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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Women’s Wright And Culture In The Society

Who Is A Woman?

A woman is a female human. The term woman (irregular plural: women) usually is used for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent. However, the term woman is also sometimes used to identify a female human, regardless of age, as in phrases such as

The term women’s rights

The term women’s rights refers to the freedoms inherently possessed by women and girls of all ages, which may be institutionalized, ignored or suppressed by law, custom, and behavior in a particular society. These liberties are grouped together and differentiated from broader notions of human rights because they often differ from the freedoms inherently possessed by or recognized for men and boys, and because activism surrounding this issue claims an inherent historical and traditional bias against the exercise of rights by women.[1]

Issues commonly associated with notions of women’s rights include, though are not limited to, the right: to bodily integrity and autonomy; to vote (universal suffrage); to hold public office; to work; to fair wages or equal pay; to own property; to education; to serve in the military; to enter into legal contracts; and to have marital, parental and religious rights.[2] Women and their supporters have campaigned and in some places continue to campaigned for the same rights as modern men.[2]

A history of women’s rights

Until the mid-nineteenth century, writers assumed that a patriarchal order was a natural order that had existed[3] as John Stuart Mill wrote, since “the very earliest twilight of human society”.[4] This was not seriously challenged until the eighteenth century when Jesuit missionaries found matrilineality in native North American peoples.[5]

In the Middle Ages, an early effort to improve the status of women occurred during the early reforms under Islam, when women were given greater rights in marriage, divorce and inheritance.[6] Women were not accorded with such legal status in other cultures, including the West, until centuries later.[7] The Oxford Dictionary of Islam states that the general improvement of the status of Arab women included prohibition of female infanticide and recognizing women’s full personhood.[8] “The dowry, previously regarded as a bride-price paid to the father, became a nuptial gift retained by the wife as part of her personal property.”[9][6] Under Islamic law, marriage was no longer viewed as a “status” but rather as a “contract”, in which the woman’s consent was imperative.[9][6][8] “Women were given inheritance rights in a patriarchal society that had previously restricted inheritance to male relatives.”[6] Annemarie Schimmel states that “compared to the pre-Islamic position of women, Islamic legislation meant an enormous progress; the woman has the right, at least according to the letter of the law, to administer the wealth she has brought into the family or has earned by her own work.”[10] Some have claimed that women generally had more legal rights under Islamic law than they did under Western legal systems until more recent times.[11] English Common Law transferred property held by a wife at the time of a marriage to her husband, which contrasted with the Sura: “Unto men (of the family) belongs a share of that which Parents and near kindred leave, and unto women a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, whether it be a little or much - a determinate share” (Quran 4:7), albeit maintaining that husbands were solely responsible for the maintenance and leadership of his wife and family.[11] “French married women, unlike their Muslim sisters, suffered from restrictions on their legal capacity which were removed only in 1965.”[12]

In the 16th century, the Reformation in Europe allowed more women to add their voices, including the English writers Jane Anger, Aemilia Lanyer, and the prophetess Anna Trapnell. However, it has been claimed that the Dissolution and resulting closure of convents had deprived many such women of one path to education.[13][14][15] Giving voice in the secular context became more difficult when deprived of the rationale and protection of divine inspiration. Queen Elizabeth I demonstrated leadership amongst women, even if she was unsupportive of their causes, and subsequently became a role model for the education of women.[16]


Anonymous said...

This Site really Helped me. Thanks you Williams putting it up for everybody.

Williams Edia said...

What do you think About Africa? Will be coming up next. Watch out

Anonymous said...

I still believe somewhere in the AFrican culture there was some sort of respect accorded to women which needs more research. But this work by Williams is helpful.

Williams Ediagbonya said...

Thank you very much for compliment and your support will be highly appreciated