1975 – International Women’s Year
Did it have an impact?
- 1975 – Supreme Court denies states the right to exclude women from juries.
- 1978 – Pregnancy Discrimination act bans employment discrimination against pregnant women.
- 1981 – Sandra Day O’Connor becomes first woman to serve on US Supreme Court. US Supreme Court rules that is constitutional to exclude women from the draft. In another case, Supreme Court overturns states laws designating husbands ‘head and master’ over property jointly owned with his wife.
- 1982 – Equal Rights Amendment fails to be ratified as part of the Constitution.
- 1983 – Sally Ride becomes first American woman into space.
- 1984 – Mississippi finally ratifies the 19th Amendment
- 1988 – Congress passed the Women’s Business Ownership Act, which legally ended financial discrimination against women-owned businesses. Prior to the legislation, many states required females to have a male signature on business loans.
1992 – Year of the Woman
We have another ‘Year of the Woman’ in 1992 after a record number of new women ran and were elected to Congress than ever before. This coming on the heels of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings. Nationally, 11 women won major party nominations for Senate races while 106 women contended for House seats in the general election. 24 new women won election to the U.S. House of Representatives making them the largest number elected to the House in any single election, and the three women elected to the Senate tripled the number of women in that chamber.
What was the impact?
- 1994 – The Violence Against Women Act funds services for victims of rape and domestic violence and allows women to seek civil rights remedies for gender-related crimes.
- 1997 – Madeleine Albright become the first female secretary of state.
- 2000 – Supreme Court invalidates those portions of the Violence Against Women Act permitting victims of rape, domestic violence, etc. to sue their attackers in federal court.
- 2005 – Women make up almost half of America’s labor force, yet only eight Fortune 500 companies have women CEOs or presidents, and 67 of those 500 companies don’t have any women corporate officers.
- 2007 – Nancy Pelosi becomes the first female speaker of the House.
- 2009 – The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act allows victims, usually women, of pay discrimination to file a complaint with the government against their employer within 180 days of their last paycheck.
- 2012 – The Paycheck Fairness Act, meant to fight gender discrimination in the workplace, fails in the Senate on a party-line vote. Two years later, Republicans filibuster the bill (twice).
- 2015 – women make up 5% of CEOs in the nation’s Fortune 500 companies (a drop from 2005) and 17% of the corporate board members among Fortune 500 companies.
2017 – Unexpected Year of the Woman
With Trump’s election, 2017 was named the Unexpected Year of the Woman. Last year we saw the largest women’s march, the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns with men and companies being held accountable for their actions (or inactions) and a surge of women who ran for office and won.