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How the second w e 1960s, ’70s and ’80s saw huge surges in women’s rights and feminist l TIMELINE

1961 The contraceptive pill is introduced, but at first is only available to married women. This is partially extended in 1967, and made available to all women in 1974.

1963 Betty Friedan’s opus The Feminine Mystique, a call to arms for all the dissatisfied housewives and ‘ordinary’ women of ’50s and ’60s America, is published. It is largely considered to have sparked the second wave of feminism.

1964 The Married Women’s Property Act is revised, allowing married women to be the owners of any money they earned and to inherit property.

1967 The Abortion Act legalises the termination of a pregnancy at up to 24 weeks in England, Wales and Scotland, but requires the consent of two doctors.

1980 The 300 Group is founded to campaign for equal representation in Parliament, 300 being roughly half the seats in the House of Commons.

1979 Margaret Thatcher becomes the UK’s first female Prime Minister. She holds the o ce for 11 years, and becomes known as the ‘Iron Lady’.

1978 The Organisation of Women of Asian and African Descent is founded, to fight for issues including immigration and deportation.

Susie Orbach’s bestselling antidiet book Fat is a Feminist Issue is published.

1977 ‘Take Back the Night’ marches in Europe inspire ‘Reclaim the Night’ marches across the UK.

The Women’s Room, by American feminist author Marilyn French, is published.












1981 A group of Welsh women form the antinuclear Greenham Common Peace Camp at RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire.


1982 African-American poet and lesbian-feminist Audre Lorde’s autobiographical novel Zami: A New Spelling of My Name is published.

1984 Women Against Pit Closures is formed during the Miners’ Strike.

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