In most civilizations down through history, women have been considered the intellectual and moral inferiors of men, and laws have relegated them to the status of perpetual minors or at best second-class citizens. Although in the last 100 years or so many new vocations have been opened up to women, working women still face enormous problems in achieving equality of treatment, and their relatively new role in social and economic life still has to win wider recognition. The designation by the United Nations of 1975 as International Women's Year symbolizes the importance attributed by the world community to the advancement of women in society, and marks the Organization's most recent effort to promote equality of women in such fields as law, employment and responsibilities for family and home. Equality is now seen not just as a fundamental principal of human rights but also as a prerequisite for social and economic development and as a stimulus for world peace.
Mother and child in Sicily, summer, 1968. [Exact date unknown]