Women Movement



Itis a common saying that change is inevitable. For long, women wereoppressed, alienated and discriminated against. The change that camewith time has brought nothing short of relief. However, the changecame after a struggle. By the late 1800s, the lives of women hadchanged so dramatically to the extent of attending school getting aneducation (Colton, 1951). Such would have appeared impossible a fewdecades earlier.

Lifebecame easier for women. Taking advantage of the education, more andmore women explored the existing opportunities. On the legal front,women had not touched the ground well, but this changed steadily fromone state to the next. They were given more right to ensure equality.They formed groups and movement. They understood well that unity isthe only thing that would help them. The National Woman SuffrageAssociation was one of them (Colton, 1951). Under the leadership ofSusan B. Anthony and Lucy Stone, they would claim and pursue theirrights. Upon investigation in stores and factories, the NationalConsumes’ League found out that women and children were overworkedwhile still underpaid. NCL, therefore, offered the NWSA theirsupport. Jointly, they fought for a law that limits the number ofworking hour and a guaranteed minimum wage. They also fought fortheir right to vote. The right was amended on August 26, 1920, by theCongress and it read, “The right of any United States citizen tovote shall not be repudiated or curtailed by the United States or anyState based on his/her sex” (Colton, 1951).

Bythe end of the 1stworld war, most women quit their jobs voluntarily while some werelaid off following the return of servicemen. Most of them opted tohomemaking taking care of their husbands and children. It is thenthat the image of womanhood gains a higher status. (Colton, 1951)

TheUnited States has come a long way on the liberation path. The 19thand the 20thcenturies experienced the major turnarounds in the history of the US.The major transformations did not only involve the civil wars, worldwar and the Africa American fighting against racism but also womenfighting for their rights. Jennifer Colton in her book ‘Why I QuitWorking’ gives a clear account of how women freed themselves fromoppression thanks to their unity. The civilised United States oftoday is different from the one a century or two ago. Thetransformation came at a price- a hefty price. In the book, Coltonsay women are better has homemakers than worker. She too experiencethe fight for women’s rights.She goes on to say that the workingexperience made her understood what her husband is going through. Theexperience made her appreciate motherhood.


Colton,J. (1951). Why I Quit Working. GoodHousekeeping,13.