1. Sign up for a credit card.
Until the Equal Opportunity Act was passed in 1974, a woman couldn’t get a credit card in her own name. Married women had to have their husband’s signature for permission, which essentially left single women out of luck.
2. Serve on a jury.
Jury duty is now a standard civic duty for men and women. But it used to be considered inappropriate to ask women to leave the home or view courtroom images. It took a 1973 federal law to allow women to serve.
3. Keep their job while pregnant.
Before 1978, women could be fired if they got pregnant. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 ensured that employers could not discriminate “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.”
4. Serve in the military.
Women couldn’t attend military academies until 1976. However, it took almost another 40 years, until 2013, before women could legally fight in combat.
5. Practice law.
At one time, you could be barred from practicing law simply because you were female. In 1971, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Reed vs. Reed finally made the practice illegal.
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