Since the 1970's researches have shown a greater interest in the role of woman in leadership (Northouse, 2013, p 349) The number of women in leadership roles has increased and many scholars have posed the question "Can women lead?"(Northouse, 2013, p 349). After reading Northouses point of view and research about women and leadership I started wondering what events took place in the 1970's that changed researchers interest in woman's leadership skills.
In the 1970's the Supreme Court began to evaluate laws in regards to gender (Walsh, Hemmens, 2011, p 323). With this change there was a resurgence of the feminist movement. The early feminist movement obtained voting rights for women in 1920 with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment (Walsh, Hemmens, 2011, p 319). The resurge of the feminist movement focused on property rights, educational and employment rights, and violence against women and children (Walsh, Hemmens, 2011, p 323).
In 1973 in the Supreme Court case Frontiero v. Richardson and in 1979 Duren v. Missouri woman one the right to oversee estates, receive equal government benefits, and the ability to serve on juries. Women gained more benefits with the passing of Article 11 of the United Nation's Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Woman (UNCEFDW) in 1979 (Walsh, Hemmends, 2011, p 324). This became an international treaty in 1981 and guaranteed woman rights that have been striving for (Walsh, Hemmends, 2011, p. 324). These rights included equal opportunities in the area of employment, training, pay, and benefits. Guidelines were also established to prevent discrimination of woman based on their marital status and maternal issues (Walsh, Hemmens, 2011, p. 323).
Throughout history woman has served as role models and have been brave to stand up for what they believe in. Susan B. Anthony is one of those women. Every time I consider not voting I think of the price she paid for women to vote. In 1872 she was arrested along with fourteen other women for voting illegally (Walsh, Hemmens, 2011, p. 323). She did not get a fair trial since she did not receive a jury of peers since women were not allowed on juries at that time (Walsh, Hemmens, 2011, p 317). Unfortunately she died before she was able to cast a legal vote.
She laid the ground work for other woman with a dream. Today women have demonstrated they can hold the same if not better grade point average then men in medical, business, and other graduate programs (Walsh, Hemmens, 2011, p 328). It is encouraging to see woman taking advantage of the opportunities and programs that have been made available to them. They are involved with making change and history happen.
Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice (Sixth edition). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
Walsh, A. and Hemmens, C. (2011) Law, Justice, and Society A Sociolegal Introduction(Second Edition). Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.