a white woman. Women's rights_sentence_478

The Catholic Church and many other Christian faiths, particularly those considered the Christian right, and most Orthodox Jews regard abortion not as a right, but as a moral evil and a Mortal sin. Women's rights_sentence_479

Russia was the first country to legalise abortions and offer free medical care in state hospitals to do so. Women's rights_sentence_480

After the October Revolution, the Women's wing of the Bolshevik Party (the Zhenotdel) persuaded the Bolsheviks to legalise abortion (as a 'temporary measure'). Women's rights_sentence_481

The Bolsheviks legalised abortion in November 1920. Women's rights_sentence_482

This was the first time in world history that women had won the right to free abortions in state hospitals. Women's rights_sentence_483

Abuse during childbirth Women's rights_section_43

Main article: Abuse during childbirth Women's rights_sentence_484

The abuse of women during childbirth is a recently identified global problem and a basic violation of a woman's rights. Women's rights_sentence_485

Abuse during childbirth is the neglect, physical abuse and lack of respect during childbirth. Women's rights_sentence_486

This treatment is regarded as a violation of the woman's rights. Women's rights_sentence_487

It also has the effect of preventing women from seeking pre-natal care and using other health care services. Women's rights_sentence_488

Child marriage Women's rights_section_44

Main article: Child marriage Women's rights_sentence_489

Child marriage is a practice which is widespread across the world, and is often connected to poverty and gender inequality. Women's rights_sentence_490

Child marriage endangers the reproductive health of young girls, leading to an increased risk of complications in pregnancy or childbirth. Women's rights_sentence_491

Such complications are a leading cause of death among girls in developing countries. Women's rights_sentence_492

Forced pregnancy Women's rights_section_45

Main article: Forced pregnancy Women's rights_sentence_493

Forced pregnancy is the practice of forcing a woman or girl to become pregnant, often as part of a forced marriage, including by means of bride kidnapping, through rape (including marital rape, war rape and genocidal rape) or as part of a program of breeding slaves (see Slave breeding in the United States). Women's rights_sentence_494

It is a form of reproductive coercion, was common historically, and still occurs in parts of the world. Women's rights_sentence_495

In the 20th century, state mandated forced marriage with the aim of increasing the population was practiced by some authoritarian governments, notably during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, which systematically forced people into marriages ordering them to have children, in order to increase the population and continue the revolution. Women's rights_sentence_496

Forced pregnancy is strongly connected to the custom of bride price. Women's rights_sentence_497

Freedom from violence Women's rights_section_46

Violence against women is, collectively, violent acts that are primarily or exclusively committed against women. Women's rights_sentence_498

The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women states, "violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women" and "violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men." Women's rights_sentence_499

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, provides the following definition of violence against women: "violence against women" is understood as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women and shall mean all acts of gender-based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life". Women's rights_sentence_500

Violence against women may be perpetrated by individuals, by groups, or by the State. Women's rights_sentence_501

It may occur in private or in public. Women's rights_sentence_502

Violence against women may be sexual violence, physical violence, psychological violence, socioeconomic violence. Women's rights_sentence_503

Some forms of violence against women have long cultural traditions: honor killings, dowry violence, female genital mutilation. Women's rights_sentence_504

Violence against women is considered by the World Health Organization "a major public health problem and a violation of women's human rights." Women's rights_sentence_505

Family law Women's rights_section_47

Under male dominated family law, women had few, if any, rights, being under the control of the husband or male relatives. Women's rights_sentence_506

Legal concepts that existed throughout the centuries, such as coverture, marital power, Head and Master laws, kept women under the strict control of their husbands. Women's rights_sentence_507

Restrictions from marriage laws also extended to public life, such as marriage bars. Women's rights_sentence_508

Practices such as dowry or bride price were, and still are to this day in some parts of the world, very common. Women's rights_sentence_509

Some countries continue to require to this day a male guardian for women, without whom women cannot exercise civil rights. Women's rights_sentence_510

Other harmful practices include marriage of young girls, often to much older men. Women's rights_sentence_511

Modern movements Women's rights_section_48

Women's rights_table_infobox_0

External videoWomen's rights_header_cell_0_0_0

In the subsequent decades women's rights again became an important issue in the English speaking world. Women's rights_sentence_512

By the 1960s the movement was called "feminism" or "women's liberation." Women's rights_sentence_513

Reformers wanted the same pay as men, equal rights in law, and the freedom to plan their families or not have children at all. Women's rights_sentence_514

Their efforts were met with mixed results. Women's rights_sentence_515

The International Council of Women (ICW) was the first women's organization to work across national boundaries for the common cause of advocating human rights for women. Women's rights_sentence_516

In March and April 1888, women leaders came together in Washington D.C. with 80 speakers and 49 delegates representing 53 women's organizations from 9 countries: Canada, the United States, Ireland, India, England, Finland, Denmark, France and Norway. Women's rights_sentence_517

Women from professional organizations, trade unions, arts groups and benevolent societies participate. Women's rights_sentence_518

National Councils are affiliated to the ICW and thus make themselves heard at international level. Women's rights_sentence_519

In 1904, the ICW met in Berlin, Germany. Women's rights_sentence_520

The ICW worked with the League of Nations during the 1920s and the United Nations post-World War II. Women's rights_sentence_521

Today the ICW holds Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the highest accreditation an NGO can achieve at the United Nations. Women's rights_sentence_522

Currently, it is composed of 70 countries and has a headquarters in Lasaunne, Switzerland. Women's rights_sentence_523

International meetings are held every three years. Women's rights_sentence_524

In the UK, a public groundswell of opinion in favour of legal equality had gained pace, partly through the extensive employment of women in what were traditional male roles during both world wars. Women's rights_sentence_525

By the 1960s the legislative process was being readied, tracing through MP Willie Hamilton's select committee report, his equal pay for equal work bill, the creation of a Sex Discrimination Board, Lady Sear's draft sex anti-discrimination bill, a government Green Paper of 1973, until 1975 when the first British Sex Discrimination Act, an Equal Pay Act, and an Equal Opportunities Commission came into force. Women's rights_sentence_526

With encouragement from the UK government, the other countries of the EEC soon followed suit with an agreement to ensure that discrimination laws would be phased out across the European Community. Women's rights_sentence_527

In the US, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was created in 1966 with the purpose of bringing about equality for all women. Women's rights_sentence_528

NOW was one important group that fought for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Women's rights_sentence_529

This amendment stated that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex." Women's rights_sentence_530

But there was disagreement on how the proposed amendment would be understood. Women's rights_sentence_531

Supporters believed it would guarantee women equal treatment. Women's rights_sentence_532

But critics feared it might deny women the right be financially supported by their husbands. Women's rights_sentence_533

The amendment died in 1982 because not enough states had ratified it. Women's rights_sentence_534

ERAs have been included in subsequent Congresses, but have still failed to be ratified. Women's rights_sentence_535

Women for Women International (WfWI) is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that provides practical and moral support to women survivors of war. Women's rights_sentence_536

WfWI helps such women rebuild their lives after war's devastation through a year-long tiered program that begins with direct financial aid and emotional counseling and includes life skills (e.g., literacy, numeracy) training if necessary, rights awareness education, health education, job skills training and small business development. Women's rights_sentence_537

The organization was co-founded in 1993 by Zainab Salbi, an Iraqi American who is herself a survivor of the Iran–Iraq War and Salbi's then-husband Amjad Atallah. Women's rights_sentence_538

Since June 2012, WfWI has been led by Afshan Khan, a long-time former executive with UNICEF who became WfWI's first new CEO since founder Zainab Salbi stepped down to devote more time to her writing and lecturing. Women's rights_sentence_539

The National Council of Women of Canada (Conseil national des femmes du Canada), is a Canadian advocacy organization based in Ottawa aimed at improving conditions for women, families, and communities. Women's rights_sentence_540

A federation of nationally organized societies of men and women and local and provincial councils of women, it is the Canadian member of the International Council of Women (ICW). Women's rights_sentence_541

The council has concerned itself in areas including women's suffrage, immigration, health care, education, mass media, the environment, and many others. Women's rights_sentence_542

Formed on 27 October 1857 in Toronto, Ontario, it is one of the oldest advocacy organizations in the country. Women's rights_sentence_543

The Association for the Protection and Defense of Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia is a Saudi Non-governmental organization founded to provide activism for women's rights. Women's rights_sentence_544

It was founded by Wajeha al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Uyyouni, and grew out of a 2007 movement to gain women the right to drive. Women's rights_sentence_545

The association is not officially licensed by the government of Saudi Arabia, and has been warned not to mount demonstrations. Women's rights_sentence_546

In a 2007 interview, al-Huwaider described the goals: "The association will consist of a number of leagues, with each league pursuing a different issue or right... representation for women in shari'a courts; setting a [minimum] age for girls' marriages; allowing women to take care of their own affairs in government agencies and allowing them to enter government buildings; protecting women from domestic violence, such as physical or verbal violence, or keeping her from studies, work, or marriage, or forcing her to divorce..." Women's rights_sentence_547

In Ukraine, FEMEN was founded in 2008. Women's rights_sentence_548

The organisation is internationally known for its topless protests against sex tourists, international marriage agencies, sexism and other social, national and international social illnesses. Women's rights_sentence_549

FEMEN has sympathisers groups in many European countries through social media. Women's rights_sentence_550

United Nations and World Conferences Women's rights_section_49

In 1946 the United Nations established a Commission on the Status of Women. Women's rights_sentence_551

Originally as the Section on the Status of Women, Human Rights Division, Department of Social Affairs, and now part of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Women's rights_sentence_552

Since 1975 the UN has held a series of world conferences on women's issues, starting with the World Conference of the International Women's Year in Mexico City. Women's rights_sentence_553

These conferences created an international forum for women's rights, but also illustrated divisions between women of different cultures and the difficulties of attempting to apply principles universally. Women's rights_sentence_554

Four World Conferences have been held, the first in Mexico City (International Women's Year, 1975), the second in Copenhagen (1980) and the third in Nairobi (1985). Women's rights_sentence_555

At the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (1995), The Platform for Action was signed. Women's rights_sentence_556

This included a commitment to achieve "gender equality and the empowerment of women". Women's rights_sentence_557

The same commitment was reaffirmed by all U.N. member nations at the Millennium Summit in 2000 and was reflected in the Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015. Women's rights_sentence_558

In 2010, UN Women was founded by merging of Division for the Advancement of Women, International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, Office of the Special Adviser or Gender Issues Advancement of Women and United Nations Development Fund for Women by General Assembly Resolution 63/311. Women's rights_sentence_559

International Women's Right Women's rights_section_50

Compared to the Western women's right's movements, international women's rights are plagued with different issues. Women's rights_sentence_560

While it is called international women's rights, it is also can be known as third world feminism. Women's rights_sentence_561

The international women's rights deal with issues such as marriage, sexual slavery, forced child marriage, and female genital mutilation. Women's rights_sentence_562

According to the organization, EQUAL MEANS EQUAL, "the United Nations come horrifying statistics: Victims of female genital mutilation – a ritual to remove a young girl’s clitoris to ensure her fidelity – number 130 million. Women's rights_sentence_563

Some 60 million girls become 'child brides,' forced to marry, sometimes after being kidnapped and raped". Women's rights_sentence_564

Something, that has been created to combat such things is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Women's rights_sentence_565

It was set in place to help against discrimination in education, marriage, sexual violence, and politics. Women's rights_sentence_566

While this does not only pertain to non- western countries, 193 states have ratified it. Women's rights_sentence_567

Some of the countries that have opposed it including Iran, Palau, Somalia, North and South Sudan, Tonga, and The United States. Women's rights_sentence_568

World Bank Women's rights_section_51

A 2019 report from the World Bank found that women have full legal rights to men in only six countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden. Women's rights_sentence_569

Field organisations Women's rights_section_52

Regions where women's rights are less developed have produced interesting local organisations, such as: Women's rights_sentence_570

Women's rights_unordered_list_1

  • IIDA Women's Development Organisation, a Somali non-governmental organisation, created by women in order to work for peacebuilding and women's rights defence in Somalia, a country deprived of state structures and security since 1991,Women's rights_item_1_5
  • the All Pakistan Women's Association, a civil society organisation founded in 1949, which develops a range of programmes in the field of health, nutrition, education, birth control and legal aid.Women's rights_item_1_6
  • the non-profit organization, , focuses on educating and training indigenous women in Mexico in leadership; the goal is for women to enter into local politics or lead their own campaigns to create change in their communities. More than 500 women have partnered with Psydeh to create projects in remote areas, such as rainwater capture systems and clean burning stoves. In two years, they have seen the launch of six, new women-led organizations creating their own regional agendas, and 11 pilot projects.Women's rights_item_1_7

Human rights Women's rights_section_53

United Nations convention Women's rights_section_54

Main article: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Women's rights_sentence_571

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, enshrines "the equal rights of men and women", and addressed both the equality and equity issues. Women's rights_sentence_572

In 1979, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) for legal implementation of the Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Women's rights_sentence_573

Described as an international bill of rights for women, it came into force on 3 September 1981. Women's rights_sentence_574

The UN member states that have not ratified the convention are Iran, Palau, Somalia, Sudan, Tonga, and the United States. Women's rights_sentence_575

Niue and the Vatican City, which are non-member states, have also not ratified it. Women's rights_sentence_576

The latest state to become a party to the convention is South Sudan, on 30 April 2015. Women's rights_sentence_577

The Convention defines discrimination against women in the following terms: Women's rights_sentence_578

It also establishes an agenda of action for putting an end to sex-based discrimination for which states ratifying the convention are required to enshrine gender equality into their domestic legislation, repeal all discriminatory provisions in their laws, and enact new provisions to guard against discrimination against women. Women's rights_sentence_579

They must also establish tribunals and public institutions to guarantee women effective protection against discrimination, and take steps to eliminate all forms of discrimination practiced against women by individuals, organizations, and enterprises. Women's rights_sentence_580

Marriage, divorce, and family law Women's rights_section_55

Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines the right of consenting men and women to marry and found a family. Women's rights_sentence_581

Article 16 of CEDAW stipulates that, "1. Women's rights_sentence_582

States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations [...]". Women's rights_sentence_583

Among the rights included are a woman's right to freely and consensually choose her spouse; to have parental rights to her children irrespective of her marital status; the right of a married woman to choose a profession or an occupation, and to have property rights within marriage. Women's rights_sentence_584

In addition to these, "The betrothal and the marriage of a child shall have no legal effect". Women's rights_sentence_585

Polygamous marriage is a controversial practice, prevalent in some parts of the world. Women's rights_sentence_586

The general recommendations made by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, state in General Recommendation No. Women's rights_sentence_587

21, Equality in marriage and family relations: "14.[...] Women's rights_sentence_588

Polygamous marriage contravenes a woman's right to equality with men, and can have such serious emotional and financial consequences for her and her dependents that such marriages ought to be discouraged and prohibited." Women's rights_sentence_589

Cohabitation of unmarried couples as well as single mothers are common in some parts the world. Women's rights_sentence_590

The Human Rights Committee has stated: Women's rights_sentence_591

Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action Women's rights_section_56

Main article: Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action Women's rights_sentence_592

The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, also known as VDPA, is a human rights declaration adopted by consensus at the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993 in Vienna, Austria. Women's rights_sentence_593

This declaration recognizes women's rights as being protected human rights. Women's rights_sentence_594

Paragraph 18 reads: Women's rights_sentence_595

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 Women's rights_section_57

Main article: United Nations Security Council Resolution Women's rights_sentence_596

On 31 October 2000, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, the first formal and legal document from the United Nations Security Council that requires all states to respect fully international humanitarian law and international human rights law applicable to the rights and protection of women and girls during and after the armed conflicts. Women's rights_sentence_597

Regional conventions Women's rights_section_58

Main articles: Belém do Pará Convention, Maputo Protocol, and Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence Women's rights_sentence_598

The Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women, better known as the Belém do Pará Convention, was adopted by the Organization of American States on 9 June 1994. Women's rights_sentence_599

As of March 2020, 32 of the 34 or 35 member states of the Organization of American States have either signed and ratified or acceded to the Belém do Pará Convention; only Canada, Cuba and the United States have not. Women's rights_sentence_600

The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, better known as the Maputo Protocol, was adopted by the African Union on 11 July 2003 at its second summit in Maputo, Mozambique. Women's rights_sentence_601

On 25 November 2005, having been ratified by the required 15 member nations of the African Union, the protocol entered into force. Women's rights_sentence_602

The protocol guarantees comprehensive rights to women including the right to take part in the political process, to social and political equality with men, and to control of their reproductive health, and an end to female genital mutilation. Women's rights_sentence_603

The Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, was adopted by the Council of Europe on 11 May 2011. Women's rights_sentence_604

As of June 2020, the treaty has been signed by 45/47 Council of Europe member states and the European Union; 34 of the signatories have also ratified the convention. Women's rights_sentence_605

Violence against women Women's rights_section_59

United Nations Declaration Women's rights_section_60

The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women was adopted by the United Nations in 1993. Women's rights_sentence_606

It defines violence against women as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life." Women's rights_sentence_607

This resolution established that women have a right to be free from violence. Women's rights_sentence_608

As a consequence of the resolution, in 1999, the General Assembly declared the day of 25 November to be the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Women's rights_sentence_609

Article 2 of The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women outlines several forms of violence against women: Women's rights_sentence_610

Istanbul Convention Women's rights_section_61

The Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, is the first legally binding instrument in Europe in the field of domestic violence and violence against women, and came into force in 2014. Women's rights_sentence_611

Countries which ratify it must ensure that the forms of violence defined in its text are outlawed. Women's rights_sentence_612

In its Preamble, the Convention states that "the realisation of de jure and de facto equality between women and men is a key element in the prevention of violence against women". Women's rights_sentence_613

The convention also provides a definition of domestic violence as "all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence that occur within the family or domestic unit or between former or current spouses or partners, whether or not the perpetrator shares or has shared the same residence with the victim". Women's rights_sentence_614

Although it is a Convention of the Council of Europe, it is open to accession by any country. Women's rights_sentence_615

Rape and sexual violence Women's rights_section_62

Main article: International framework of sexual violence Women's rights_sentence_616

Rape, sometimes called sexual assault, is an assault by a person involving sexual intercourse with or sexual penetration of another person without that person's consent. Women's rights_sentence_617

Rape is generally considered a serious sex crime as well as a civil assault. Women's rights_sentence_618

When part of a widespread and systematic practice, rape and sexual slavery are now recognised as a crime against humanity as well as a war crime. Women's rights_sentence_619

Rape is also now recognised as a form of genocide when committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a targeted group. Women's rights_sentence_620

As genocide Women's rights_section_63

See also: Rwandan genocide Women's rights_sentence_621

In 1998, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda established by the United Nations made landmark decisions that rape is a crime of genocide under international law. Women's rights_sentence_622

The trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu, the mayor of Taba Commune in Rwanda, established precedents that rape is an element of the crime of genocide. Women's rights_sentence_623

The Akayesu judgement includes the first interpretation and application by an international court of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Women's rights_sentence_624

The Trial Chamber held that rape, which it defined as "a physical invasion of a sexual nature committed on a person under circumstances which are coercive", and sexual assault constitute acts of genocide insofar as they were committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a targeted group. Women's rights_sentence_625

It found that sexual assault formed an integral part of the process of destroying the Tutsi ethnic group and that the rape was systematic and had been perpetrated against Tutsi women only, manifesting the specific intent required for those acts to constitute genocide. Women's rights_sentence_626

Judge Navanethem Pillay said in a statement after the verdict: "From time immemorial, rape has been regarded as one of the spoils of war. Women's rights_sentence_627

Now it will be considered a war crime. Women's rights_sentence_628

We want to send out a strong message that rape is no longer a trophy of war." Women's rights_sentence_629

An estimated 500,000 women were raped during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Women's rights_sentence_630

As a crime against humanity Women's rights_section_64

Main article: Crimes against humanity Women's rights_sentence_631

The Rome Statute Explanatory Memorandum, which defines the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, recognises rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, "or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity" as a crime against humanity if the action is part of a widespread or systematic practice. Women's rights_sentence_632

The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action also condemn systematic rape as well as murder, sexual slavery, and forced pregnancy, as the "violations of the fundamental principles of international human rights and humanitarian law." Women's rights_sentence_633

and require a particularly effective response. Women's rights_sentence_634

Rape was first recognised as a crime against humanity when the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia issued arrest warrants based on the Geneva Conventions and Violations of the Laws or Customs of War. Women's rights_sentence_635

Specifically, it was recognised that Muslim women in Foca (southeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina) were subjected to systematic and widespread gang rape, torture, and sexual enslavement by Bosnian Serb soldiers, policemen, and members of paramilitary groups after the takeover of the city in April 1992. Women's rights_sentence_636

The indictment was of major legal significance and was the first time that sexual assaults were investigated for the purpose of prosecution under the rubric of torture and enslavement as a crime against humanity. Women's rights_sentence_637

The indictment was confirmed by a 2001 verdict by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia that rape and sexual enslavement are crimes against humanity. Women's rights_sentence_638

This ruling challenged the widespread acceptance of rape and sexual enslavement of women as intrinsic part of war. Women's rights_sentence_639

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia found three Bosnian Serb men guilty of rape of Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) women and girls (some as young as 12 and 15 years of age), in Foca, eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Women's rights_sentence_640

Furthermore, two of the men were found guilty of the crime against humanity of sexual enslavement for holding women and girls captive in a number of de facto detention centres. Women's rights_sentence_641

Many of the women subsequently disappeared. Women's rights_sentence_642

According to a report by the UN Human Rights Office, published on 28 July 2020, the women who traveled abroad were forcibly returned to North Korea and were subjected to abuse, torture, sexual violence and other violations. Women's rights_sentence_643

North Korea bans citizens from traveling abroad. Women's rights_sentence_644

Those women who were detained for doing so were regularly beaten, tortured, and subjected to forced nudity and invasive body searches. Women's rights_sentence_645

Women have also reported that in case of pregnancy, the prison officials aborted many children by either beating the women or making them do hard labor. Women's rights_sentence_646

Forced marriage and slavery Women's rights_section_65

The 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery defines "institutions and practices similar to slavery" to include: Women's rights_sentence_647

c) Any institution or practice whereby: Women's rights_sentence_648

Women's rights_unordered_list_2

  • (i) A woman, without the right to refuse, is promised or given in marriage on payment of a consideration in money or in kind to her parents, guardian, family or any other person or group; orWomen's rights_item_2_8
  • (ii) The husband of a woman, his family, or his clan, has the right to transfer her to another person for value received or otherwise; orWomen's rights_item_2_9
  • (iii) A woman on the death of her husband is liable to be inherited by another person;Women's rights_item_2_10

The Istanbul Convention requires countries which ratify it to prohibit forced marriage (Article 37) and to ensure that forced marriages can be easily voided without further victimization (Article 32). Women's rights_sentence_649

Trafficking Protocol Women's rights_section_66

The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (also referred to as the Trafficking Protocol or UN TIP Protocol) is a protocol to the Convention against Transnational Organised Crime. Women's rights_sentence_650

It is one of the three Palermo protocols. Women's rights_sentence_651

Its purpose is defined at Article 2. Women's rights_sentence_652

Statement of purpose as: "(a) To prevent and combat trafficking in persons, paying particular attention to women and children; (b) To protect and assist the victims of such trafficking, with full respect for their human rights; and (c) To promote cooperation among States Parties in order to meet those objectives." Women's rights_sentence_653

See also Women's rights_section_67

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's rights.