Women's Rights: U.S. vs. World

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Difference between Womens Rights US and Womens Rights Abroad

The differences between men and women have often been reflected in differences in the way that women have been treated in different times, cultures and countries. There is a great deal of variation in women's rights around the world.

Restrictions and Careers

Women in certain cultures are expected to display modesty in behavior and dress to a greater degree than the men living alongside them. These types of restrictions are particularly apparent in certain religious communities, including Orthodox Jewish and Islamic communities in the US and abroad. In some Middle Eastern countries, such as Iran, restrictions on the dress and behavior of women are written into the legal system. In other countries, the restrictions on women may be more cultural than legal. In the US, these types of restrictions were once common, particularly among the richer parts of the society, which tended to shelter its young women and to prepare them for marriage and nothing else. Women in the US today do not usually experience the same restrictions, thanks to the many men and women who campaigned for women's rights in the US. Women can choose how they want to dress and behave, and they may have an education and a career. However, there are still some disparities between men and women in terms of the proportions of each sex who work in particular fields, and in the wage gap between men and women.


The right to vote is one of the key rights that women need to obtain equality with men. In the US, women were given the vote in 1920. Many other countries gave women the vote during the 19th and 20th centuries. In some countries, such as Nigeria, Uganda and Liberia, both men and women were given the vote at the same time. In some parts of the world, women do not have the same political rights as men, which means that they do not have the same influence on their society. In Bhutan, votes are given to each household rather than to each adult, for example.

Crimes Against Women

Crimes against women, such as physical and sexual abuse in the home and in the wider society, and the attitudes to these types of crimes reflect the position of women and their rights in the society. In the US, crimes against women are still relatively common, although women who want to leave abusive marriages or relationships are today provided with support rather than expected to put up with it as they once were. However, it can still be difficult for a woman in the US to report and obtain justice for crimes such as sexual harassment or rape, although it can be equally difficult for men to do so. Some people still hold the opinion that the woman is to blame for such crimes committed against her.

Crimes against women are also a problem elsewhere in the world. In some countries, such as Ethiopia, a woman must be a virgin when she is married, so the practice of bride abduction still occurs, in which a girl is abducted and raped so that she must marry her abductor once she is pregnant. Although the Ethiopian government has made this practice illegal, it is still ongoing. Forced marriages are also a problem in a number of other countries.


Women's rights are still denied in many parts of the world, where women live as second class citizens. In the US, men and women have the same legal rights, but there is still evidence of discrimination against women.

  • Women in the US and many other countries have the same voting rights as men.
  • Women are discriminated against in terms of educational and career opportunities in many cultures.
  • In the US, there is still a pay gap between men and women.


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