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Macalester College

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Program Name

Nicaragua: Revolution, Transformation, and Civil Society


Historically speaking, it is difficult to deny that women have had less opportunities and have often been disadvantaged in comparison to men. This trend has been found in many societies, at many times, and in many different areas. For example, women have often been denied the right to vote, own property, and have had less access to jobs. These opportunities and rights were denied to women through the act of men who sought to keep the power they had accumulated in their own hands. As a response to these differences in treatment, women have become active and started many social movements to demand their rights. They have won the right to vote and to own property in many countries across the world. Indeed, the goal of equal rights for women is now a widely accepted ideal, as evidence by its presence in international documents and treaties, state constitutions, and equal rights laws. Yet even today, 65 years after the United Nations right declared equal rights for all person regardless of sex in their Universal Declaration of Human rights, there still exists much inequality between men and women. Men still have better access to jobs and often receive higher pay than women in the same field. Men still often have disproportionately high percentages of power jobs such in politics, in religion, and as corporate executives. Many women still face physical, sexual, and psychological violence at the hand of men. Despite the widespread acceptance of the idea of equal rights for women, men still receive a lot of privilege simply as a result of their gender.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Inequality and Stratification | Politics and Social Change