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Changing role of women 1940s-1970s
Women in the Second World War
1941: single & later married women
without children were conscripted.
Working women over 7 million.
½ million = army,
Introduction of school meals for children = easy to balance work & home life.
Not allowed use a gun or fly a plane.
End of the war the govt. used campaigns = encourage women to give up jobs.
1943 Equal Pay Commission passed = ineffective - improve pay for women.
1945 Butler Education Act = females could get a secondary education.
Life for most women in 1950s
What changed What stayed the same
Home life WWII = no significant change Seen as Domestic Goddess
traditional views = encourage by
Few believed they could be family's
Beveridge Report based
assumption average family =
employed father & non-employed
Education 1944 Education Act meant that Modern school - girls' education
married female teachers could not be still based around traditional
sacked and gave women a better domestic duties and being a good
education. By early 60s, almost a third housewife.
of undergraduates were women and
more women worked.
Work Women were able to work part time, Still huge wage differences. E.g. in
so they could fit work around family 1940 women earned just 42% of
life. men's wages.
Feminist Movement of 1960s & 1970s
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Women started to campaign - women's rights in work, pay, education and
support in issues like divorce and contraception = felt like second-class citizens
& not receive adequate support from state
Change of life of women by 1975
Name Who How Effect
Contraceptive Pill Enoch Powell then Pill available from Control over
1961 Conservative NHS prescription at life, start family
Minister of Health subsided price.…read more
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Politicians often defenceless against pressure of organisation
like this = Women's lib. useful in terms of voting
2. European influence
Jan 1973 joined European Economic Community (EEC/European
Follow EEC Treaty & any changes that brought in within this
3. Attitude of Labour Government
Introduced liberal reforms that the Conservative Govt. not done
e.g. social reforms to help working class, abolishment of capital
punishment, legalisation of male homosexuality & reforms aimed to
improve the lives of women e.g. Abortion Act, Divorce Reform