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Women Coursework

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1. Describe the role and status of women in the late 1940s and 1950s During the Second World War women took over the jobs vacated by the men leaving for the front. This gave women a new sense of independence previously denied to them. Because they had jobs they could spend the money that they earned on luxuries such as clothes and socialising. The Beveridge Report further boosted this boom in independence in 1942. This report suggested the creation of the welfare state. This created the NHS, which for the first time gave women health insurance even if they didn't work. Previously any women who didn't work couldn't pay the insurance stamp and so would have to pay for any health care they had to receive. However, when in 1945 the war ended the problem of soldiers returning form the front with no job to go to occurred. The government policy became to give men priority for jobs over women. It was put under the spin that Women should return to the home and have families so that the nation could recuperate after the losses of the war. It meant that women no longer had the independence given to them by working. ...read more.


These women started to draw together in the form a local groups such as the Peckham Rye Group. The third influence was the reassessment of the female image. Many feminist writers criticized the description of girls in children's reading books and textbooks. They also disagreed with competitions such as the Miss World. We can see this in the new legislation, which started coming through. The Equal Pay Act, Discrimination Act and Matrimonial changes all were vital. The Equal Pay and Discrimination Acts were major landmarks in the struggle for equality. They officially recognised women as being as important as, and equal to, men. They ended the period in the law in which women had been second-class citizens to men and so were probably the most important two pieces of legislation passed in the entire growth of independence. The Matrimonial changes extend this equality into the realm of marriage. It ended the conception that the husband was more important or superior to the wife. These changes allowed women the same freedom to sue for divorce as had been enjoyed by men. It also saw the increase in the view that children should be in the custody of the mother rather than the father. ...read more.


It is now the case that there are more women in Higher education than men and so they can now truly claim to have equal job opportunities to men However with this equality has come a rise in single parents and divorce. In court cases for custody women are seen as the primary carer still despite the increase in homebound men. Can it be argued that the increase in equality has destroyed family values and so is indeed an undesirable thing. Many more clashes occur when this new equality is pressed on other cultures and religions in the Multicultural Britain. In many Muslim and Indian communities the wife is still seen to be subservient to the husband. It is possible that only the white British community truly want equality between man and women and so are we missing the point somewhere. Is equality truly an undesirable situation? Is there such a thing as true equality? Could it not be argued that to not discriminate against one person is to discriminate against another? If so surely it would be better to not try to achieve the impossible and so stop arguments that will arise from the search for equality. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ed Gee 1 ...read more.

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