I see you have this question listed under religion.
Most religions espouse that men are the head of the family as is God is the father of the world. Therefore if someone believes another is "in charge" they must be a subordinate.
Historically men have viewed women as the "weaker sex" who needed protection on par with children against the potential threats of the world. They were to be seen and not heard.
According to the bible King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. To my knowledge no religion has a woman with 700 husbands and 300 boy-toys!
In most democratic countries women weren't initially allowed to vote. In some countries even today women are not allowed to attend school. There's still a pay gap in the U.S.
Some parts of the world force women to be vaginally mutilated, cover every part of their body and walk (behind) their man, Religious states are the last counties to view women equally.
The Catholic church doesn't allow (women) to become priest.
Women are striving for equality because they are not viewed as equal to men. Things are improving slowly.
However as I noted countries under a religious state will be the last (if ever) to recognize women as being equal to men.