EUROPE: THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN WOMEN’S LIBERATION
During the last half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century, women throughout Europe became involved in a wide range of movements advocating for political change. Inspired by liberal reform effort to improve conditions in prisons and mental homes, expand educational opportunities, and broaden the suffrage. Women in Europe began to call for the extension of women’s legal rights, availability of higher education to women, the right to vote. They formed national and international organization to fight this cause. Gradually, married women were granted the right to own property and some colleges and universities then allowed women to enroll in their school, while a few countries like Norway, New Zealand, and Australia allowed women to vote, though most European countries joined after the first World war, but France has to wait till the end of the second World war.
The women rights movements of the nineteenth century was largely made up of middle class women felt the need for changes to take place or allowed assesses to education, they wanted the work day labour hours for women reduced from twelve to ten hours, improvements in safety conditions in mines, mills and the end to child labour. They also ask for the right to organize union without loosing their jobs and the problem of sexual harassment of women by their employees and very importantly the problem of pregnant women loosing their jobs during pregnancy and the inequality of pay packets between women and men and the period of maternal leave.
The womens’ right groups though were all over Europe, but it has a very strong influence in RUSSIA. By the middle of nineteenth century, women groups in RUSSIA has joined in the clamor for the abolition of serfdom and the introduction of representative institutions, they fought for the right of higher education for women, the right to leave home without permission from their fathers and the granting of legal rights to women.
By the time the reformist women finished their aggregations to press home their demands their was little or nothing the authorities could do to say no to their demand, at the end the women have won a major victory for the cause of improving the lot of women not only in Europe, but also the rest of the world.