The most straightforward definition of feminism says that it is a movement for social, cultural, political and economic equality of men and women. It is a campaign against gender inequalities and it strives for equal rights for women.
Feminism started with the idea that human rights should be given to women. This idea was put forward by some philosophers in the 18th and l 9th centuries, such as Mary Wollstonecraft and John Stuart Mill. Later feminists in the early 20th century also said that women should be allowed to vote in a democracy. Many women felt very strongly that they should be allowed to vote and there were many protests. These women were called Suffragettes. Feminism is interpreted in different ways by different people. Some feminists believe that men and women should always be treated equally. They believe that the traditional idea that women should stay at home and look after children is wrong and that men and women should share this job. Some feminists believe that there are important differences between men and women but these differences should not lead to any unfair treatment of women by men. For example, they might say that most women do want to stay at home and look after children; however, they must not be forced to do this and must be paid to do this, either by the husband or by the government. Radical feminists believe that men and women are completely different and that society must be changed a lot, perhaps, by a revolution.
The Feminist movement all over the world has brought women forward, away from the darkness or the background where they were doomed to stay. Yet, this movement, like any other should not go overboard. Extremities in either direction are not welcome.