For further information, see Shared earning/shared parenting marriage.
Another manifestation of the change in social attitudes is the non-automatic taking by a woman of her husband's surname on marriage.
(See for example, Married Women's Property Act 1882.) Since World War II, the women's liberation movement and feminism have created a general movement towards recognition of women's rights.
The United Nations and other international agencies have adopted several conventions which promote gender equality.
Christine de Pizan, an early advocate for gender equality, states in her 1405 book The Book of the City of Ladies that the oppression of women is founded on irrational prejudice, pointing out numerous advances in society probably created by women.
The Shakers, an evangelical group, which practiced segregation of the sexes and strict celibacy, were early practitioners of gender equality.
Gender equality is more than equal representation, it is strongly tied to women's rights, and often requires policy changes.
As of 2017, the global movement for gender equality has not incorporated the proposition of genders besides women and men, or gender identities outside of the gender binary.
After Meacham's death in 1796, Wright became the head of the Shaker ministry until her death in 1821.
Shakers maintained the same pattern of gender-balanced leadership for more than 200 years.