Women have come a long way in this world, and even though there is still a lot of work to be done, we can look back in history and see what we have achieved throughout the years.
Even though you know that women had to fight for their rights, you probably don’t realize just how many basic things we were denied, and white men had them.
And even though we still struggle with some huge issues, like equal pay, some things have changed in this world, and there are many things women can do now, and couldn’t do until the 1970s.
Check out our list of 10 shocking things women couldn’t do until the ’70s, and some of them might shock you.
10. Women could get fired for getting pregnant
Up until the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was signed in 1978, women could lose their jobs if they had fallen pregnant.
9. Women couldn’t legally terminate their pregnancy for any reason
Even though ending your pregnancy legally is a hot topic even today, it’s important to note that women weren’t allowed to do that until a college student known as “Jane Roe” decided to challenge the law in 1970.
Roe went up against Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade in Texas’ Federal Court, and the case Roe v Wade didn’t end until 1973.
8. Women weren’t allowed in the Military Academy
Even though women have always been a part in wars, girls were not allowed to attend a military academy simply because men believed that women wouldn’t make it through the academy. This idea only changed after the first female students were admitted to West Point in 1976.
7. Women didn’t receive any paid maternity leave
The first time paid maternity leave made headlines were in 1969, when five states agreed that women should be able to take time off after they gave birth, and the state courts ruled that the women should be able to receive some sort of compensation while they were out on maternity leave.
This is how the Temporary Disability Insurance Act was born, however, it didn’t fix everything, and there are still hundreds of workplaces that do not pay maternity leave.
6. Women couldn’t refuse advances from their husbands
Wives only received some legal protection from their husbands in the 1970s, when state courts began to realize that there was something called marital unwanted advances.
However, very few states would do anything about such cases until the early 1990s.
5. Women weren’t allowed to serve as a judge
Even though some states had selected female judges even before the 1970s, women weren’t able to sit in until the 1970s, when the majority of states allowed women to serve as judges.
4. Women weren’t allowed to become astronauts
Even though NASA hadn’t actually banned women from becoming astronauts, they just didn’t allow women to interview for the possibility of becoming an astronaut.
This was partially the case because NASA only accepted military applications, and the military didn’t take women. However, this all changed in 1979 when NASA first started hiring women, and Sally Ride became the first female astronaut to go up into space in 1983.
3. Women couldn’t get the “Morning After” pill
Women struggled to receive the morning after pill before the 1970s, and it would not become FDA approved up until the late 1990s.
2. Women couldn’t serve on a jury before the 1970s
This is one of the gray areas through U.S. history.
Allowing women to serve in a jury became a law for individual states to decide, and many states didn’t allow women to sit on a jury up until 1973, when all 50 states finally made it a requirement that women were also allowed to participate.
1. Women couldn’t apply for any job
Before women started demanding gender equality for getting jobs, they were only allowed to apply for specific positions, such as a teacher or a secretary.
Even though the Civil Rights Act of 1964 worked to end workplace discrimination, it continued in several states among many professions.
Employers couldn’t legally reject women for jobs just because of their gender, but they would then reject them for other reasons.