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Society

Role of women in society

Isabel Martínez de Perón becomes the first woman President of Argentina in 1974 and the first woman non-monarch head of state in the Western hemisphere.
Margaret Thatcher shortly after becoming the United Kingdom's first woman Prime Minister in 1979. Thatcher's political and economic agenda began the first government committed to neoliberalism.

The role of women in society was profoundly altered with growing feminism across the world and with the presence and rise of a significant number of women as heads of state outside monarchies and heads of government in a number of countries across the world during the 1970s, many being the first women to hold such positions. Non-monarch women heads of state and heads of government in this period included Isabel Martínez de Perón as the first woman President in Argentina and the first woman non-monarch head of state in the Western hemisphere in 1974 until being deposed in 1976, Elisabeth Domitien becomes the first woman Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, Indira Gandhi continuing as Prime Minister of India until 1977 (and taking office again in 1980), Prime Minister Golda Meir of Israel and acting Chairman Soong Ching-ling of the People's Republic of China continuing their leadership from the sixties, Lidia Gueiler Tejada becoming the interim President of Bolivia beginning from 1979 to 1980, Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo becoming the first woman Prime Minister of Portugal in 1979, and Margaret Thatcher becoming the first woman Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1979. Both Indira Gandhi and Margaret Thatcher would remain important political figures in the following decade in the 1980s.

Social movements

Anti-war protests

The opposition to the War in Vietnam that began in the 1960s grew exponentially during the early 1970s. One of the best-known anti-war demonstrations was the Kent State shootings. In 1970 university students were protesting the war and the draft. Riots ensued during the weekend and the National Guard was called in to maintain the peace. However, by 4 May 1970, tensions arose again, and as the crowd grew larger, the National Guard started shooting. Four students were killed and nine injured. This event caused disbelief and shock throughout the country and became a staple of anti-Vietnam demonstrations.

Environmentalism

The 1970s started a mainstream affirmation of the environmental issues early activists from the 1960s, such as Rachel Carson and Murray Bookchin had warned of. The moon landing that had occurred at the end of the previous decade transmitted back concrete images of the Earth as an integrated, life-supporting system and shaped a public willingness to preserve nature. On April 22, 1970, the United States celebrated its first Earth Day in which over two thousand colleges and universities and roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools participated.

Feminism

{{#invoke:main|main}} The Second-Wave Feminist Movement in the United States which began in the 1960s carried over to the 1970s, and took a prominent role within society. The fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (which legalized female suffrage) in 1970 was commemorated by the Women's Strike for Equality and other protests.

With the anthology Sisterhood is Powerful and other works, such as Sexual Politics, being published at the start of the decade, feminism started to reach a larger audience than ever before. In addition, the Supreme Court's 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade that constitutionalized the right to an abortion brought the women's rights movement into the national political spotlight.

Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Betty Ford, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug, Robin Morgan, Kate Millet, Elizabeth Holtzman, amongst many others, led the movement for women's equality.

Even musically, the women's movement had its shining moment. Australian-American singer Helen Reddy, recorded the song "I Am Woman", which became an anthem for the women's liberation movement. "I Am Woman" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and even won Helen her one and only Grammy Award.

Most efforts of the movement, especially aims at social equality and repeal of the remaining oppressive, sexist laws, were successful. Doors of opportunity were more numerous and much further open than before as women gained unheard of success in business, politics, education, science, the law, and even the home. Though most aims of the movement were successful, however, there were some significant failures, most notably the failure to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution with only three more states needed to ratify it (efforts to ratify ERA in the unratified states continues to this day and twenty-two states have adopted state ERAs). Also, the wage gap failed to close, but it did become smaller.

The second wave feminist movement largely ended in 1982 with the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment, and with new conservative leadership in Washington, D.C.. American women created a brief, but powerful, third-wave in the early 1990s which addressed sexual harassment (inspired by the Anita HillClarence Thomas Senate Judiciary Committee hearings of 1991). The results of the movement included a new awareness of such issues amongst women, and unprecedented numbers of women elected to public office, particularly the United States Senate.

Civil rights

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s began to fracture in the 1970s, as social groups began defining themselves more by their differences than by their universalities. The Black Nationalist movement grew out of frustrations with the "non-violent" strategies of earlier Civil Rights Activists. With the assassinations of both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Bobby Kennedy, many blacks were compelled to reject ideas of negotiation and instead embrace isolation. The feminist movement also splintered from a larger push for Civil Rights in the 1970s. The seventies were seen as the "woman's turn", though many feminists incorporated civil rights ideals into their movement. A feminist who had inherited the leadership position of the civil rights movement from her husband, Coretta Scott King, as leader of the black movement, called for an end to all discrimination, helping and encouraging the Woman's Liberation movement, and other movements as well. At the National Women's Conference in 1977 a minority women's resolution, promoted by King and others, passed to ensure racial equality in the movement's goals. Similarly, the gay movement made a huge step forward in the 1970s with the election of political figures such as Harvey Milk to public office and the advocating of anti-gay discrimination legislation passed and not passed during the decade. Many celebrities, including Freddie Mercury and Andy Warhol, also "came out" during this decade, bringing gay culture further into the limelight.

Youth suffrage

{{#invoke:main|main}} The Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on July 1, 1971, lowering the voting age for all federal and state elections from 21 years to 18 years. The primary impetus for this change was the fact that young men were being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War before they were old enough to vote.


1970s sections
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