In 1900 only one country allowed women to vote. This increased in 1950 with 69 countries and in 1975, 129 countries. However even though they gained the right to vote there were still differences in both education and pay. A major issue came after women were given the right to vote which was equal pay. WW2 brought an influx of female workers and they did not want to return to their traditional role. In the 1980’s women were working full time but only making 64% of what a man would make.
Things slowly but surely began to change for women. Beginning with Margaret Thatcher aka ‘Iron Lady’. She was the first women to be elected as a European head of state. The conservative party took over in 1979 and stayed until 1990. Individuals were given greater freedoms. Public expenditures were reduced.
The Women’s Rights Movement began with a book by Betty Frieden named “The Feminine Mystique”- it was a book about women being dissatisfied with their role. In 1966 she founded the NOW (national organization for women). Although it was defeated, they fought for the Equal Rights Amendment which prohibited discrimination. In 1973 they faced another challenge where the supreme court struck down laws which prohibited abortion. In 1970 Gloria Steinem took over NOW however in the 1980’s the group slit to differences regarding abortion issues. By late 1960’s almost all women had access to birth control. It was seen as a major progression as it gave women control over their reproductive role, choice if and when they wanted to be mothers and choice over their careers.
“…while women represent fifty percent of the world’s population, they perform nearly two-thirds of all working hours, receive only one-tenth of the world’s income and own less than one percent of the world’s property”
A way in which African Americans made advancements was through “Great Society”. Johnson convinced the congress to pass Kennedy’s civil rights bill. It allowed the government to cut off funding to any program that practiced discrimination. It also created VISTA to battle poverty.