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What were the main aims of the woman’s rights movement in the 1960s and how much did they achieve Assignment

The women of the USA wanted to show men that they would no longer accept their status as the weaker/inferior sex. They were half the population and should be treated the same way as all of the men in their society. They wanted to be accepted as equals and to be given equal opportunities in life. They wanted employers to give jobs regardless of sex but on mere ability, a law called The 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed that outlawed the discrimination on the grounds of sex.

In 1966 middle-class, white women in general formed a group called NOW (National Organisation for Women – they targeted instances of blatant discrimination on the basis of sex. They generally wanted the right to do the same things as men though not necessarily wanting to do these jobs. They wanted to rid the attitude that they were tools and should not offer opinions, they should marry young and from then on provide their husband with children and a tidy house to come home to after work.

They would no longer fade into obscurity during their middle age but would become more active and seek employment themselves, they also encouraged young schoolgirls to not marry young and be a housewife but to make something of their lives and become successful and prosperous women of this new age. They wanted young girls to university and to make something of their lives(in 1950 there were a mere 721,000 women at universities in the USA and to show how much society was changing it had nearly doubled to 1. 3 million, it was to keep doubling every ten years up until the present day) .

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In 1972 an Educational Amendment Act banned the discrimination within schools of the female sex and allowed them to learn the same curriculum so that they received the same opportunities as their male classmates. Teachers of the 1960s encouraged girls to pursue more ambitious and less stereotypical careers and not to simply accept cooking and cleaning as a way of life. The women who ran ‘NOW’ wanted to break the conventional ideas of women’s jobs that were secretaries, teachers and other jobs that paid a fraction of the fee that their male counterparts received for their jobs as stockbrokers and doctors.

It was not easy to secure a job that was usually for men as they were often engineered to prevent more than a specific percentage becoming that specific job, for example only 7% of doctors could be women and only 4% of lawyers could be women. They wanted to obtain fair opportunities because once they were regarded and treated as equals to men then they could begin to become equals to men. They wanted the right to have abortions, which was a very controversial right to want but they did receive it in 1973.

Women now felt free and began to demand more rights though some were not upheld such as the Equal Rights Amendment and although there was more awareness of the lack of rights of women and the discrimination towards them there was little change in areas such as their salary which remained much the same throughout the 1950s, 1960s and the early 1970s. Also there remained a small number of women in Congress (24 ex 535) which reflected on the lack of change in men’s (and some women’s) opinions on this new revolution of female rights.

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