Feminism has altered predominant perspectives in a wide range of areas within Western society, ranging from culture to law.
Feminist activists have campaigned for women's legal rights (rights of contract, property rights, voting rights); for women's right to bodily integrity and autonomy, for abortion rights, and for reproductive rights (including access to contraception and quality prenatal care); for protection of women and girls from domestic violence, sexual harassment and rape;for workplace rights, including maternity leave and equal pay; against misogyny; and against other forms of gender-specific discrimination against women.
Some, such as Frances Willard, belonged to conservative Christian groups such as the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.
Others, such as Matilda Joslyn Gage, were more radical, and expressed themselves within the National Woman Suffrage Association or individually.
Some Postcolonial Feminists, such as Chandra Talpade Mohanty, are critical of Western feminism for being ethnocentric.
Black feminists, such as Angela Davis and Alice Walker, share this view.
Originally it focused on the promotion of equal contract and property rights for women and the opposition to chattel marriage and ownership of married women (and their children) by their husbands.
However, by the end of the nineteenth century, activism focused primarily on gaining political power, particularly the right of women's suffrage.
The first wave refers mainly to women's suffrage movements of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (mainly concerned with women's right to vote).
The second wave refers to the ideas and actions associated with the women's liberation movement beginning in the 1960s (which campaigned for legal and social rights for women).