To what extent have feminist ideas influenced policy making since 1965 Critically discuss with reference to ONE of the followin - Essay Example

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Course 16 May 2011 Feminism and Policy Making since 1965: The Equal Opportunities Issues This essay will deal with the influence of feminist ideas on the policy making since 1965, with the emphasis on the impact of feminism on the formation of modern equal opportunities systems…
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To what extent have feminist ideas influenced policy making since 1965 Critically discuss with reference to ONE of the followin
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Download file to see previous pages While the first wave of feminism was primarily concerned with formal political rights, the second generation of feminist thinkers laid the emphasis on the issues of workplace and marital equality, as well as those of women’s representation in public agencies. This had an important impact on further policy making. National Organization of Women and the Struggle for Women’s Rights. While the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was founded in 1965 in order to combat the gender discriminatory practices in the sphere of employment, its activity was judged to be unsatisfactory by many activists of women’s movement. In 1966, liberal feminists led by Betty Friedan, a celebrated author of The Feminine Mystique, formed the National Organization for Women (NOW) that aimed at integrating women “into full participation in the mainstream of American society now, assuming all privileges and truly equal partnership with men” (qtd. in Thornham 25). The foundation of NOW was caused by repeated refusal of the EEOC officials to seriously confront the prevalent discriminatory practices in the labour relations (Banks 212). ...
Constitution (Harrison 198). The activities of NOW mainly concentrated on creating publicity for the organisation, which was expressed through pickets and other public demonstrations, and on lobbying political establishment, including the Presidency. Nevertheless, their actions eventually proved rather fruitful for the further development of women’s movement and the adoption of equality legislation. The first influence of feminist movement on equal opportunities policies in the USA after 1965 may be traced in the controversy surrounding the inclusion of provision on sex discrimination in Executive Order 11246, which aimed at creating affirmative action programmes for racial minorities. As the 1964 Civil Rights Act had already provided for prevention of sexual discrimination in employment, the omission of sex discrimination clause in that Executive Order was regarded as an expression of neglect for the needs of women. Consequently, the efforts of several women’s organisations, including the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs and Federal Women’s Award Study Group, led to the inclusion of the provision against sex discrimination in the text of Executive Order in October 1967, with the NOW leadership asserting that it was a victory for their ideas (Harrison 202). Later on, NOW repeatedly clashed with the EEOC apparatus with regard to protective labour legislation. In 1967 EEOC was forced to back away from its previous non-interventionist attitude on such issues as labour rights for female workers and age and marital status discrimination at the workplace, with air flight companies being the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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