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The 70's

In 1970, the United Auto Workers became the first major national union to endorse the ERA. The Department of Justice filed the first Title VII suit of sex discrimination in employment. Women from 43 tribes and 23 states organized the North American Indian Women's Association.

In 1971, New York Radical Feminists held "Speak-out on Rape." The US Supreme Court ruled that companies cannot refuse to hire mothers with small children unless the same policy applies to fathers with small children. Erin Pizzy started the first battered women's shelter in England, which led to a movement that spread throughout Europe and the US.

In 1972, Title IX was passed, prohibiting sex discrimination in most federally assisted educational programs. The University of Minnesota let women into its marching band. Sally Priesand was the first woman to be ordained a rabbi. Shirley Chisholm ran for President.

In 1973, the Supreme Court legalized abortion in Doe v. Bolton and Roe v. Wade. Billie Jean King slaughtered Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match. The National Black Feminist Organization was formed. New Jersey opened Little League to girls. The Los Angeles Woman's Building opened--housing art galleries, studios, workshops, and stores.

In 1974, a Washington state court granted a lesbian mother living with her lover custody of her children. The Coalition of Labor Union Women was organized, with Olga Madar of UAW its first president. The National Association of Women Business Owners was formed. The mayor of Davenport, Iowa was denied a BankAmericard because she didn't get her husband's signature for the card.

In 1975, The Supreme Court outlawed the automatic exclusion of women from jury duty. First Women's Bank opened in New York City. Ten Chicanas filed a suit in California claiming they were involuntarily sterilized at a county medical center.

In 1976, the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women was held in Brussels. The FDA required uniform standards for the safety and effectiveness of intrauterine devices. The Air Force agreed to train women pilots but not for combat. Wisconsin women became the first to be listed with their own names--not solely their husbands' names--in the phone book.

In 1977, NBC signed a $1.7 million agreement with the EEOC for back pay and programs for women. The South Australia Parliament became the first in the world to make rape within marriage a criminal offense. Fanny Lou Hamer, a sharecropper who became a civil rights leader, died. The Kitty Genovese Women's Project in Texas published the names of 1,500 men indicted for rape and sexual assault.

In 1978, abortion clinics in several states were vandalized. The Labor Department issued regulations to increase the number of women in blue-collar construction jobs. The first Women's Jazz Festival was held in Kansas City, Missouri. More women than men entered college for the first time in US history.

In 1979, the US Treasury issued the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin. The US Census announces the end of the "head of household" designation. The National Weather Service started naming storms for men, alternating with women's names. More than 290 women held seats on boards of major corporations, almost double the number in 1975.

(source: The Decade of Women)

 
 
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