This chapter takes a historical perspective so as to contextualise citizenship through elaboration of its legal and theoretical roots. After introducing the terminology of the legal tradition and the models of the modern concept of citizenship, it then describes the delays and the impediments to women's citizenship in the different dimensions of political, civil, and social citizenship rights. Additionally, the role played by feminist interventions in opening up citizenship to women is explained. Different models of citizenship regimes are the background to the gendered understanding and experience of citizenship. Women's equal citizenship was not only delayed but impeded as long as possible. It is also noted that the interplay and interdependence of the three dimensions of citizenship – political, civil, and social – is crucial for the agency of the individual and for a democratic practice.
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