Women’s Rights have changed without a doubt since 1945. Many opportunities arose for women and women could do things they could never do before. They were able to voice their opinions without being suppressed and this made women very happy. Prior to 1945, women’s rights were limited in areas such as politics, employment opportunities and social opportunities available to them. Largely, women were expected to be wives, mothers and work within the home; this was particularly the case for middle class women who did not suffer the financial burden of providing for their families. Prior to 1945, women had limited opportunities to voice their concerns and interests in public spaces and often suffered without legal or social support within abusive family situations. This began to change with the rise of second wave feminist movement which focused in equality for women. Politics
Prior to 1945, women had limited voices to discuss issues of equality in the political arena. This changed as feminists such as Germaine Greer wrote and encouraged women to be politically active. The Women’s Electoral Lobby formed in 1972 which lobbied for childcare and maternity leave. In 1975, the Whitlam Government elected women’s representative; Elizabeth Reid to address women’s rights in the political arena. Employment
During the early 1970s, there was a significant push to make tertiary education in Australia more accessible to working and middle class Australians. The Whitlam Labor Government abolished university fees on January 1st 1974. Equal pay progression was up to 1974 including an adult minimum wage. Different jobs were available to women due to free tertiary education allowing social mobility. Social mobility was the ability to change social classes. The Anti-Discrimination (1985) made it unable to discriminate on the grounds of gender or pregnancy. Social Change
Women’s rights within society and the home as well as expectations altered as women gained greater voices within society. In 1961, the introduction of the Birth Control Pill allowed middle class women to control when they could have children. The Family Law Act (1975) established the principle of no-fault divorce in Australian law. This means that a court does not consider which partner was at fault in the marriage breakdown. To conclude, women’s rights have undoubtedly changed since 1945. The key areas were politics, employment and social change. After 1945 was the era in which the woman would shine.
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