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The changing role of women in Australia since World War 2.

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Introduction

´╗┐Women played a significant role during World War II by proving that they were able to do many of the jobs that had been previously assigned only to men. Significant changes in the roles of women and in the recognition of their rights and equality have been made through successive waves of feminism, during the time period of 1945 to 2000. With this expanded horizon of opportunity and confidence and with the extended skill base that many women could now give to paid and voluntary employment, women's roles in World War II were even more extensive than in the First World War. By 1945, more than 2.2 million women were working in the war industries, building ships, aircraft, vehicles, and weaponry. In 1941 the Federal Government gave its approval for women to join the armed services ? Women?s Australian Auxiliary Air Force (WAAAF), Women?s Royal Australian Navy Service (WRANS), Australian Women?s Army Service (AWAS) ...read more.

Middle

The introduction of contraceptive pills in 1961 meant reliable birth control. This allowed women more control of their life and provided them with opportunities to gain economic independence by entering paid employment. However the wage discrimination was an issue. Before war, women were earning only 54% of a man?s wage for doing the same work. In 1949 the female basic wage was put at 75% if a man?s. In 1969, female workers took a case to Australian Industrial Relations Commission, which decided that women should receive equal pay to men when they are proven to do the same work. By the early 21st century, women have made significant gains in area of equal pay. However, there is still work to be done. In 1969, Zelda D?Aprano, a noted woman for her protesting against the Commonwealth Arbitration Commission?s failure to achieve equal pay for women chained herself to the doors of The Commonwealth bank in Melbourne. ...read more.

Conclusion

Throughout 1970s to early 1990s Australia was slowly beginning to change for women. The Government took positive steps of introducing changes that supported women equality throughout Australia. There are different views about how much impact the women's liberation movement has had on Australia. There is more recognition about violence against women but the violence has not necessarily decreased. Women have more choice over reproduction than they did until the 1960s. Women have been able to reach high positions in politics, the professions and business. It is, however, far more difficult for women to attain these positions than it is for men. Laws attempting to create equal pay and equal opportunity for women do not automatically ensure these things for women. Women's and men's roles in the home have changed little despite the women's movement. Education has improved in terms of female/male equality. Overall there are greater possibilities for women now but there are still proportionately fewer women in key positions in the Australian workforce. ...read more.

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