Feminism describes those movements which aim to achieve equality for women (in relation to men) in every aspect of life.
The development of feminism in America and the UK is now generally considered to have occurred in three stages:
the First-wave feminisim of the late 19th and early 20th century, when the emphasis was on educational opportunities, property and marriage rights, and the suffrage (the right to vote);
the Second-wave feminism of the 1960s and 1970s, when the focus was on issues such as reproductive rights and equality in the workplace;
the Third-wave feminism of the 1980s onwards, which acknowledges the varied nature of the issues faced by women in different parts of the world.