Gender Inequality In The Family

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Inequality has long been associated with gender. In response to an evidently growing disparity between the economic and social position of men and women, several vocal groups, led largely by middle class women, formed under the banner of feminism. These groups gained attention from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century and occurred in two phases, known as wave, with the intention to empower women to oppose unjust laws and fight for equality in a society deemed oppressively patriarchal. After successive waves of feminist movement; the 20th century brought about change to the nature of the family nucleus. The influence of feminism was a major factor in the change experienced, within the family unit, to the structure of families, the raising of children and gender roles at home and in the workplace.
Freedom and choice were at the pinnacle of the feminist campaigns and with this, came a restructuring of families. Since activism from feminists began in the second wave, great focus was placed on the concept of marriage and having children. The idea of the traditional family was highly criticised by feminists (Revise Sociology, 2014). In 1975, the Whitlam Labor Government amended the Family Law Act to add a “no fault” divorce element. Prior to this, divorce could only be granted if adultery or a crime had been committed. However, the changes were made in the best interests of children and women who saw it as a legitimate escape option to counter the oppressive patriarchy

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