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Idea of progress : How did the sixties and seventies mark a period of profound change for women?

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Par   •  4 Janvier 2020  •  Cours  •  524 Mots (3 Pages)  •  533 Vues

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Progress includes all developments that can improve the lives of human beings in their daily, professional or social lives. The history of humanity is a succession of discoveries that have changed the lives of men in many domains. “Women's History", this expression only appeared in the seventies. In the past, the image of a woman was that of a housewife, or a little worker, but not that of a person who is an integral part of society. The period most representative of the idea of progress was the sixties and the seventies, when several battles were fought to change the situation of women. To illustrate these ideas, we can ask ourselves : "How did the sixties and seventies mark a period of profound change for women? ». We will first see how women's rights were before ninety sixty (1960) and then we will see how they evolved.

Before the First World War, women were treated as intellectually inferior and therefore couldn't have the same rights as men. Rights between men and women differ, for example, in education. There are two types of schools: schools for boys and schools for girls. Boys have better education. Girls are principally educated for housework, they learn to take care of an children, to clean and cook. Because of this, before 1870, more than 50% of the female population was not educated, compared to 25% of the male population. Because of this, women in the 19th century were forced to do unskilled and poorly paid work. The rights of men and women also differ with regard to wedding or divorce. Women still need father's consent, regardless of their age, to marry. After wedding, women must comply with certain prohibitions : for example, they cannot practise a profession without the authorization of their husbands.

To change this conception of the woman, some will try to make her evolve. They are convinced that this improvement in women's living conditions depends on the right to vote. Activists have fought for many years to change attitudes and win the rights that women can now enjoy. I am thinking in particular of Emmeline Pankhurst, who in the 19th century was the leader of the suffragette movement. Emmeline Pankhurst founds a political Union and organizes many violent demonstrations. One month after her death, 21 year old women were given the right to vote. This struggle for rights is also evident in the film studied in class "Made in Dagenham". The film is based on the true story of the workers' strike at the Ford factory in 1968. His main character Rita O Grady embodies the feminist movement in the 1960s', they claim equal pay for men and the desire to be considered as a skilled worker. The strike lasted 3 weeks and two years later led to an Equal Pay Act.

In conclusion, the period 1960-1970 was a decisive period for the place of women in society. Both for the British and other countries. This phenomenon of protest and claiming rights is global, we can speak of a women's revolution. The achievement of certain rights was achieved through several major figures such as Emeline Pankhurst.


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