History of gender equality

Patriarchal gender norms and stereotypes denying the value of women as a full-fledged human being have gradually developed through historical developments. For about 10,000 years, an asymmetrical form of relationship between the male and female genders has been reproduced, based on a hierarchy in favor of men.

which is referred to as matriarchy, the woman was revered and had a dignified social status. The Matriarchy was a community characterized by the domination and dominance of women over men. Matriarchal social structures were characterized by a high degree of freedom, equality between women and men, and worship of motherhood and nature.

With the development of class societies and patriarchy, a number of superstitions about women`s biological peculiarities, regulations and prohibitions on women`s sexual life, ideas about women`s defamation by childbirth and menstruation are emerging. There are various painful ceremonies and acts aimed at initiation into adulthood, such as deprivation of virginity, knocking of a tooth, cutting off a finger…

The beginning of the perception of a woman as inferior dates back to antiquity. It is associated with the understanding of the dualism of good - evil. The patriarchal religious conceptions of women have left a deep mark in the consciousness of humanity, in which the idea of the inferiority of women is ingrained, which attributes a passive position in society and demands adherence to strict standards of social exclusion.

All the world`s religions are based on it: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity. Gender stereotypes about the inferiority of women in Slovakia were derived from Judaism. Judaism codified the humiliation of women and found a justification for their suffering. The inherited sin of the first Eve is attributed to a woman. These patriarchal traditions have spread to various churches. The status of a woman in biblical society was much lower than that of a man. Men treated women as their property, women depended on them, and thus they were exposed to male violence, humiliation and oppression. The main role of women in ancient times was motherhood. In ancient Rome, the position of a woman was at the level of a slave; A father had the right to kill his daughter. He decided on her wedding, from her father`s hands she traveled to her husband.

One of the greatest and most respected Christian theologians, Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), further strengthened the contempt for women. Coming from Aristotle, he understood the man for his sperm as an active, fertile man and the woman as a receptive, passive man. That is why he called a woman imperfect and incomplete, and even an "imperfect, incomplete man."

The most drastic way to denigrate and declare the lowest social status of women in human society is to persecute women accused of so-called of witchcraft in the 14th century - the informant remained anonymous, during the investigation the torture was ordered by Pope Innocent IV. Under the pretext of fighting heretics and witches, the Church, together with secular power, got rid of uncomfortable people, especially brave women, healers, representatives of progressive views. The Witch`s Hammer is considered to be the most shocking book in world literature. The book presents witchcraft as a typical female crime. He emphasizes, for example, that women are prone to superstition, greed and vanity, and because women lack physical strength, they seek help in the devil. He attributes the killing of animals and humans, the infestation of diseases, the destruction of crops to women. Maria Theresa and Joseph II, who banned the prosecution of women for barracks, were responsible for ending the inquisition processes in Hungary (in Slovakia). (It is estimated that 3-9 million women in various European countries have been the victims of torture, live burns and other forms of physical and mental destruction. )

The 15th century is considered the beginning of the advocacy of equality between women and men, thanks to Christine de Pisano`s first feminist novel (1364–1430), The City of Women, in which she defended women`s right to education, recorded the actions of famous women.

In the 16th century, J. Luis Vieves pointed out the social significance of education and promoted the idea of equality between the sexes.

In the 17th century, England and France were the most liberal attitudes toward women. In France, the first form of feminism was created - French precinities - emancipated women who criticized the social conditions, male rudeness and authoritarian behavior of their husbands and fathers. They asked for a probationary marriage In the 18th century, during the Great French Revolution, in the spirit of the motto Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood, and in which many women took an active part, men and women were not equal. The Declaration of Human and Civil Rights applied only to men. Marie Olympe de Gouges published a Declaration of the Rights of Women and Citizens, in which she called for the extension of citizens` general rights to include women`s rights. She was executed. Charles Fourier first expressed the idea that in every society, the degree of emancipation of a woman is a measure of the overall emancipation and degree of development of society.

In the 19th century, women were subject to men. John Stuart Mill likened the situation of women to that of slaves and servants. According to him, "if the law allows for too much sexuality of one sex over another, it will hinder the whole progress and development of human society." Therefore, the whole of the 19th century is considered a century of emancipation. A movement of suffragettes was formed, they stood for the emancipation of women in social life, they demanded, in particular, the right to vote, the right to education, to their own property. Industrialization has changed the world of work, but also of family life. The women started working in factories, where they worked 13-14 hours a day, while also having to take care of the household and families. And the plight of women began to be discussed. Until the 19th century, there can be talk of absolute discrimination against girls and women in access to higher education. J.J. Rousseau states in the 18th century in Emil or about upbringing that a woman should confine herself to the private sphere of her activity: "A woman outside the house is always ridiculous and subject to legitimate criticism." Imanuel Kant : "Women are here to make their husbands a cozy home, and their freedom is that they don`t have to be employed. Deep thinking harms their beauty, strenuous learning or embarrassing harassment destroys their strengths, weakens their charm by which they affect the opposite sex. ” By the beginning of the 19th century, the need to provide girls with elementary education was widely accepted, but it was still widely believed that maternity missions did not require any education after primary schooling. Full-fledged secondary education has progressed very slowly. There were boys` high schools, and it was widely believed that education was inappropriate and unnecessary for girls because they would only be housewives as adult women. They could only study at universities in exceptional cases, each case being investigated separately. Some schools allowed girls and women to study, but denied them a degree. Women were denied support and scholarships, they had to prove whether they were wealthy not to pursue prostitution, because emancipated women were really expected to do everything.

Feminism is a women`s movement that seeks to defend women`s interests and the practical equality of women with men in various areas of social life. The public mistakenly believes that feminism is a one-size-fits-all approach that unduly enforces women`s demands at the expense of men and is not sufficiently aware that without the historical contribution of the feminist movement, the level of human community organization would be significantly different, perhaps the same as in some third countries (India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran). If equality between women and men in access to education is generally accepted today, it is the result of the emancipatory activities of women and men who have understood the social value of education and emphasized the value of women and women`s right to education.

Feminist waves:
1st wave - the fight for women`s rights;
2. The second wave - breaking the myth of motherhood (Simone de Beauvoir: The Second Gender - wrote that a woman is not born with a woman, but becomes her);
3rd wave - gender equality.

The first country to ensure women`s right to vote was New Zealand in 1893.

Women`s rights
It was not until 1861 that the first high school graduate graduated, and in 1875 the first high school graduate graduated. In 1918, women in Czechoslovakia gained the right to vote. The 1993 UN General Conference on Human Rights declared for the first time the principle: "human rights are also women`s rights".

Women`s rights are human rights means that the rights of women and girls are an integral, inalienable and inseparable part of universal human rights. The term women`s rights is used when women`s rights are denied or unfulfilled. Topics related to women`s rights usually include:
• requirements for the possibility of free decision;
• the opportunity to work for a reasonable remuneration.

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Barša, P. 2002. Politika rodu a sexuální identita. Brno : MUB.
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