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Women’s History: Women’s Liberation Movement. Inquiry Question: “How have the rights and freedoms of Australian women changed over the post war period?”. Women’s Liberation Movement.

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women s history women s liberation movement

Women’s History: Women’s Liberation Movement

Inquiry Question: “How have the rights and freedoms of Australian women changed over the post war period?”


In 2004, female earnings were 92% of male earnings, resulting in a gender wage gap of 8%.Female/male earnings ratio among full-time adult non-managerial employees - May 1974 to May 2004(a)


Time Line

  • 1957 The number of women and men voting is approximately equal for the first time.
  • 1960 The Food and Drug Administration approves birth control pills
  • 1964Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars employment discrimination by private employers, employment agencies, and unions based on race, sex, and other grounds. To investigate complaints and enforce penalties, it establishes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which receives 50,000 complaints of gender discrimination in its first five years.
  • 1966 In response to EEOC inaction on employment discrimination complaints, twenty-eight women found the National Organization for Women to function as a civil rights organization for women.
  • 1968 The first national women's liberation conference is held in Chicago.
  • 1968 The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) is founded.
marriage trends
Marriage Trends

●The marriage rate follows the pattern of prevailing economic and social conditions.

●Fallen in times of depression & rises during immediate post-war yearse.g. late 1940s.

●The highest rate was 12 per 1,000 of the population in 1942.

●Since 1970the marriage rate has declined, due toeconomic downturnandrapid social change, such as

  • changes in divorce laws
  • changes in attitudes to marriage and living arrangements
divorce trends
Divorce Trends

●The trend in divorce in Australia changed with the introduction of the Family Law Act 1975 which came into operation on 5 January 1976.

●It allowed only one ground for divorce, an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage, measured as the separation of the spouses for at least one year.

●This legal change resulted in a large increase in the divorce rate in 1976.

●The divorce rate was consistently higher in the 1980s and early 1990s than at any time before 1975.


“But the problem is that when I go around and speak on campuses, I still don’t get young men standing up and saying, 'How can I combine career and family?”

  • Gloria Steinem  (1934- )

"Male and female citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law, must be equally admitted to all honors, positions, and public employment according to their capacity and without other distinctions besides those of their virtues and talents,”

  • Olympede Gouges

“The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all,”

  • AungSan SuuKyi (1945),

“It's hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head,”

- Sally Kempton, Esquire, 1970.


“Women's chains have been forged by men, not by anatomy,”

  • Estelle R. Ramey.

“Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths,”

  • Lois Wyse.

"The day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race."

  • Susan B. Anthony

"The family unit plays a critical role in our society and in the training of the generation to come."

  • Sandra Day O'Connor

"The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn."

—Gloria Steinem


Images of different demonstrations for women’s rights and freedom


A book cover

A book cover

A poster