Women's rights movement of 1960 to 1970

Written by zoe van-de-velde
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Women's rights movement of 1960 to 1970
Women demanded change through the feminist movement in the 1960s and 1970s. (woman image by Ivan Panteleev from Fotolia.com)

The 1960s to 1970s were times of great social change in the United States. Women began to find their voice and demand equality in the workplace, at home, at university and in marriage.

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1960s -- Decade of Social Change

The 1960s saw a growth in the younger population attending colleges and universities, and tired of the old systems of power. The women's movement grew out of women realising that, if they went to work, they earned on average, 63 per cent less than a man doing the same job and women's' prospects in life were severely limited. The feminist movement was spurred on by books such as, "The Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan, who exposed the inequalities that existed in women's lives.

The Middle Classes

The middle class were the driving force behind social change. In 1966, the National Organization For Women (NOW) was established by Betty Friedan and 28 professional women. From 1960 to 1970, women accounted for half the increase in the U.S. workforce.

1970s -- The Feminist Movement

The Feminist Movement took hold in the 1970s. Many books had been written by women, about women and for women, and urged them to demand change. Many more feminist groups had been established and, in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment had been passed in Congress and declared there would be no inequality on the grounds of gender. In 1973, the law was changed to allow women to have an abortion in the early months of pregnancy.

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