Before understanding what feminism means and what kind of role it has in world history it is important to clarify definite aspects of its development and find out its influence on today’s society.“Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women” (“Feminism,” n.d.).
In a broad sense it is women’s aspiration towards equality with men in all spheres of society.
Feminists and historians identified three stages in the development of the women’s movement.
The second half of 19th century is the period when an organized women’s movement started.
Women’s subordination also was fixed in religious thought: woman is essentially a secondary creature, as man-made from Adam’s rib.
In the sphere of ethics, feminist thought was oriented on the statement that the main subject of such ethics was the man.
In liberal branches of Protestant Christianity, women may be members of the clergy. The fact of intensification of the women’s movement contributed to the formulation of a number of serious theoretical and philosophical problems.
That is why the result of women’s significance is expressed in the emergence of special academic research on the topic of women, entailing the establishment of departments of universities, centers, and programs specializing in this subject.
Those who believe that women ought to have a role to play in national development and progress cite the examples of modern Europe that was once poor and hungry but all their glory has resulted as a consequence of the toil put together by the two sexes.
The others suggest that women are neither inferior nor equal to men.