Today the Council on Contemporary Families releases the third set of papers in a three part symposium marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The first two sets of papers described changes in America’s religious and racial-ethnic landscape in the half century since it became illegal to discriminate on the basis of religion, skin color, national origin, race, ethnicity or gender.
It’s appropriate that we turn last to how women have fared since passage of the Civil Rights Act, because the addition of the word “sex” was a last minute addition to the bill. Opponents hoped — and supporters feared — that threatening to make discrimination on the basis of sex illegal would kill the bill, and when it passed anyway, few policymakers took the sex provision seriously. Although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission immediately moved to ban job ads that specified a particular race, it refused to do the same for the sex-segregated want ads that were the norm in 1964.Topics of Expertise: Division of Labor in Families / Feminism & Families / Fertility,Reproduction & Sexual Health / Gender & Sexuality / Health & Illness / History & Trends on Gender, Marriage & Family Life / Labor and Workforce / Work & Family