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Womens Rights rights that establish the same social economic and political status for women as for men Womens rights guarantee that women will not face discrimination on the basis of their sex Until the second half of the 20th century women in most societies were denied some of the legal and political rights accorded to men Although women in much of the world have gained significant legal rights many people believe that women still do not have complete political economic and social equality with men Throughout much of the history of Western civilization deep-seated cultural beliefs allowed women only limited roles in society Many people believed that womens natural roles were as mothers and wives These people considered women to be better suited for childbearing and homemaking rather than for involvement in the public life of business or politics Widespread belief that women were intellectually inferior to men led most societies to limit womens education to learning domestic skills Well-educated upper-class men controlled most positions of employment and power in society US Legislation for Womens Rights In the 19th century state and federal laws that discriminated against women posed some of the most significant obstacles to securing womens rights The earliest campaigns to improve womens legal status in the United States centered on gaining property rights for women Women also led legislative efforts in the 19th and 20th centuries to ensure their voting employment and reproductive rights Property Rights Beginning in the 1830s states passed laws and statutes that gradually gave married women greater control over property New York state passed the Married Womens Property Act in 1848 allowing women to acquire and retain assets independently of their husbands This was the first law that clearly established the idea that a married woman had an independent legal identity The New York law inspired nearly all other states to eventually pass similar legislation he Right to Vote American women did not gain the right to vote
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