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Women's History Then and Now

Updated on March 18, 2014

Rights for Women Around the World

Rights for Women benefitted every one in the long run.
Rights for Women benefitted every one in the long run.

Woman's Voice

As far back in history that is documented, Women have been effective in and useful to family, society and government. We have not been allowed to express ourselves openly in times past but our actions prove that we have played important roles in society, the home front and even effectiveness in regards to government.

The Woman's voice has on many occasions, been ignored, denied and even silenced. Whether in the home, on the job, or through the government. What we have had to say has been proven to be beneficial and has made a difference and with great impacts.

In those times past, we had to speak through the male figure in our lives. If we had husbands or fathers, through them as well but for women who did not have someone to represent them of a male figure suffered more at the hands of oppressive people and government than the ones who did.

I want to depict a Woman from the scripture below who was married to a governmental figure, that ignored some advice given to him by her, but her bravery symbolizes Women of that time and throughout biblical times.

Matthew 27:19, 26

verse 19 "While Pilate was sitting on the judge's seat, his wife sent him this message: "Don't have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him."

verse 26 Then he released Barabbas to them, But he had Jesus flogged, and handed over to be crucified.

Pilate was a public official with a political voice to make sound and wise decisions but instead he took the way out that was easy for him by literally washing his hands of a life and death matter. He didn't want to befriend Herod who should have decided Jesus fate as supposed to him, so he dismissed it to the people.

Pontus Pilate represents the government of the times that we are associated with, then and now, having to endure such relentless acts in government. What's more popular, the majority rules, and so on should not be the way to due diligence in government.

The Voice of the Woman has been crucial and worthy of acceptance and of utmost importance. We have argued sound reasons for so long for our Voice to be harkened unto, but for so many times ignored and silenced throughout our History.

Just like Pilate's wife, whose Voice spoke to no avail and so have so many others in reference to government so many times in our past. However, I am glad that she did speak out in warning him and that she had the courage to do so in spite of the fact that Women's voices wasn't well received.

Women in the bible.

Women's Suffrage/Colored Women's Suffrage

Human Rights and the Government

Has the government always been on our side when it comes to what it means to be fair and equal?

Are we property to our spouses or help meets as Eve was to Adam in the Book of Genesis chapter 2 of the bible.

Why did the government issue human and voters rights to Women of the Suffrage Movement but still neglected to give women of color basic human rights, not to mention Voter's Rights?

I ask these questions rhetorically, but then again, anyone can answer, because basic Human rights is something that everyone deserves and not just a few select individuals of certain status, income or even race. During the Women's Suffrage Movement, Black Women were not granted the same rights allowed Caucasion Women, because of the Jim Crow laws of the south that had impacted the northern regions and swayed the government.

Women like Sojourner Truth, Phillis Wheatley, Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Eleanor Roosevelt, played major roles in slavery abolition because of their stand for justice, human decency, and fairness. They fought the good fight of faith and prevailed.

Laws were changed because of these fearless Women and their efforts. They were not alone because there were others who surged on to actually see the changes but these get the honorable mention because they stirred the hornets nest of opposition and got the ball rolling.

Equal Rights

If Human rights were not being upheld then most assuredly, Equal Rights were being violated as well. I believe the two go hand in hand. Personally speaking, now that those days are behind us, I can never realize what it is to be unequally treated unless someone of another color or gender treats me indifferently in an outward public display, compared to the treatment that they just presented to someone else. Those outward blatant attacks of inequality have diminished to a degree but have not gone anywhere.

Equal opportunities for work, retention of pay, rights to hold land were rights being fought for during the Women's Suffrage Movement, spearheaded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Even in this day and age, equal pay has been an issue constantly up for debate.

The Women who made a Difference in The 1800's

Below is a listing of the Women whose Voices that could not be silenced because of their bravery and audacity to hope, dream and act.

They did not take down or step back. They came up with more ways to prevail in the efforts that was of the utmost importance not only to them but to their fellow sisters and others who ultimately benefitted from their History making achievements.

Phillis Wheatley, 1753 to 1784

Phillis Wheatley, kidnapped into slavery
Phillis Wheatley, kidnapped into slavery

Phyllis Wheatley - Author, Poet

Phillis Wheatley was born May 5, 1753 in Senegal, West Africa. She was kidnapped at the age of 8 years old and brought to Boston Massachusetts, on a slave ship by the name of "Phillis", which is where she got her first name. She was purchased by John Wheatley as a personal assistant to his wife in 1761.

Phillis was taught to read by her slavers wife and published her first poems at the age of 12. She was an intellectually gifted young woman and proved to the world that the color of one's skin does not indicate one's intellect. This was in the late 18th century.

In 1773, her first book and only book of poems was published on various subjects of religious morals. She was the first African American to earn a living from her writings.

Phillis acquired freedom after the death of John Wheatley in 1778.

Phillis was married to John Peters and had three children by him and all of them died during infancy.

Phillis was a sickly young woman most of her life. She later died in Boston Massachusetts at the age of 31.

One of her most famous poems was of George Washington in which she was invited to his home to recite it.

Harriet Tubman, Deliverer

As Soldier, Abolitionist, Preacher,
As Soldier, Abolitionist, Preacher,

Colored Women's Suffrage

Black Women's Suffrage should have connected with other women but race and violence kept them apart.
Black Women's Suffrage should have connected with other women but race and violence kept them apart.

First Lady Freedom Fighter

Harriet Tubman was born Araminta Harriet Ross, in Dorchester County, MD 1820. She died March 10, 1913 in Auburn NY

During the 1850s

Harriet worked as a field hand during her earlier days and was treated harshly and experienced brutal beatings. She was hit so severely that she suffered with seizures as a result.

She was the first known woman (Moses) who lead slaves wanting to flee the oppression of the south and it's harsh realities to northern territories beating all odds, life threats, and physical challenges was she able to deliver over hundreds of slaves to Freedom, single handedly, might I add, HARRIET TUBMAN.

Harriet was Conductor of the Underground Railroad, with her revolver and her faith in God, she never lost a passenger nor did one turn back. With the help of the underground railroad workers in the northern boarders, they helped to hide slaves fleeing from the cruel and inhumane treatment from the slave masters and southerners alike.

She made over 19 trips including that of her own family.

During the Civil War she served as nurse, at other times a scout and a spy.

Sojouner Truth

Preacher, Activist
Preacher, Activist

Sojourner Truth,

Sojourner was born sometime in 1797 and died November 26, 1883.

Sojourner Truth was born, Isabella Baumfree after her father's slave owner. In 1843 she took on the name Sojourner Truth which meant travelling preacher, by instructions from the Holy Spirit.

She was married to another slave named Thomas who she had five children by but fled from the slavery in New York with her youngest Child.

In the late 1840s Sojourner connected with abolitionist movement, becoming a public speaker.

In 1850s she also spoke on Women's Suffrage.

Her most famous speech was 'Aint I A Women', which she delivered in 1851 at a Women's Rights Convention in Ohio.

At one time Sojourner learned that her child had been sold to some slavers in Alabama and she went to court and fought and won to get him back since slavery had been emancipated in New York in 1827, where he was staying prior to being sold.

Met Abraham Lincoln at the White house in 1864 where she tried to challenge discrimination that segregated street cars by race.

Elizabeth Caddy Stanton

Women's Suffrage

Elizabeth Caddy Stanton was born November 12, 1815 in Johnstown, New York. She died October 26, 1902.

Married in 1840 to Henry Stanton, shortly afterwards, they travelled to London to expressively stand against World Slavery.

It was the time of the Civil War that Elizabeth concentrated her efforts on the abolishing of slavery. She promoted Women's Suffrage the more so after the war.

In 1868, she worked with Susan B. Anthony.

During 1869, they formed the NWSA, National Woman Suffrage Association.

Abolitionist, Susan b. Anthony

The Voice of Women's Suffrage
The Voice of Women's Suffrage
Susan B. Anthony Coin
Susan B. Anthony Coin

Susan Brownell Anthony, The Voice for Suffrage

Susan Brownell Anthony, was born in Adams Massachusetts, on February 15, 1820 and died March 13, 1906, in New York. Susan never married or had children.

Susan was an advocate for Women's Labor Organizations, she campaigned for the rights of women to own their own property, retain their own earnings and for the Abolition of slavery.

In 1979, Anthony's life and works was commemorated through the erection of a dollar coin by the U.S. mint, with her face on it.

The Faces and Voices of Women's Suffrage

Elizabeth Caddy Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Pioneers of Their Time
Elizabeth Caddy Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Pioneers of Their Time

Child Labor And Unequal Work Ethics

Working long, hard hours for little to no pay.
Working long, hard hours for little to no pay.

Eleanor Roosevelt


Equal and Human Rights

What's equal about segregation?  Where's the balance?
What's equal about segregation? Where's the balance?

First Lady of the White House, Eleanor franklin Roosevelt

As First Lady of the White House and the World in her Human Rights achievement, Eleanor Roosevelt was the most outspoken on her stance on racial issues. She was also the longest serving First Lady of all four terms of her husbands tenure in office. From March,1933 to April, 1945. (underscore was quoted by President Harry S. Truman, in tribute to her.)

She was born Anna Eleanor October 11, 1884 and died November 7, 1962 in Hyde Park N.Y.

She married President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1905. They had five children.

Eleanor was instrumental in the issues of Desegregation, issues with recognition of Negro Servicemen and fair treatment of Federal Workers.

Most of her activities after the death of her husband and President, surrounded International World Peace, Civil Rights and Women's issues.

She directly equated Nazi Aryanism with American racism.

Eleanor was not a beauty icon and quoted these words: "No matter how plain a woman may be if truth and loyalty are stamped upon her face, all will be attracted to her".

Rosa Parks, Activist of the Civil rights

Captured national attention when she didn't go to the back of the bus.
Captured national attention when she didn't go to the back of the bus.

Civil Rights Pioneer

Rosa Parks had no idea that her refusal to give up her seat to a white man in the 1950s during the segregated times in the south would have caused such an uprising.

It was in Montgomery Alabama that a massive boycott of the Alabama buses would soon end segregation on public busses. Bus drivers where instructed to be in position as police according to a certain code when black passengers did not go beyond the dividing line where colored people were suppose to sit.

Rosa said it was a day like any other day, but to her surprise the masses joined her.

Maya Angelou, Poet, Writer

Maya Angelou, 'Phenomenal Woman'.
Maya Angelou, 'Phenomenal Woman'.

Maya Angelou - Poet

"Pursue the things you love doing, and do them well that people can't take their eyes off of you. All other tangible rewards will come as a result." In the words of the Illustrious, Maya Angelou, who quotes her writings with such depth and mysticism.

In 1993, she was the second Poet to be privileged to recite an original work at a Presidential Inauguration, at the request of President Bill Clinton.

She has served as coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, at Dr. Martin Luther Kings request.

She is a rich and skilled poet, actress, singer, dancer, professor, and is best known for her book, 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.'

Queen Maya has directed stage productions as well as screen productions.

Coretta Scott King, Civil Rights Activist

Wife to the greatest name in the civil rights movement.
Wife to the greatest name in the civil rights movement.

The Now of Equal Rights

Corretta Scott King

Coretta was born in Marion Alabama, on April 27, 1927 and died January 30, 2006.

She knew first hand of the segregation in the south, cotton picking, farming and one room school houses for colors only. Bombings and intimidations by mobs of racial hatred were part of the territory and a way of life there in the south .

She was married to The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in June 18, 1953. She went to school for music but used it for the betterment of the cause.

She was committed for life, devoted wife of the Civil Rights Movement era Leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Mrs. King had four children by him and was key in her efforts to support her husband and father of her children. An excerpt of Dr. King was quoted in Essence magazine of 2006, as stating, "that she was the stronger one."

It is also stated that Dr. Kings dream , was her Dream as well. She never let it be known that fear was a factor for her during those turbulent times of unrest.

At a high time of civil unrest, Coretta sang, held concerts, lectured, did poetry readings to raise the consciousness of the people to the Civil Rights Movement and to raise money for it's cause.

As the years came towards her husbands death, she tried to maintain a stable life for the children but they were always under attack with the message they carried and the life they journeyed upon remained for the rest of their days.

As her life came to closure, her many successes were stated for all to see and appreciate what she stood for and her own legacy that was not in the fore shadows of her husbands, but standing in her own right.

It was fifteen years in the making for her efforts as lobbyist for her husbands birthday to become a national holiday. She was also instrumental in our nation responding in light of his holiday to reflect on non-violent means for peace.

Coretta' lasting impression is for all Women to "unit and fight the three great evils: racism, poverty and war."

Printed by Ebony Magazine, 2006: Exclusive Untold Story, forwarded by Andrew Young

Shirley Chisom

She was born November 30, 1924 to January 1 2005 as Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm.

Shirley was an important key figure in the congressional district of New York from 1969 to 1983 by being the first black woman elected for 7 terms.

Shirley ran for president in 1972 as the first black woman and first black person to run on a major party ticket.

Shirley was known for taking a stand for women's issues, minorities and challenging the Seniority Congressional system and a stand against the Vietnam war.

Condoleezza Rice, Top Advisor to 42nd President

A well distinguished woman, well beyond her years.
A well distinguished woman, well beyond her years.

Oprah Winfrey, Renown Talk Show Host

Condoleezza Rice, Powerful White House Security Advisor

Another powerful Black woman to hit the White House, Condoleezza Rice. She was top advisor to President George W. Bush, the 43rd president, on foreign affairs. She also counseled senior George Bush, the 42nd president, when he was in office, in his foreign affairs. For two Presidents did she serve.

I guess that's what happens when you put God first for she claims to be a religious person.

She was a Soviet Specialist who was also fluent in the Russian language.

Oprah Winfrey, Famed Talk show host

From news anchor, to Internationally acclaimed talk show host, to network mogul, building schools for girls in Africa; okay what else has this world wide sensation been known for.

The most phenomenal black woman to have ever graced the talk show circuits, Oprah Winfrey has owned the rights to own her show which ended a few years back.

Oprah has managed to get the male vote when it comes to addressing the cares and concerns of the human soul. Her life story told it all and as a result, families embraced her as being one of us with the same likes and passions. She has won the hearts of many because of her ability to reach into the depts of a situation and bring clarity and understanding, soundness and reasoning.

First Lady Michelle O'Bama

Michelle is the First Lady and wife to the President of The Prestigious United States of America. How's that for a resume inclusion. The highest honor that one can have is to be able to have some say so, in the run of Fifty one States, regions, territories, continents and the list goes on.

She is a lawyer, mother, wife, writer, and the first Black Woman to live in the White House, that was not a maid, or any other hired help.

Michelle O'Bama has spearheaded programs for youth with healthy diets in our school - lunch programs. She has made America take another look at the obesity problem with our youth and has launched youth-on-the-move to get our young people off of the couch, out from in front of the television and computers to be pro-active. Hooray Michelle.

She also has a garden on the White House grounds that helps push her healthy diet approach.

Hillary Clinton

As the 67th United States - Secretary of State, serving under President O'Bama Administration

Born Hillary Diane Rodham, October 26, 1947. She is 66 years old.

Married Bill Clinton in 1975 and was First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001.

Hillary is wife, mother, lawyer who was first woman to make partner at Rose Law Firm in 1979.

She was First Lady of Arkansas as husband Bill served as Governor from January 11, 1983 to December 12, 1992.

Hillary had made known her plans to run for presidency in early 2007. She was cast in the Democratic primaries of 2008 during which time she lost to then Senator O'Bama with a small margin.

The Conclusion of Women's History

My final thoughts on the History Of Women is that we have come a long way and with the scars of the numerous backlashes that came with it. We stand in a better position today than at any other time in History.

Much commendable efforts goes towards these Women who stood and still stands against adversity and the constant imbalances that we battle every day.

Coretta Scott King said it best to continue on against the war on poverty, racism and war.

Oprah Winfrey states to Believe in Yourself.

As a child, I was made to feel as if my color was not of any value since I didn't see a reflection of it on TV or on magazines. But today I see reflections of myself that would suggest that there is places of importance for everyone and not just the affluent and those who think there color is more superior.

I salute our society for making the changes that makes for a better world and a world that is empowered because of sound choices and freedom of will, to love and be loved.

Because of God's righteous standards, we can no longer make excuses for ignorance and arrogance of ways.

The Image of Now

The Image
The Image

The Opportunities

Olympian Star Medal Winner
Olympian Star Medal Winner
Self Made Millionaire During Turbulent Times, Madam CJ Walker
Self Made Millionaire During Turbulent Times, Madam CJ Walker
Female Scientist
Female Scientist
Female Soldiers
Female Soldiers

Times of Indifference

Was there ever a time when you were made to feel indifferent.

See results

Final Thoughts

One of the most interesting and amazing factors that I came across while researching for this hub is the passion of each Woman presented here for what they were driven to do. They each had there area of expertise, interest, care, concern, drive and passion. Some of these Women carried their burden to the grave.

Some of them never fully realized their sphere of influence on those around them and ultimately the world, risking there lives for the sake of others and themselves.

In the book of Esther of the NIV Bible, was one of those Women who had in spite of herself stood up for the well fare of her people and the king who was her husband. She called aside a fast so she could foil the plans of the enemy, and ultimately save the lives of her people from massive destruction. What bravery. It was because she risked her life to even approach the King and warn him, (government) was she able to do so.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Author of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin', which was instrumental in speaking out against slavery. Published in 1852.'s_Cabin


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    • Kathy Carr profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Carr 

      4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Thanks Eric for stopping by and reading this hub. I said a mouthful and even in responding to your comment I keep trying to say a mouthful and have erased it several times. I want to say that because the history is so rich and full, some of the issues surrounding the movements are still to this day, being challenged in spite of the laws in place. The people that lived in those times went through so much and it was like I could sense the adamancy of the individuals I researched. So in saying that, the liberty that we are privileged to enjoy was at the sake of others lack of liberty. So I am thankful of the past and appreciative of the present.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      This was very helpful to me. I have some status as someone with persecuted ancestral lineage. And I just have never been able to even try to place myself in such a category. Oh I have been plenty discriminated against but that as something I see myself as escapes me. I understand history but I do not view myself through the eyes of 55 years ago much less my grandfather's. Perhaps I learned something.


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