Why has legislation been important in the development of equal rights for women?please include the name of the legislation and the year it was passed :-)

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many acts of legislation that have been important in the struggle for equal rights for women.   In my mind, three powerful pieces of legislation passed to enhance equal rights for women would be as follows:

1963 The Equal Pay Act is passed by Congress, promising equitable wages for the same work, regardless of the race, color, religion, national origin or sex of the worker.

1964 Title VII of the Civil Rights Act passes including a prohibition against employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.

1994 The Violence Against Women Act funds services for victims of rape and domestic violence, allows women to seek civil rights remedies for gender-related crimes, provides training to increase police and court officials’ sensitivity and a national 24-hour hotline for battered women.

There are so many more pieces of legislature that enhanced women's rights, but for me, these three are the most powerful.  The first two helped enhance the economic rights and earning power of women.  In outlawing gender based discrimination and institutional pay discrimination, greater empowerment for the rights and activities of women were became a closer vision of reality.  The Violence Against Women's Act (VAWA) was also significant for women because it reconfigured how domestic violence and abuse was seen.  For years (and longer) violence in the home was looked at as " a private issue."   VAWA changed by in its suggestion that at any time in a democratic society when any individual's rights are being taken away through violence or emotional cruelty, it is criminal.  Domestic violence, a crime suffered by a great many woman, was looked at as a public issue, not a private one.  In publicizing this issue, women's rights inside the home were enhanced.