Throughout most of history women generally have had fewer legal rights and career opportunities than men. Becoming a wife and a mother were seen as a woman's major role in life.
In the 20th century, however, women in most nations won the right to vote and increased their educational and job opportunities. They also fought to change the traditional views of their role in society.
Women for a long time were considered weaker than men. We were seen as squeamish, and unable to perform work which required strength or intelligence. In most societies, domestic chores were left for women to do, while heavier labor such as hunting and farming were left to men. But tests now suggest that women have a greater tolerance for pain, and statistics reveal that women live longer and are more resistant to many diseases. Traditionally a middle-class girl in Western culture tended to learn from her mother's example that cooking, cleaning, and caring for children was the behavior expected of her when she grew up.
Maternity has traditionally been regarded as their major role as well. Resulting in the stereotype that "a woman's place is in the home". However if we look at women today they have the opportunity to go on to further education and finding a stable job before getting married and having children.
By 1985 women were earning 49 percent of all degrees and about 33 percent went on to achieve higher degrees. In 1989 about 53 percent of all college students were women, more than one quarter of whom were above age 29.
Furthermore in role of women changed because we got the right to vote, and wear trousers and dress like men, and become more popular in a male lead world e.g. Politics or Law Enforcement. It is thanks to people such as Annie Oakley, Eleanor Roosevelt and Katherine Hepburn that we have had the chance to grow and change our society as women.
Although in the 21st Century women are still fighting to become more like and behave like the male role for example some ask the question, " Is Sarah Palin the 21st Century symbol of American women in politics?"
There are a variety of American television shows that we can compare and watch to see how women have changed and become more powerful over the last 50 or so years.
For Example: I love Lucy 1951 and Desperate Housewives 2005.