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Abigail Smith Adams was considered to be the first American woman, fighting for women’s significance in society.
Feminists and historians identified three stages in the development of the women’s movement.
The second half of 19th century is the period when an organized women’s movement started.
In 1848, the Declaration of Sentiments, which raised important issues such as women’s equality in the rights of property, marriage, and free choice of profession was adopted. In 1860, after an appeal by Elizabeth Stanton, the Legislature of New York accepted the act, which guaranteed any woman the right to keep money she earned and equal right to share custody of the children with her husband.
Emmeline Pankhurst was one of the founders of the movement for women’s right to vote in elections (to have suffrage).
When members of this organization were subjected to arrests and imprisonment for trivial manifestations of supporting the movement, many of them decided to express their protest by hunger strike.
The result of the hunger strike could be seen in the undermined health of participants. Under pressure from the WSPU the English Parliament passed a series of laws aimed at improving the status of women and which gave the women the right to vote in local elections.
The second stage of feminism involved the ideas and actions associated with the women’s liberation movement, which began to develop in the 1960s and advocated for legal and social equality for both women and men.
If the first wave was focused on issues such as the right to vote, the second concentrated on issues of equality – such as the elimination of discrimination.
In a narrow sense it is the women’s movement, which has a goal to eliminate discrimination against them.
The first demands for equality were put forward by women during the American Revolutionary War.