How Have Gender Roles in Society Changed in the Last 50 Years?

Since the 1960s, women have enjoyed increased personal and legal rights. In the past 50 years, women have gained greater financial independence and increased equality in the workplace.

According to the CNN article “5 Things Women Couldn’t Do in the 1960s,” progress for women in the past 50 years has manifested in a variety of ways. Women have gained the ability to own a credit card, serve on a jury, use the birth control pill, attend Ivy League schools and experience increased workplace equality. For example, the article states that the National Organization for Women changed several of Pan Am’s rules for stewardesses that included height, weight and marital status requirements.

Additionally, journalist and activist Gloria Steinem investigated conditions for women at the Playboy Club and discovered that the environment was exploitative. After her article was published, Playboy owner Hugh Hefner improved working conditions in his club. Women also have much more financial independence. Until the 1970s, credit card companies would not issue women credit cards without a husband’s signature, and women lacked the right to start a business without permission from their husbands. As of 2015, women now have increased legal, financial and personal rights, as well as better workplace conditions.