Throughout most of our nations, history women have had fewer legal rights and career opportunities than men have had. In early times, women were viewed as the source of human life and looked at as inferior to men. In fact, during the early history of the United States men virtually owned their wives and children just like any other material possession. ("Women's History in America," 1994, 1995).
In the early 19th century, women were considered weaker than men were and therefore could not perform work requiring physical labor, or their intellect. In most societies in America, the domestic chores, such as rearing children and housework, were left to the women. Traditionally girls learned from their mothers’ example how to cook, clean, and care for the children and that behavior was expected, as she grew older and had a family of her own.
If a woman was to work outside the home, things were very difficult. Programs such as required educational preparation made getting professional careers almost impossible for women who chose to have children at that time. ("Women's History in America," 1994, 1995). A job that was accepted was a home nurse, but working in an actual hospital was almost unheard of for women. For example, According to Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia (1994, 1995), the American Medical Association banned women from membership. Married or soon to be married women were looked at as temporary workers and therefore faced discrimination when trying to find employment outside the home.
In politics, women have had the right to vote since 1920, but their roles have been minimal. It was not until 1984 when Geraldine Ferraro ran for vice president that women started flexing their abilities in the political world.
Women have made many strides in gaining equality within the United States in the past few years. The gains women have made in education have outpaced men over the past 40 years, and younger women are likely to graduate from a...