The Civil Rights Movement: The 2nd Wave Of Feminism

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The Civil Rights Movement that had begun in the 1950s had originally focused on advocating for the rights of African Americans. The movement soon expanded to include several other groups who began demanding greater rights and freedoms, a major one being women. Although stepping up and joining the workforce due to World War II in the early twentieth century, women were quickly shooed out of factories and businesses and confined to their homes and families once the world regained stability. Many women who were dissatisfied with their lives under social restrictions began the movement known as the ‘2nd Wave of Feminism’, in which women fought for their rights of equal pay, maternity leave, and other entitlements. Particularly in the working world,…show more content…
In 1963, Congress responded to the pressure of the 2nd Wave of Feminism by passing the Equal Pay Act, which was put in place to “prohibit discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages”. This act, although not completely closed the wage gap, helped women earn more money for labor than they had in the past. Additionally, Title IX of the Civil Rights Act created in 1964 banned employment discrimination based on gender. This helped women face exclusion from employers who had previously barred women entrance into the workforce. As the feminists did in the 1920s, women of the 2nd Wave pressed for an equal rights amendment (ERA) that would overturn state or federal laws that discriminated against women. Though approved by Congress in 1972, the amendment failed to be ratified by 38 states, thus, not yet establishing equal rights for women. The women of the 2nd wave made victorious gains in legislation that aided them in their new lives as working…show more content…
Although women had attained a greater access of jobs and legal rights in the workplace, they still have a long way to go in terms of full equality. Women are still paid 80% of what men are paid, the gap even larger for women of color and elder women. In current times, women’s earning have stagnated, and pay equity isn’t expected until over 50 years from now. There needs to be further legislation to close the wage gap and give women the pay they deserve. The 2nd Wave of Feminism started by the women of the mid-twentieth century established new rights for working women, however, women are still struggling for equal pay and treatment in the workforce. The future of working women depends on the current generation who are continuing the fight for women’s rights, just as the women of the 1960s and 1970s
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