Women Empowerment since 1832

Women empowerment has taken its place in history, shaping it into what it is today, changing society and allowing women to achieve any dream they have had of achieving in this lifetime.

Two women from Tennessee Tech University named Paula Hinton, and Nicole Cooke offered their insight on how women empowerment has come to be in the past 188 years dating back to the year 1832. Hinton is a History professor, and Cook is a Sociology and Political Science professor both from the Women and Gender Studies program.

“During World War I the National Woman’s Party protested outside the White House, holding up signs and banners demanding the same freedoms for women in the United States that America was helping other nations in the world protect or obtain. . .”  stated Hinton.

She continued by saying, “. . . After months of non stop protests, the authorities began arresting the women who showed up to protest. In prison, they were horribly abused, when they protested that treatment by going on a hunger strike, they were brutally force-fed, beaten, and ridiculed. When the American people finally heard about what was happening to them, opinion in favor of suffrage for women increased, ultimately causing support for the suffrage amendment to grow.”

Nicole Cook is a Sociology and Political Science professor both from the Women and Gender studies program.

Throughout history there have been numerous women who have contributed to empowerment and fighting for women’s rights. One of those many women is American physician and women’s rights leader, Mary Edwards Walker (1832-1919) was born in Oswego, NY. She was the first female surgeon in the U.S. Army, serving during the Civil War. She was captured and spent four months in a Confederate prison. In 1865, she bec

“Mary Walker and other women who challenged the gender norms of the late 1800s were largely ignored and/or attacked for their views at the time, but over the decades she and others slowly chipped away at the belief that women were inferior to men,” added Hinton.

Cook named another woman who has contributed to women equality.

“If I had to name just one woman, I would choose Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I feel there is none more fitting to mention here when reflecting back on impactful women throughout history due to her recent passing. Like Mary Walker, Ruth Bader Ginsburg paved the way for women and achieved many prominent . . . She worked to change our nation’s laws, many of which disadvantage, and in some instances, disqualify, women from holding an equal place in society. She has had, and will continue to have, a profound impact on where we go from here,” said Cook.

Cook also had a final message to female students at Tech who may be going through a rough time because of their gender, and in trying to succeed in life as a woman in the workforce. 

 “I would tell her that she has many women in her corner fighting with her. There will be many times throughout her life in which she will experience varying degrees of oppression, but that through each of these experiences, she has others to lean on. By helping one another and being a support to one another, we can provide the joint strength we need to continue our efforts,” Cook concluded.