Tag Archives: feminism

“Ten things an Irish woman could not do in 1970”

Yesterday there was a booklet in the times about Irish women and how times and things have changed. As the saying goes eaten bread is soon forgotten and we have a generation of Irish women who have grown up benefiting from the hard work put in to make socail change and not knowing how things were before and all to happy to distance themselves from being considered a Feminist or Womens’ Libber (hell some of them wouldn’t know the term Womens’ Libber) and don’t think that socail change is possible or that they can effect it.

Yes men played a part in this too, supporting the changes and making them happen,
there are male feminists out there, and more feminists of both genders then most people in Ireland would suspect.

http://www.irishtimes.com/indepth/sisters/changes-from-1970s.html

1 Keep her job in the public service or a bank when she got married

Female civil servants and other public servants (primary teachers, from 1958, were excluded from the so-called “marriage bar”) had to resign from their jobs when they got married, on the grounds that they were occupying a job that should go to a man. Banks operated a similar policy.

How it changed

The marriage bar in the public service was removed in July 1973, on foot of the report of the first Commission on the Status of Women. In 1977, the Employment Equality Act prohibited discrimination on the grounds of gender or marital status in almost all areas of employment.

2 Sit on a jury

Under the 1927 Juries Act, members of juries had to be property owners and, in effect, male.

How it changed

Mairín de Burca and Mary Anderson challenged the Act and won their case in the Supreme Court in 1976. The old Act was repealed and citizens over 18 who are on the electoral register are eligible for juries.

3 Buy contraceptives

The 1935 Criminal Law Amendment Act banned the import, sale and distribution of contraceptives. Some women were able to get doctors to prescribe the Pill as a “cycle regulator” or to fit devices such as the cap. In 1969, the Fertility Guidance Clinic was established in Dublin and used a loophole in the law to give away the Pill for free. (It was thus not being sold.) Most rural and working class women had no access to contraceptives.

How it changed

The Commission on the Status of Women in 1972 delicately suggested that “parents have the right to regulate the number and spacing of their family” but stopped short of an open demand for contraception. The Rotunda hospital, the Irish Family Planning Association and student unions began to distribute contraceptives. The law, however, changed very slowly. The McGee case of 1973 established a right to import contraceptives for personal use, but did not allow them to be sold. A Bill to allow for controlled access was defeated in 1974. In 1979, in an infamous “Irish solution to an Irish problem”, an Act was passed to allow doctors to prescribe contraceptives to married couples only. A 1985 Act allowed contraceptives to be sold to anyone over 18 but only in chemists. The IFPA and Virgin Megastore were prosecuted for selling condoms in 1991. Later that year, the sale of contraceptives was liberalised.

4 Drink a pint in a pub

In 1970, some pubs refused to allow women to enter at all, some allowed women only if accompanied by a man and very many refused to serve women pints of beer. Women who were accidentally served a pint would be instructed to pour it into two half-pint glasses.

How it changed

Women’s groups staged protests in the early 1970s. In one instance, Nell McCafferty led a group of 30 women who ordered, and were served, 30 brandies.They then ordered one pint of Guinness. When the pint was refused, they drank the brandies and refused to pay as their order was not served. In 2002, the Equal Status Act banned gender discrimination in the provision of goods and services. It defined discrimination as “less favourable treatment”. Service can be refused only if there is a reasonable risk of disorderly or criminal conduct.

5 Collect her children’s allowance

The 1944 legislation that introduced the payment of children’s allowances (now called child benefit) specified that they be paid to the father. The father could, if he chose, mandate his wife to collect the money, but she had no right to it.

How it changed

Responding to the report of the Commission on the Status of Women, the 1974 Social Welfare Act entitled mothers to collect the allowance.

6 Get a barring order against a violent partner

In 1970, a women who was hospitalised after a beating by her husband faced a choice of either returning home to her abuser or becoming homeless. Abusive spouses could not be ordered to stay away from the family home, leaving many women little choice but to seek refuge elsewhere.

How it changed

Women’s Aid campaigned for changes in the law, and in 1976 the Family Law Act, Ireland’s first legislation on domestic violence, enabled one spouse to seek a barring order against the other where the welfare or safety of a spouse or children was at risk. The orders were for three months and were poorly implemented. In 1981, protection orders were introduced and barring orders were increased up to 12 months.

7 Live securely in her family home

Under Irish law, a married woman had no right to a share in her family home, even if she was the breadwinner. Her husband could sell the home without her consent.

How it changed

Under the Family Home Protection Act of 1976, neither spouse can sell the family home without the written consent of the other.

8 Refuse to have sex with her husband

In 1970 the phrase “marital rape” was a contradiction in terms. A husband was assumed to have the right to have sex with his wife and consent was not, in the eyes of the law, an issue.

Women’s adultery was also specifically penalised in the civil law, the notorious tort of “criminal conversation” or “CrimCon”: a husband could legally sue another man for compensation for sleeping with his wife.

How it changed

The Council for the Status of Women urged the creation of a crime of marital rape. In 1979 the Minister for Justice Gerard Collins declined to introduce legislation to this effect. Even when new legislation on rape was introduced in 1981, the situation did not change. It was not until 1990 that marital rape was defined as a crime. The first trial, in 1992, collapsed within minutes. The first successful prosecution for marital rape was in 2002.

Crim Con was abolished by the Family Law Act (1981). The Act also, as a dubious quid pro quo, abolished the right to sue for “breach of promise” of marriage – an ancient provision that was occasionally used by jilted women, although it was in theory also available to men.

9 Choose her official place of domicile

Under Irish law, a married woman was deemed to have the same “domicile” as her husband. This meant that if her husband left her and moved to Australia, her legal domicile was deemed to be Australia. Women, who could not get a divorce in Ireland, could find themselves divorced in countries where their husbands were domiciled.

How it changed

Acting on a report from the Law Reform Commission, the Fine Gael junior minister for women’s affairs Nuala Fennell drove forward the Domicile and Recognition of Foreign Divorces Bill in 1985. It granted married women the right to an independent domicile.

10 Get the same rate for a job as a man

In 1970, almost all women were paid less than male colleagues doing the same job. In March 1970, the average hourly pay for women was five shillings, while that for men was over nine. In areas covered by a statutory minimum wage, the female rate was two-thirds that of men.

How it changed

Legislation on equal pay was introduced in 1974 and employment equality legislation followed in 1977, both as a result of European directives.

Did you know that today is international Women’s Day?

Did you know that today is International Women’s Day?

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Did you know that it’s a 100 years from the first one?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Women%27s_Day

In 1910 the first international women’s conference was held in Copenhagen (in the labour-movement building located at Jagtvej 69, which until recently housed Ungdomshuset) by the Second International and an ‘International Women’s Day’ was established, which was submitted by the important German Socialist Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified.[1] The following year, 1911, IWD was marked by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, on March 19.[2]

However, soon thereafter, on March 25, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City killed over 140 garment workers. A lack of safety measures was blamed for the high death toll. Furthermore, on the eve of World War I, women across Europe held peace rallies on 8 March 1913. In the West, International Women’s Day was commemorated during the 1910s and 1920s, but dwindled. It was revived by the rise of feminism in the 1960s.

Demonstrations marking International Women’s Day in Russia proved to be the first stage of the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Following the October Revolution, the Bolshevik feminist Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Lenin to make it an official holiday in the Soviet Union, and it was established, but was a working day until 1965. On May 8, 1965 by the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet International Women’s Day was declared as a non working day in the USSR “in commemoration of the outstanding merits of Soviet women in communistic construction, in the defense of their Fatherland during the Great Patriotic War, in their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the rear, and also marking the great contribution of women to strengthening friendship between peoples, and the struggle for peace. But still, women’s day must be celebrated as are other holidays.”

How is Women’s Day Celebrated?

On this day it is customary for men to give the women in their lives – mothers, wives, girlfriends, daughters, colleagues, etc – flowers and small gifts. In some countries (such as Romania) it is also observed as an equivalent of Mother’s Day, where children also give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union celebrations of IWD were abandoned in Armenia. Instead April 7 was introduced as state holiday of ‘Beauty and Motherhood.’ The new holiday immediately got popular among Armenians, as it commemorates one of the main holidays of Armenian Church, Annunciation. However, people still kept celebrating IWD on March 8 as well. Public discussion held on the topic of two ‘Women’s Days’ in Armenia resulted in the recognition of the so called ‘Women’s Month’ which is the period between March 8 and April 7.

In Italy, to celebrate the day, men give yellow mimosas to women.[19][20] Yellow mimosas and chocolate are also one of the most common March 8 presents in Russia and Albania.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Lithuania, Moldova, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Serbia the custom of giving women flowers still prevails. Women sometimes get gifts from their employers too. Schoolchildren often bring gifts for their teachers as well.

The 2005 Congress (conference) of the British Trades Union Congress overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for IWD to be designated a public holiday in the United Kingdom.

This year the theme is equality.
[YOUTUBE=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye8iGQ1d9Cg]

There are 47 events happening in Ireland to mark the day.
http://www.internationalwomensday.com/search.asp?country=102