Women’s Rights During My Children’s Life Time

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[My visit to Seneca Falls]

Notice the 1980s – it was the decade of backlash against women’s rights.

1970: No Fault Divorce eased the burden for women to leave bad marriages.

1972: Women win the right to run in the Boston Marathon.

1972: Stewardesses could keep their jobs after marriage.

1972: Supreme Court rules that the right to privacy includes an unmarried woman’s right to use contraceptives.

1972: Title IX passes compelling colleges and universities to support women’s athletics, however, one of the biggest and most immediate impacts of the law affected women enrolling in law and medical schools.

1973: Women win the right to a safe and legal abortion,eradicating ‘back alley’ butcher shops.

1974: The first shelter for battered women opens in St. Paul,Minnesota. By the mid-1990’s, large cities report they may have to turn away as many as 70% of the women who seek temporary respite from violence in their own homes.

1974: The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy becomes the first U.S.service academy to enroll women.

1974: Women are finally allowed to apply for credit cards under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

1975: The first women’s bank opened.

1975: Pregnancy and Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Itis an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

1975: Supreme Court now holds that the exclusion of women from juries is not permissible.

1976: Nebraska made it illegal for a husband to rape his wife. In 1993, marital rape became criminalized in all 50 states. Nevertheless, marital rape is still often treated differently to other forms of rape in some states even today.

1976: U.S. military academies are required to admit women.

1977: First time a court recognized sexual harassment in the workplace but it wasn’t until 1980 that sexual harassment was officially defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

1978: It became illegal to fire a woman for being pregnant.

1979: Louisiana became the last state to give both spouses the legal right to manage the community property.

1982: The Equal Rights Amendment fails to be ratified. ERA simply states, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

1990: The Clery Act, requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aide programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses. The law is named Jeanne Clery who, on April 5, 1986, was raped and murdered in Stoughton Hall at Lehigh University. Rape remains rampant on college and university campuses.

1993: The Supreme Court rules that sexual harassment in the work place is illegal.

1994: The Violence Against Women Act tightens federal penalties for sex offenders, funds services for victims of rape and domestic violence, and provides for special training of police officers.

1996: Military schools refusing women entrance continue to appeal to The Supreme Court.

2013: Among full-time, year-round workers, women are paid 78 percent of what men were paid.

2015: Women are still earning less than their male counterparts for the same job.

2016: Women allowed to serve in any job in the armed services, provided they meet gender neutral performance standards.

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