Use the adjective regressive to describe something that moves backward instead of forward, like a society that grants women fewer and fewer rights each year.
To understand the word regressive, it's helpful to know that its antonym, or opposite, is progressive. When something is progressive, it tends to get better and more advanced. Something that's regressive, on the other hand, gets less developed or returns to an older state. Since the late 1800s, regressive has also labeled a kind of tax policy that rewards those who make more money and punishes those who make less.