Timeline of women's legal rights in the United States (other than voting)

Last updated

The following timeline represents formal legal changes and reforms regarding women's rights in the United States except voting rights. It includes actual law reforms as well as other formal changes, such as reforms through new interpretations of laws by precedents.

Contents

Before the 19th century

1641
1662
1664
1718

19th century

1820–1900
1821
1827
1835
1839
1840
1841
1842
1843
1844
1845
1846
1848
1849

1850–1874

1850
1852
1854
1855
1856
1857
1859
1860
1861
1862
1864
1865
1867
1868
1869
Circa 1870
1870
1871
1872
1873
In places like Washington D.C., where the federal government had direct jurisdiction, the act also made it a misdemeanor, punishable by fine and imprisonment, to sell, give away, or have in possession any "obscene" publication. [28] Half of the states passed similar anti-obscenity statutes that also banned possession and sale of obscene materials, including contraceptives. [29]
The law was named after its chief proponent, Anthony Comstock. Due to his own personal enforcement of the law during its early days, Comstock received a commission from the postmaster general to serve as a special agent for the U.S. Postal Services. [28]
1874

1875–1899

1875
1877
1878
1879
1880
1881
1882
1883
1887
1889
1890
1894
1895
1896
1898

20th century

1900–1939

1907
1908
1910
1912
1915
1918
1921
1922
1931
1932
1936

1940–1969

1945
1946
1947
1948
1955
1959
1961
1963
The law provides (in part) that:
No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section [section 206 of title 29 of the United States Code] shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs[,] the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex [...] [88]
1964
1965
1966
1967
1968
1969

1970–1999

1970
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

21st century

2000
2001
2002
2003
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
2022
2023

See also

Notes

  1. "Closely held" corporations are defined by the Internal Revenue Service as those which a) have more than 50% of the value of their outstanding stock owned (directly or indirectly) by 5 or fewer individuals at any time during the last half of the tax year; and b) are not personal service corporations. By this definition, approximately 90% of U.S. corporations are "closely held", and approximately 52% of the U.S. workforce is employed by "closely held" corporations. See Blake 2014, Washington Post.

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