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Similar questions about compensation and the value of social goals can be raised about women.

Like blacks, women have been treated differently by law and custom. Different treatment has often meant restriction. For example, in the early 19th century married women did not have the same right to hold property as married men. Their right to vote in all elections was not guaranteed until 1919. Until recently, many of the best schools in the country did not admit female students.

Were these restrictions morally wrong? Did they violate the rights of women? If so, what rights did they violate? Could affirmative action be justified as compensation for harm done or on the basis of broad social benefits?