The changing role of women in the USA

Women's right to vote

  • Got the right to vote in 1920
  • part of the 19th Amendment to the US constitution
  • only white women got the right to vote
  • Black women got the right to vote in 1964
  • rate of progress was quicker for white women than black women
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impact of the second world war

  • increased employment opportunities for women
  • however after the war, the majority of women gave up their wartime jobs
  • returned to their roles as mothers and wives
  • or to traditional 'female jobs' e.g. nursing
  • Black women did not really benefit from the war- earned less than white women
  • Black men progressed, being allowed into the army and the airforce (tuskegee airmen)
  • progress for white women slightly quicker than progress for black women
  • progress for black men quickly than progress for black women
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1950's

  • media encouraged women to fulfil traditional family role
  • some women encouraged to take up paid employment
  • limited choice of career
  • were bored of daily routine
  • had increased freedom because of labour saving devices like washing machines
  • black women could not afford the labour saving devices so did not have as much freedom
  • black women earned less than white women
  • progress quicker for white women than black women
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1960's

  • earned 50-60% of the wages men earned doing the same job
  • only 7% of doctors were women
  • 4% of lawyers were women
  • civil rights act banned discrimination due to gender
  • National Organisation for Women (NOW) set up
  • demanded equal rights for women
  • challenged discrimination in the courts
  • similar to NAACP- same aims, but focused on women instead of POC
  • black women and men got right to vote, lots of civil rights protests, civil rights act
  • progress quicker for black americans than women
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1970's

  • NOW has 40,000 members
  • abortion legalised
  • gave women more sexual freedom
  • black americans have developments in sports, tv, film, music and politics
  • progress slightly quicker for black americans than women
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1980-2000

  • first woman appointed to supreme court
  • first american woman in space
  • 70% of women of working age are in employment
  • many still in traditional jobs
  • black americans have many further advances in sport, politics, tv, film and music
  • rate of progress is around the same for women and black americans
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essay plan for additions relating to women

1940's- mention employment opportunities for white women compared to black women compared to black men

1950's- mention increased freedom through new appliances- black women could not afford them

1960's- mention black women get right to vote 40 years later than white women, creation of NOW, civil rights act

1970's-2000- mention abortion law, advances of women in supreme court, space etc. , women still in traditional jobs earning less than men

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