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In Britain from the period of 1955 to 1975 social attitudes had changed significantly. The public had a completely different idea of the roles women would play in society

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Introduction

In Britain from the period of 1955 to 1975 social attitudes had changed significantly. The public had a completely different idea of the roles women would play in society by the end of this period. Women started taking up male-dominated jobs such as government officials and police officers. New legislations such as the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act, 1975 Employment Protection Act, 1969 Divorce Reform Act and the 1970 Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Act had been passed in government. Such a large factor had an almost immediate impact on the British society. There are many factors which affected people?s views and traditional opinions. These include education, employment, the British household and feminism movements. It is clear to me that women were downgraded within society. In the mid-1950s jobs such as ones related to medicine, law and transport were clearly male-dominated to extreme levels; only a minority of jobs were taken up by women (which including hair-dressing and cleaning). A common example of such gender discrimination was the 11 plus exams. An equal number of boys and girls passed these exams to enter grammar schools. However the girls? limited educational opportunities meant that women were often restricted to lower paid and lower skilled employment sectors. Exams of this were cleaning, textile-related jobs and hairdressing. In the 1960s, approximately 80 per cent of all shop and factory work was done by women. ...read more.

Middle

In conclusion, it is obvious to me that many attitudes within society had changed in a way with allowed the majority of women to be treated fairly. However, there were many women who were disproportionately employed in lower-skilled and paid jobs. There were ?loop-holes? in the 1970 Equal Pay Act as some jobs which were previously male-dominated stayed that way after 1975. The feature of ?Employment and Education? links to my next point, ?The British Household?. This is because women who did not go to work stayed at home doing ?traditional roles?. During the 1960s, the British society had a very stereotypical (and traditional) view on the role of women (especially in a household). The idea of a nuclear family was promoted within Britain. This consisted of a husband and wife along with two children. Such a negative aspect clearly impacted the control of women over the household. Furthermore, the average age of marriage was 22. For example, the 1959 Divorce Reform Act suggested that after a breakdown of relationship there should be a ?no-fault? divorce. In the 1960s many women magazines reinforced traditional social attitudes with messages such as, ?keeping your man? and ?be more beautiful?. Also, many supermarkets promoted their good (for the household) with images of women working with them which, yet again, continued to reinforce the domestic role of women within Britain. ...read more.

Conclusion

Such movements promoted the idea of new legislations being passed through government. These included the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act and the 1975 Employment Protection Act. Source G, ?The National Women?s Liberation Movement? shows members of the National Women?s Liberation Movement marching and protesting for equal rights (Appendix 7). This show to me that both men and women protesting for equal rights which brought about a change as it was clear to the government that a change was needed as such a large amount of people wanted a difference. Therefore, many legislations (such as the ones listed above) were passed. As a result, I think that there was a huge change in the attitudes the society had as a result of the protesting of such campaigns and movements which resulted in women and men being more equal by 1975. Ultimately, In conclusion, it is clear that by 1975, Britain was a more equal society and attitudes had been altered gradually across the majority of people in the UK- this eventually cause a significant change especially within the middle class. These changes were established through ideologies such as stereotypical views towards women, female employment and education, women in the household and feminism movements. I can tell that most of the change that occurred was due to the fact that people had old, traditional views and the basic ideologies they had developed from the past which meant that they would have certain stereotypical opinions of the women?s? roles in society. ...read more.

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