Ladies Have Come a Long Way since 1970

The nation marks 2020 as the 100th anniversary of American women across the nation now having the right to vote and run for a political office. In 1920, that was a very big deal for your grandmothers and great grandmothers.

However, if you look at the last 50 years, there were many other basic rights that men had that women in the 1970s did not.

Here are a few examples, which may have affected you or your mother or grandmother.

Women could serve in all the military branches, but not be admitted into military academies (such as West Point) until 1976 . It would be 2013 before women could serve in the combat position.

The cost of health insurance was higher for women. Equal rates to males just was not allowed until such practice was outlawed in 2010. If a lady wanted a credit card in her own name, it wasn’t until 1974 that a law forced credit card companies to issue cards to women without their husband’s signature.

Kiwanis and Rotary were the strictly men’s clubs for business networking and community service. Well, many women owned businesses and wanted the opportunity to network and do community service. So in 1987, women were finally allowed to join these service clubs.

Trying to get an Ivy League education such as Yale and Princeton didn’t happen until 1969 when these two universities started accepting female students. Harvard didn’t admit women until 1977. Brown University, Dartmouth and Columbia did not offer admission to women until 1971, 1972 and 1981, respectively.

Before 1978, if a lady became pregnant, they had to resign their job, no matter what it was or be fired.

It wasn’t until 1973 that women could serve on a courtroom jury in all 50 states.

Equal pay for equal work – an employer owed women the same compensation as men for jobs that were the same. This came about in 1970, and included the prevention of employers giving women different titles than men in order to pay them less.

Here are some wonderful topics to speak with female relatives who didn’t have certain rights until well beyond 1970. This should be a part of the family history.

Photos: Female combat service; Credit card; Yale-female student; and equal pay protests.

Related Blogs:

Women Postmasters

Finding Female Ancestors

Voting in the 1870s and 1880s

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