The Great Depression put the battle of feminism on the back burner. Although the fight was postponed for ten years, many women played a huge role during the Great Depression. Throughout history, women have been ridiculed and suppressed. It wasn’t until 1848, when a group of women met in Seneca Falls, New York, that women and men started to recognize the unfairness that had been placed on women in society (“The Women’s Rights Movement, 1848-1920”). The fight went on for years and progress was made steadily until the Great Depression. During the Great Depression, women struggled with the aftermath of gaining the right to vote. Women athletes like Babe Zaharias stood out in the world of sports. Eleanor Roosevelt, Lena Madesin Phillips, and Amelia Earhart became important figures in women’s rights. Today, women still don’t have complete rights and face difficulties pertaining to the wage gap. Women also experience many acts of sexual misconduct by men, which led to the “Me Too” Movement.Through the Seneca Falls Convention and other women’s suffrage campaigning, women gained the right to vote when the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920 (“The Women’s Rights Movement, 1848-1920”). Although women were allowed to vote, they still struggled with “securing…  a measure of power in local and national political office” (“Continued Challenges”). Some women also struggled to form their own opinions, and using their friend’s or husband’s opinions instead (“Continued Challenges”). Babe Zaharias, a famous woman Olympian, once said, “Before I was even out of grade school, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. My goal was to be the greatest athlete that ever lived” (“Babe Didrikson Zaharias”). She definitely became one of the greatest athletes. She competed in the 1932 Summer Olympics. She set world records for the javelin throw and the eighty-meter hurdles (“Babe Didrikson Zaharias”). Babe was even named the 1932’s Women Athlete of the Year. Her legacy has lasted a long time, but it is fading. The president of the museum dedicated to her said, “Every time I tell her story, people have trouble believing everything she was able to do during her life” (Natta). She was an inspiration to young women, similar to Amelia Earhart.Amelia Earhart wasn’t afraid to break down barriers. She became the first woman to pilot an airplane and to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo (“Amelia Earhart”). She became an inspiration to all women to follow their dreams, no matter how out of the box they are. Her legacy also inspired women to fly aircrafts in World War II and today:  “Thanks to Amelia Earhart, women are…  accepted as pilots in both military and commercial aircraft” (“The First Women Aviators”).  While women like Amelia Earhart were making firsts for recreational activity, other women were stepping out of the box in the political field. Lena Madesin Phillips was one of the ladies. She was a lawyer, who founded the International Federation of Business and Professional Women in 1930, an international organization that empowers women and connects them to each other all around the globe. She also was the president of the National Council of Women, after she founded the International Federation (“Lena Madesin Phillips”). With help from a few ladies, like Eleanor Roosevelt, Lena became a prominent figure in helping secure women’s rights. Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the most inspiring women of her time. She completely changed the social and political definition of what it means to be a First Lady. She became an important political figure alongside her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. “During her husband’s political career, Roosevelt was pivotal in expanding opportunities for women” (“Eleanor Roosevelt”). One of the most important things she did was help draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This declaration was a huge milestone in the fight of human rights. It was drafted in Paris on December 10, 1948 by representatives from all around the world (“Universal Declaration of Human Rights”). It was set in stone, for the first time, that all humans should have fundamental rights. The first article begins with, “All human beings are born free in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood” (“Universal Declaration of Human Rights”). These women are just a few who left a major fingerprint on the progression of women’s rights. They have made an impact that is still felt today.During the 1930s, “according to the Social Security Administration, women’s average annual pay…  was $525, compared with $1,027 for men” (“Working Women in the 1930s”). Wage gap has always been an issue and although it has been getting slimer, the workforce is still under fire for not paying women as much as men. Today, women earn on average only 77 cents for every dollar men earn (Rosenthal). This happens in pretty much every field of work. Yet, we mostly hear about it happening in Hollywood. Recently, Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams co-starred in a movie together. They both reshot some scenes and Mark made $1.5 million while Michelle was only paid about $1000 for reshooting the same scenes (France). Michelle Williams responded with “My fellow actresses stood by me and stood up for me, my activist friends taught me to use my voice…” (ABC Radio). One of the other movements also happening in the workforce, particularly Hollywood, is the “Me Too” movement.  The main focus of this movement is “… to ensure survivors know they’re not alone in their journey” (“Me Too”). It stands up against sexual misconduct in the workplace. It also focuses on women of color and helps them find their way back to happy lives (“Me Too”). This movement has been inspiring to many women to speak up about their horrific experiences. Women in Hollywood like Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Emma Watson, Gina Rodriguez and many more have spoken about the movement and have led others to support the movement as well (“Celebrities Who’ve Joined the ‘Me Too’ Movement”). During her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, Oprah said that we will soon see a new future where “when nobody ever has to say “Me too” again” (“Oprah Winfrey’s Full Golden Globe Speech”).Women’s rights have come a long way and that’s in part thanks to the women who lived  during the Great Depression, especially since “… concern for women’s civil rights took a backseat” (Higgins). Through important events, like the right to vote and to speak up with their own opinions and women like Babe Zaharias, winning in the Olympics, and vital women, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, and Lena Madesin Phillips, the Great Depression became a pivotal time for women’s rights. The 1930s have had a great impact on today, especially the rights women now have. Women of the future will be able to point back to the women of today and say who inspired them like we can today of these great women of the past.


I'm Dora!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Click here