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Timeline of women's legal rights (other than voting)

Timeline of women's legal rights (other than voting) represents formal changes and reforms regarding women's rights. That includes actual law reforms as well as other formal changes, such as reforms through new interpretations of laws by precedents. The right to vote is exempted from the timeline: for that right, see Timeline of women's suffrage. The timeline excludes ideological changes and events within feminism and antifeminism: for that, see Timeline of feminism.

Before the 19th century

24th century BC
  • City-state Lagash in Mesopotamia: Some of the laws in the code of Urukagina were: Widows were exempted from taxes,[1] and "When to the reeds of Enki a person has been brought...One woman’s headband, and one sila (1 l.) of princely fragrance shall the eresh-dingir priestess take away." As well, Urukagina greatly expanded the royal "Household of Women" from about 50 persons to about 1500 persons, renamed it the "Household of goddess Bau", gave it ownership of vast amounts of land confiscated from the former priesthood, and placed it under the supervision of his wife, Shasha (or Shagshag).[2] However, Urukagina also seems to have abolished the former custom of polyandry in his country, on pain of the woman taking multiple husbands being stoned with rocks upon which her crime is written.[3] No comparable laws from Urukagina addressing penalties for adultery by men have survived. There is also a statute from Urukagina's time stating that "if a woman says [text illegible...] to a man, her mouth is crushed with burnt bricks." The discovery of these fragments has led some modern critics to assert that they provide "the first written evidence of the degradation of women".[4]
About 2100–2050 BC
  • Mesopotamia (Code of Ur-Nammu): Some of the laws in the Code were: A woman (munus) went from being a daughter (dumu-mi) to a wife (dam), then if she outlived her husband, a widow (nu-ma-su), who could remarry. "If the wife of a man followed after another man and he slept with her, they shall slay that woman, but that male shall be set free", "If a man violates the right of another and deflowers the virgin wife of a young man, they shall kill that male", "If a man proceeded by force, and deflowered the virgin female slave of another man, that man must pay five shekels of silver", "If a man divorces his first-time wife, he shall pay (her) one mina of silver, "If it is a (former) widow whom he divorces, he shall pay (her) half a mina of silver", "If the man had slept with the widow without there having been any marriage contract, he need not pay any silver", "If a man accused the wife of a man of adultery, and the ordeal by water proved her innocent, then the man who had accused her must pay one-third of a mina of silver", "If a prospective son-in-law enters the house of his prospective father-in-law, but his father-in-law later gives his daughter to another man, the father-in-law shall return to the rejected son-in-law twofold the amount of bridal presents he had brought", "If a man’s slave-woman, comparing herself to her mistress, speaks insolently to her, her mouth shall be scoured with 1 quart of salt" and "If a slave woman strikes someone acting with the authority of her mistress, [text destroyed...]".[5]
About 1870 BC
  • Isin (Codex of Lipit-Ishtar): Some of the laws were: "If the father is living, his daughter whether she be a high priestess, a priestess, or a hierodule shall dwell in his house like an heir", "If the second wife whom he had married bore him children, the dowry which she brought from her father's house belongs to her children but the children of his first wife and the children of his second wife shall divide equally the property of their father", "If a man married his wife and she bore him children and those children are living, and a slave also bore children for her master but the father granted freedom to the slave and her children, the children of the slave shall not divide the estate with the children of their former master", "If a man's wife has not borne him children but a harlot from the public square has borne him children, he shall provide grain, oil and clothing for that harlot. The children which the harlot has borne him shall be his heirs, and as long as his wife lives the harlot shall not live in the house with the wife", and "If a son-in-law has entered the house of his (prospective) father-in-law and afterwards they made him go out (of the house) and gave his wife to his companion, they shall present to him the betrothal gifts which he brought and that wife may not marry his companion."
About 1754 BC
  • Babylon (Code of Hammurabi): Some of the laws in this Code were: Men were permitted to have affairs with their servants and slaves, whereas married women would be harshly punished for committing adultery.[6] "If any one 'point the finger' at a sister of a god or the wife of any one, and can not prove it, this man shall be taken before the judges and his brow shall be marked (by cutting the skin, or perhaps hair)."[7] "If a woman quarrel with her husband, and say: 'You are not congenial to me,' the reasons for her prejudice must be presented. If she is guiltless, and there is no fault on her part, but he leaves and neglects her, then no guilt attaches to this woman, she shall take her dowry and go back to her father's house."[7]
About 1650 – 1500 BC
  • Code of the Nesilim: Some of the laws were: "If anyone cause a free woman to miscarry, if it be the tenth month, he shall give ten half-shekels of silver, if it be the fifth month, he shall give five half-shekels of silver", "If anyone cause a female slave to miscarry, if it be the tenth month, he shall give five half-shekels of silver", "If a free man and a female slave be fond of each other and come together and he take her for his wife and they set up house and get children, and afterward they either become hostile or come to close quarters, and they divide the house between them, the man shall take the children, only one child shall the woman take", "If a slave take a woman as his wife, their case is the same. The majority of the children to the wife and one child to the slave", "If a slave take a female slave their case is the same. The majority of children to the female slave and one child to the slave", "If a slave convey the bride price to a free son and take him as husband for his daughter, nobody dare surrender him to slavery", "If a man have intercourse with his own mother, it is a capital crime, he shall die", "If a man have intercourse with a daughter, it is a capital crime, he shall die", "If a man and a woman come willingly, as men and women, and have intercourse, there shall be no punishment. And if a man have intercourse with his stepmother, there shall be no punishment; except if his father is living, it is a capital crime, the son shall die", "If a free man picks up now this woman, now that one, now in this country, then in that country, there shall be no punishment if they came together sexually willingly", "If the husband of a woman die, his wife may take her husband's patrimony", "If a free man pick up female slaves, now one, now another, there is no punishment for intercourse. If brothers sleep with a free woman, together, or one after the other, there is no punishment. If father and son sleep with a female slave or harlot, together, or one after the other, there is no punishment", "If a man sleep with the wife of his brother, while his brother is living, it is a capital crime, he shall die. If a man have taken a free woman, then have intercourse also with her daughter, it is a capital crime, he shall die. If he have taken her daughter, then have intercourse with her mother or her sister, it is a capital crime, he shall die", "If a man rape a woman in the mountain, it is the man's wrong, he shall die. But if he rape her in the house, it is the woman's fault, the woman shall die. If the husband find them and then kill them, there is no punishing the husband", and "If any man have intercourse with a foreign woman and pick up this one, now that one, there is no punishment."[8][9]
About 1075 BC
  • Assyria (Code of the Assura): Some of the laws of the Code were: "If a woman, whether the wife of a man or the daughter of a man, utter vulgarity or indulge in low talk, that woman bears her own sin; against her husband, her sons, or her daughter they shall have no claim", "If a woman bring her hand against a man, they shall prosecute her; 30 manas of lead shall she pay, 20 blows shall they inflict on her", "If a woman in a quarrel injure the testicle of a man, one of her fingers they shall cut off. And if a physician bind it up and the other testicle which is beside it be infected thereby, or take harm; or in a quarrel she injure the other testicle, they shall destroy both of her eyes", "If a man bring his hand against the wife of a man, treating her like a little child, and they prove it against him, and convict him, one of his fingers they shall cut off. If he kiss her, his lower lip with the blade of an axe they shall draw down and they shall cut off", "If the wife of a man be walking on the highway, and a man seize her, say to her 'I will surely have intercourse with you,' if she be not willing and defend herself, and he seize her by force and rape her, whether they catch him upon the wife of a man, or whether at the word of the woman whom he has raped, the elders shall prosecute him, they shall put him to death. There is no punishment for the woman", "If the wife of a man go out from her house and visit a man where he lives, and he have intercourse with her, knowing that she is a man's wife, the man and also the woman they shall put to death", "If a man have intercourse with the wife of a man either in an inn or on the highway, knowing that she is a man's wife, according as the man, whose wife she is, orders to be done, they shall do to the adulterer. If not knowing that she is a man's wife he rapes her, the adulterer goes free. The man shall prosecute his wife, doing to her as he likes", "If a man catch a man with his wife, both of them shall they put to death. If the husband of the woman put his wife to death, he shall also put the man to death. If he cut off the nose of his wife, he shall turn the man into a eunuch, and they shall disfigure the whole of his face", "If a man have relations with the wife of a man at her wish, there is no penalty for that man. The man shall lay upon the woman, his wife, the penalty he wishes", "If a man say to his companion, 'They have had intercourse with thy wife; I will prove it,' and he be not able to prove it, and do not prove it, on that man they shall inflict forty blows, a month of days he shall perform the king's work, they shall mutilate him, and one talent of lead he shall pay", "If a man strike the daughter of a man and cause her to drop what is in her, they shall prosecute him, they shall convict him, two talents and thirty manas of lead shall he pay, fifty blows they shall inflict on him, one month shall he toil", "If a woman be dwelling in the house of her father, and her husband have died, any gift which her husband settled upon her—if there be any sons of her husband's, they shall receive it. If there be no sons of her husband's she receives it", "If a woman be dwelling in the house of father, but has been given to her husband, whether she has been taken to the house of her husband or not, all debts, misdemeanors, and crimes of her husband shall she bear as if she too committed them. Likewise if she be dwelling with her husband, all crimes of his shall she bear as well", "If a woman, who is a widow, enter into the house of a man, whatsoever she brings with her—all is her husband's. But if a man enter in to a woman, whatsoever he brings—all is the woman's", "If a man divorce his wife, if he wish, he may give her something; if he does not wish, he need not give her anything. Empty shall she go out", "If the wives of a man, or the daughters of a man go out into the street, their heads are to be veiled. The prostitute is not to be veiled. Maidservants are not to veil themselves. Veiled harlots and maidservants shall have their garments seized and 50 blows inflicted on them and bitumen poured on their heads", "If a woman whose husband is dead on the death of her husband do not go out from her house, if her husband did not leave her anything, she shall dwell in the house of one of her sons. The sons of her husband shall support her; her food and her drink, as for a fiancee whom they are courting, they shall agree to provide for her. If she be a second wife, and have no sons of her own, with one of her husband's sons she shall dwell and the group shall support her. If she have sons of her own, her own sons shall support her, and she shall do their work. But if there be one among the sons of her husband who marries her, the other sons need not support her", "If a man strike the wife of a man, in her first stage of pregnancy, and cause her to drop that which is in her, it is a crime; two talents of lead he shall pay", "If a man strike a harlot and cause her to drop that which is in her, blows for blows they shall lay upon him; he shall make restitution for a life", "If a woman of her own accord drop that which is in her, they shall prosecute her, they shall convict her, they shall crucify her, they shall not bury her. If she die from dropping that which is in her, they shall crucify her, they shall not bury her", "If a virgin of her own accord give herself to a man, the man shall take oath, against his wife they shall not draw nigh. Threefold the price of a virgin the ravisher shall pay. The father shall do with his daughter what he pleases", and "Unless it is forbidden in the tablets, a man may strike his wife, pull her hair, her ear he may bruise or pierce. He commits no misdeed thereby."[10]
10th–6th century BC
  • Law of Moses: Some of the Law of Moses concerning women was as such: In the Mosaic law, for monetary matters, women's and men's rights were almost exactly equal. A woman was entitled to her own private property, including land, livestock, slaves, and servants. A woman had the right to inherit whatever anyone bequeathed to her as a death gift, and in the absence of sons would inherit everything. A woman could likewise bequeath her belongings to others as a death gift. Upon dying intestate, a woman's property would be inherited by her children if she had them, her husband if she was married, or her father if she were single. A woman could sue in court and did not need a male to represent her. In some situations, women actually had more rights than men. For example, captive women had to be ransomed prior to any male captives. Even though sons inherited property, they had a responsibility to support their mother and sisters from the estate, and had to ensure that both mother and sisters were taken care of prior to their being able to benefit from the inheritance, and if that wiped out the estate, the boys had to supplement their income from elsewhere. When it came to specific religious or sacramental activities, women had fewer opportunities or privileges than men. For example, in monetary or capital cases women could not serve as witnesses. A woman could not serve as a kohen in the Temple. A woman could not serve as queen regnant, the monarch had to be male. A divorce could only be granted by the husband, upon which time she would receive the Ketubah and the return of significant portions of her dowry. The vow of an unmarried girl between the ages of 12 years and 12 years and six months might be nullified by her father and the vow of a wife that affected marital obligations may be annulled by her husband; the guilt or innocence of a wife accused of adultery might be tested through the Sotah process, although this only was successful if the husband was innocent of adultery, and daughters could inherit only in the absence of sons.
7th century BC
  • Locrian Code, Locris: Some of the laws of the Code were:

A free-born woman may not be accompanied by more than one female slave, unless she is drunk; she may not leave the city during the night, unless she is planning to commit adultery; she may not wear gold jewelry or a garment with a purple border, unless she is a courtesan.[11]

5th century BC
  • Gortyn (Gortyn Code, also called the Great Code): Some of the laws of the Code were: The code dictates higher fines for adultery committed within the household of the female's father, husband or brother, as opposed to another location. Fines also depend on whether the woman has previously committed adultery. The fines are levied against the male involved in the adultery, not the female. The code does not provide for the punishment of the female. Divorced women are entitled to any property that they brought to the marriage and half of the joint income if derived from her property. The code also provides for a portion of the household property. The code stipulates that any children conceived before the divorce but born after the divorce fall under the custody of the father. If the father does not accept the child, it reverts to the mother. Although the husband manages the majority of the family property, the wife's property is still delineated. If the wife dies, the husband becomes the trustee to her property and may take no action on it without the consent of her children. In the case of remarriage, the first wife's property immediately comes into her children's possession. If the wife dies childless, her property reverts to her blood relatives. If the husband dies with children, the property is held in trust by the wife for the children. If the children are of age upon their father's death, the property is divided between the children, with males receiving all of the land. If the husband dies without any children, the wife is compelled to remarry. Adopted children receive all the inheritance rights of natural children and are considered legitimate heirs in all cases, but women are not allowed to adopt children.[12]
451 BC
Rome: The Twelve Tables has three sections that pertain to women and concern estates and guardianship, ownership and possession, and religion, which give a basic understanding as to the legal rights of women.
  • Table V (Estates and Guardianship): “Female heirs should remain under guardianship even when they have attained the age of majority, but exception is made for the Vestal Virgins.”[13]
  • Table VI (Ownership and Possession): “Where a woman, who has not been united to a man in marriage, lives with him for an entire year without an interruption of three nights, she shall pass into his power as his legal wife.”[13]
  • Table X (Religion): “Women shall not during a funeral lacerate their faces, or tear their cheeks with their nails; nor shall they utter loud cries bewailing the dead.”[13]

One of the aspects highlighted in the Twelve Tables is a woman's legal status and standing in society. Women were considered to be a form of guardianship similar to that of minors,[14] and sections on ownership and possession give off the impression that women were considered to be akin to a piece of real estate or property due to the use of terms such as "ownership" and "possession".[14]

215 BC
  • Rome: The Lex Oppia was established; it forbade any woman to possess more than half an ounce of gold, to wear a multi-colored garment (particularly those trimmed in purple), or to ride in an animal-drawn vehicle in the city or any town or within a mile thereof, except in the case of public religious festivals.[15]
About 200 BC
  • India: The Manusmriti legal text offers an internally inconsistent and conflicting perspective on women's rights.[16] The text, for example, declares that a marriage cannot be dissolved by a woman or a man, in verse 8.101–8.102.[17] Yet, the text, in other sections, allows either to dissolve the marriage. For example, verses 9.72–9.81 allow the man or the woman to get out of a fraudulent marriage or an abusive marriage, and remarry; the text also provides legal means for a woman to remarry when her husband has been missing or has abandoned her.[18] It preaches chastity to widows such as in verses 5.158–5.160, opposes a woman marrying someone outside her own social class as in verses 3.13–3.14.[19] In other verses, such as 2.67–2.69 and 5.148–5.155, Manusmriti preaches that as a girl, she should obey and seek protection of her father, as a young woman her husband, and as a widow her son; and that a woman should always worship her husband as a god.[20] In verses 3.55–3.56, Manusmriti also declares that "women must be honored and adorned", and "where women are revered, there the gods rejoice; but where they are not, no sacred rite bears any fruit".[21][22] Elsewhere, in verses 5.147–5.148, states Olivelle, the text declares, "a woman must never seek to live independently".[23] Simultaneously, states Olivelle, the text presupposes numerous practices such a marriages outside varna, such as between a Brahmin man and a Shudra woman in verses 9.149–9.157, a widow getting pregnant with a child of a man she is not married to in verses 9.57–9.62, marriage where a woman in love elopes with her man, and then grants legal rights in these cases such as property inheritance rights in verses 9.143–9.157, and the legal rights of the children so born.[24] The text also presumes that a married woman may get pregnant by a man other than her husband, and dedicates verses 8.31–8.56 to conclude that the child's custody belongs to the woman and her legal husband, and not to the man she got pregnant with.[25][26] Manusmriti provides a woman with property rights to six types of property in verses 9.192–9.200. These include those she received at her marriage, or as gift when she eloped or when she was taken away, or as token of love before marriage, or as gifts from her biological family, or as received from her husband subsequent to marriage, and also from inheritance from deceased relatives.[27] Flavia Agnes states that Manusmriti is a complex commentary from women's rights perspective, and the British colonial era codification of women's rights based on it for Hindus, and from Islamic texts for Muslims, picked and emphasized certain aspects while it ignored other sections.[16] This construction of personal law during the colonial era created a legal fiction around Manusmriti's historic role as a scripture in matters relating to women in South Asia.[16][28]
195 BC
42 BC
5th to 8th century
  • Brehon Law, Ireland: Women, like men, were Brehons.[30] Brehon Laws have a reputation among modern scholars as rather progressive in their treatment of women, with some describing the law as providing for equality between the sexes.[31] However, the Laws generally portray a patriarchal and patrilineal society in which the rules of inheritance were based on agnatic descent.[32] It has sometimes been assumed that the patriarchal elements of the law are the result of influence by canon law or continental practice displacing an older, more egalitarian ancient Celtic tradition, but this is based mainly on conjecture and there is little hard evidence to support such claims.[33] Cáin Adomnáin, a Christian Law, promulgated by the Synod of Birr in 697, sought to raise the status of women of that era, although the actual effect is unknown.[34] Under Cáin Adomnáin, "whoever slays a woman... his right hand and his left foot shall be cut off before death, and then he shall die," and if a woman committed murder, arson, or theft from a church, she was to be set adrift in a boat with one paddle and a container of gruel. This left the judgment up to God and avoided violating the proscription against killing a woman. Also under Cáin Adomnáin, there were sanctions against rape, impugning the chastity of a noblewoman and women having to take part in warfare. Much of it repeated traditional Irish laws. Although Irish society under the Brehon Laws was male-dominated, women had greater freedom, independence and rights to property than in other European societies of the time. Men and women held their property separately. The marriage laws were very complex. For example, there were scores of ways of combining households and properties and then dividing the property and its increase when disputes arose.[citation needed] Divorce was provided for on a number of grounds (that ultimately deal with the inability to have a child), after which property was divided according to what contribution each spouse had made to the household. A husband was legally permitted to hit his wife to "correct" her, but if the blow left a mark she was entitled to the equivalent of her bride-price in compensation and could, if she wished, divorce him. Property of a household could not be disposed of without the consent of both spouses.[35] However, under Western Catholic church law, women were still largely subject to their fathers or husbands and were not normally permitted to act as witnesses, their testimony being considered "biased and dishonest".[36]
525
  • Byzantine Empire: Justin I repealed a law that effectively prohibited a member of the senatorial class from marrying women from a lower class of society, including the theatre, which was considered scandalous at the time.
581–1911
1536-1564
  • Calvinist Geneva: Citing Biblical injunctions (particularly Exodus 22:16–17 and Deuteronomy 22:25–30), Calvinist Geneva (1536–1564) permitted a single woman's father to consent to her marriage to her rapist, after which the husband would have no right to divorce; the woman had no explicitly stated separate right to refuse. The only consequence that the rapist faced was to pay a fine to the father of the woman that he raped.
1600s
  • United States: A 17th-century law in Massachusetts announced that women would be subjected to the same treatment as witches if they lured men into marriage via the use of high-heeled shoes.[38]
  • Norway: Law in Norway (1687) which, following the Danish rules of that time, defined unmarried women as minor.
1718
  • Russia: Gender segregation is banned.[39]
  • Sweden: Female taxpaying members of the cities' guilds are allowed to stand for election during the age of liberty; this right is banned (for local elections) in 1758 and (general elections) in 1771.[40]
  • United States: In the Province of Pennsylvania (now the U.S. state of Pennsylvania) married women are allowed to own and manage property in their own name during the incapacity of their spouse.[41]
1720
  • Sweden: The Guild Regulation of 1720 secures the right of women to apply for a permit to work within all guild professions, trades and handicrafts.[42]
1722
  • Russia: Ban against forced marriages.[39]
1734
  • Sweden: In the Civil Code of 1734, men are banned from selling the property of their wife without her consent, and both spouses regardless of gender are secured the right to divorce upon adultery, while the innocent party are secured custody of the children.[43]
  • Sweden: Unmarried women, normally under the guardianship of their closest male relative, are granted the right to be declared of legal majority by dispensation from the monarch.[44]
1741
  • Sweden: The requirement of guild membership for innkeepers is dropped, effectively opening the profession to women.[45]
1749
  • Sweden: Women are given the right to engage in the trade of knick-knacks,[46] and the permit to be active as a street seller in Stockholm, a very common profession for poor women, are to be foremost issued in favor of women in need of self-support.[47]
1753
  • Russia: Married women granted separate economy.[48]
1758
  • Sweden: The right of female taxpaying members of the cities' guilds to stand for election is banned (for local elections) in 1758 and (general elections) in 1771.[40]
1771
  • Sweden: The right of female taxpaying members of the cities' guilds to stand for election is banned for general elections in 1771.[40]
1772
  • Sweden: The permit to engage in tobacco trade is foremost to be granted to (widowed and married) women in need to support themselves.[46]
1776
1778
  • Sweden: Barnamordsplakatet; unmarried women are allowed to leave their home town to give birth anonymously and have the birth registered anonymously, to refrain from answering any questions about the birth and, if they choose to keep their child, to have their unmarried status not mentioned in official documents to avoid social embarrassment.
1779
  • Spain: The guild restrictions which prevented females from holding certain professions are abolished.[50]
1784
  • Spain: Women are by royal decree allowed to accept any profession compatible with their "sex, dignity and strength".[50]
1791
  • France: Equal inheritance rights (abolished in 1804).[51]
1792
  • France: Divorce is legalized for both sexes.[52] (Abolished for women in 1804.)
  • France: Local women-units of the defense army are founded in several cities; although the military was never officially open to women, about eight thousand women were estimated to have served openly in the French armée in local troops (but not in the battle fields) between 1792 and 1794, but women were officially barred from the armée in 1795.[53]
1795
  • France: Women were officially barred from the armée in 1795.[53]
1798
  • Sweden: Married business women are given legal majority and juridical responsibility within the affairs of their business enterprise, despite being otherwise under guardianship of their spouse.[45]

19th century

1800–1849

1804
  • Sweden: Women are granted the permit to manufacture and sell candles.[46]
  • France: Divorce is abolished for women in 1804.
  • France: Equal inheritance rights for women were abolished in 1804.[51]
1810
  • France: Until 1994, France kept in the French Penal Code the article from 1810 that exonerated a rapist in the event of a marriage to their victim.[54]
  • Sweden: The right of an unmarried woman to be declared of legal majority by royal dispensation are officially confirmed by parliament.[55]
  • Sweden: Amendment to the Guild Regulation of 1720 secures the right of all women of legal majority to apply and be granted a permit to work within all guild professions, trades and handicrafts without having to fulfill the normal requirement of male applicants, because of their greater difficulty to support themselves.[42]
1811
  • Austria: Married women are granted separate economy and the right to choose profession.[56]
  • Sweden: Married businesswomen are granted the right to make decisions about their own affairs without their husband's consent.[52]
1817
  • England: Public whipping of women abolished (public whipping of men followed in 1868).[57]
1821
  • United States, Maine: Married women allowed to own and manage property in their own name during the incapacity of their spouse.[41]
1823
  • Argentina: The charitable Beneficial Society is charged by the government to establish and control (private) elementary schools for girls (they retain the control of the schools for girls until 1876).[58]
1829
  • India: The Bengal Sati Regulation, 1829 bans the practice of Sati in British Bengal (the ban is extended to Madras and Bombay the following year).
  • Sweden: Midwives are allowed to use surgical instruments, which are unique in Europe at the time and gives them surgical status.[59]
1830
  • The practice of Sati is banned in Madras and Bombay.
1833
  • Guatemala: Divorce legalized (rescinded in 1840 and reintroduced in 1894).[60]
1835
  • United States, Arkansas: Married women allowed to own (but not control) property in their own name.[41]
  • United States, Massachusetts: Married women allowed to own and manage property in their own name during the incapacity of their spouse.[41]
  • United States, Tennessee: Married women allowed to own and manage property in their own name during the incapacity of their spouse.[41]
  • Ireland: Contraception in Ireland was made illegal in 1835 under the 1835 Criminal Law (Amendment) Act.[61]
1839
1840
  • Guatemala: Divorce illegalized (divorce was reintroduced in 1894).[60]
  • Republic of Texas: Married women allowed to own property in their own name.[62]
  • United States, Maine: Married women allowed to own (but not control) property in their own name.[41]
  • United States, Maryland: Married women allowed to own (but not control) property in their own name.[41]
1842
  • Norway: Unmarried women are given the right to engage in small scale commerce (though only within the country).[63]
  • Sweden: Compulsory Elementary school for both sexes.[64]
  • United States, New Hampshire: Married women allowed to own and manage property in their own name during the incapacity of their spouse.[41]
  • Japan: The Shogunate in Japan banned induced abortion in Edo, but the law did not affect the rest of the country until 1869, when abortion was banned nationwide.[65][66]
1843
  • United States, Kentucky: Married women allowed to own and manage property in their own name during the incapacity of their spouse.[41]
1844
  • United States, Maine: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Maine: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Massachusetts: Married Women granted separate economy.[67]
1845
  • Denmark: Married women, despite being minors, are given the right to make a will without the approval of their husbands.[68]
  • Norway: "Law on the vast majority for single women", for which the age of majority was recognized at age 25, without a requirement for submitting to a guardian after that age.
  • Sweden: Equal inheritance for sons and daughters (in the absence of a will).[69]
  • United States, New York: Married women granted patent rights.[41]
  • United States, Florida: Married women allowed to own (but not control) property in their own name.[41]
1846
  • Sweden: All Trade- and crafts works professions previously controlled by the guilds are opened to all women of legal majority through the Fabriks och Handtwerksordning and the Handelsordningen.[42][70]
  • United States, Alabama: Married women allowed to own (but not control) property in their own name.[41]
  • United States, Kentucky: Married women allowed to own (but not control) property in their own name.[41]
  • United States, Ohio: Married women allowed to own (but not control) property in their own name.[41]
  • United States, Michigan: Married women allowed to own and manage property in their own name during the incapacity of their spouse.[41]
1847
  • Belgium: Elementary school for both genders
  • Costa Rica: The first high school for girls, and the profession of teacher is open to women.[71]
1848
  • United States, State of New York: Married Women's Property Act grant married women separate economy.[72]
  • United States, Pennsylvania: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Rhode Island: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
1849
  • India: Secondary education is made available by the foundation of the Bethune School.[73]
  • United States, Alabama: Married women allowed to own and manage property in their own name during the incapacity of their spouse.[41]
  • United States, Connecticut: Married women allowed to own and manage property in their own name during the incapacity of their spouse.[41]
  • United States, Missouri: Married women allowed to own (but not control) property in their own name.[41]
  • United States, South Carolina: Married women allowed to own (but not control) property in their own name.[41]

1850–1874

1850
  • France: Elementary education for both sexes, but girls are only allowed to be tutored by teachers from the church.[56]
  • Haiti: The first permanent school for girls.[74]
  • Iceland: Equal inheritance.[75]
  • United States, California: Married Women's Property Act grant married women separate economy.[76]
  • United States, Wisconsin: Married Women's Property Act grant married women separate economy.[76]
  • United States, Oregon: Unmarried women are allowed to own land.[56]
1851
  • Guatemala: Full citizenship is granted to economically independent women (rescinded in 1879).[77]
  • Canada, New Brunswick : Married women granted separate economy.[78]
1852
  • Nicaragua: Josefa Vega granted dispensation to attend lectures at university, after which women are given the right to apply for permission to attend lectures at university (though not to an actual full university education).[79]
  • United States, New Jersey: Married Women granted separate economy.[67]
  • United States, Indiana: Married women allowed to own (but not control) property in their own name.[41]
  • United States, Wisconsin: Married women allowed to own and manage property in their own name during the incapacity of their spouse.[41]
1853
  • Colombia: Divorce is legalized (rescinded in 1856 and reintroduced in 1992).[60]
  • Egypt: The first Egyptian school for females is opened by the Copts minority.[80]
  • Serbia: The first secondary educational school for females is inaugurated (public schools for girls having opened in 1845–46).[81]
  • Sweden: The profession of teacher at public primary and elementary schools are opened to both sexes.[82]
1854
  • Norway: Equal inheritance.[56]
  • United States, Massachusetts: Married women granted separate economy.[76]
  • Chile: The first public elementary school for girls.[83]
1855
  • Ottoman Empire: Factory work are open to both sexes when the first women are employed at the textile factory at Bursa, at the same time allowing them to mix unveiled with men.[84]
  • United States, Iowa: University of Iowa becomes the first coeducational public or state university in the United States.[85]
  • United States, Michigan: Married women granted separate economy.[83]
1856
  • Denmark: Equal inheritance rights.[68]
  • Sweden: Women accepted as students at the Royal Academy of Music.[86]
  • United States, Connecticut: Married women granted patent rights.[41]
1857
  • Denmark: Legal majority for unmarried women.[56]
  • Denmark: Trades and crafts professions are opened to unmarried women.[87]
  • United Kingdom: Matrimonial Causes Act 1857 makes divorce possible for both sexes.
  • Netherlands: Elementary education compulsory for both girls and boys.[88]
  • Spain: Elementary education compulsory for both girls and boys.[89]
  • United States, Maine: Married women granted the right to control their own earnings.[67]
  • United States, Oregon: Married women allowed to own (but not control) property in their own name.[41]
  • United States, Oregon: Married women allowed to own and manage property in their own name during the incapacity of their spouse.[41]
1858
  • Ottoman Empire: The first state school for girls is opened; several other schools for girls are opened during the following decades.[90]
  • Norway: Telegraph office professions open to women.[63]
  • Russia: Gymnasiums for girls.[39]
  • Sweden: Legal majority for unmarried women (if applied for: automatic legal majority in 1863).[69]
1859
  • Canada West: Married women granted separate economy.[78]
  • Denmark: The post of teacher at public schools are opened to women.[87]
  • Russia: Women allowed to audit university lectures (retracted in 1863).[39]
  • Sweden: The post of college teacher and lower official at public institutions are open to women.[91]
  • United States, Kansas: Married Women's Property Act granted married women separate economy.[76]
1860
  • Norway: Women are allowed to teach in the rural elementary school system (in the city schools in 1869).[63]
  • New Zealand: Married women allowed to own property (extended in 1870).[56]
  • United States, New York: New York's Married Women's Property Act of 1860 passed.[92] Married women granted the right to control their own earnings.[67]
  • United States, Maryland: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Maryland: Married women granted the right to control their earnings.[41]
  • United States, Maryland: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Massachusetts: Married women granted trade licenses.[41]
1861
  • France: Julie-Victoire Daubié becomes the first female student.
  • Iceland: Legal majority for unmarried women.[75]
  • India: Sati is banned in the entire India.[93][94]
  • Russia: The Scientific- and Medical Surgery Academy open laboratories for women (retracted in 1864).[39]
  • Sweden: The first public institution of higher academic learning for women, Högre lärarinneseminariet, is opened.
  • Sweden: The dentist profession is opened to women.[95]
  • United States, Illinois: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Ohio: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Illinois: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, Ohio: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
1862
  • United States, New York: New York's Married Women's Property Act of 1860 was amended so that women lost equal guardianship of their children, and only had veto power over decisions on apprenticeship and the appointment of testamentary guardians. Also, the parts of the 1860 law that made husbands and wives equal in realty in cases of intestacy were overturned.[92]
1863
  • Denmark: Colleges open to women.[70]
  • Norway: A new law is passed on the age of majority that succeeds that of 1845: women attained the age of majority at 25 years, as well as men. As for widows, divorced and separated, they become major "regardless of age".
  • Serbia: The inauguration of the Women's High School in Belgrade, first high school open to women in Serbia (and the entire Balkans).[81]
  • Sweden: The Post- and telegraph professions are opened to women.[96]
1864
  • Belgium: The first official secondary education school open to females in Belgium.[97]
  • Bohemia: Taxpaying women and women in "learned profession" eligible to the legislative body.[98]
  • Finland: Legal majority for unmarried women.[69]
  • Haiti: Elementary schools for girls are founded.[74]
  • Serbia: The University of Belgrade is founded: females are theoretically allowed from the start, though the first two female students did not graduate until 1891.[99]
  • Sweden: Women of legal majority (unmarried, divorced and widowed women) are granted the same rights within trade and commerce as men by the Decree of Extended Freedom of Trade (Sweden).[52]
  • Sweden: Husbands are forbidden to abuse their wives.[100]
  • Sweden: The gymnastics profession is open to women,[96] and female students accepted at the Gymnastiska centralinstitutet.[86]
  • Sweden: Women, previously only accepted with dispensation, are accepted as students at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts.[101]
1865
  • Ireland: Married Women's Property (Ireland) Act 1865
  • Italy: Legal majority for unmarried women.[102]
  • Italy: Equal inheritance.[102]
  • Italy: A married woman is allowed to become the legal guardian of her children and their property if abandoned by her husband.[102]
  • Romania: The educational reform granted all Romanians access to education, which, at least formally, gave also women and girls the right to attend school from elementary education to university.[103]
  • Romania: The Romanian Penal Code of 1864, which followed shortly after the union of the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, and was in force between 1865 and 1936, banned abortion. Article 246 punished the person who performed the abortion with "minimul recluziunei" (a shorter form of imprisonment), while the pregnant woman who procured her own abortion was only punished with 6 months-2 years imprisonment. The punishment increased for the persons who performed abortion if they were medical workers, or if the pregnant woman died.[104]
  • US, Louisiana: Married women allowed to own and manage property in their own name during the incapacity of their spouse.[41]
1866
  • Norway: Unmarried women are given the same rights as men within commerce.[63]
1867
  • Portugal: The Civil Code of 1867 secure legal majority and freedom from guardianship for unmarried, legally separated or widowed women, allows for civil marriage and gives married women the option to secure their right to separate economy by agreement prior to marriage.[105]
  • Switzerland: Zürich University formally open to women, though they had already been allowed to attend lectures a few years prior.[106]
  • United States, Alabama: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, New Hampshire: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
1868
  • Croatia: The first high school open to females.[107]
  • United States, North Carolina: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Arkansas: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Kansas: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Kansas: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Kansas: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, South Carolina: Married women allowed to own (but not control) property in their own name.[41]
  • United States, Georgia: Married women allowed to own (but not control) property in their own name.[41]
  • Japan: The emperor banned midwives from performing abortions.
1869
  • Austria-Hungary: The profession of public school teacher is open to women.[56]
  • Costa Rica: Elementary education compulsory for both girls and boys.[71]
  • United Kingdom: Girton College, Cambridge.
  • Ottoman Empire: The law formally introduce compulsory elementary education for both boys and girls.[90]
  • Russia: University Courses for women are opened, which opens the profession of teacher, law assistant and similar lower academic professions for women (in 1876, the courses are no longer allowed to give exams, and in 1883, all outside of the capital is closed).[56]
  • Sweden: Women allowed to work in the railway office.[96]
  • United States, Minnesota: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • Japan: Abortion was banned nationwide.[65][66]
1870
  • Argentina: The 1870 Civil Code secure legal majority for unmarried women and widows, though it confirms married women as minors.[108]
  • Finland: Women allowed to study at the universities by dispensation (dispensation demand dropped in 1901).[109]
  • United Kingdom: Married Women's Property Act 1870
  • India: Female Infanticide Prevention Act, 1870
  • Mexico: Married women granted separate economy.[110]
  • Ottoman Empire: The Teachers College for Girls are opened in Constantinople to educate women to professional teachers for girls school; the profession of teacher becomes accessible for women and education accessible to girls.[90]
  • Spain: The Asociación para la Enseñanza de la Mujer is founded: promoting education for women, it establishes secondary schools and training colleges all over Spain, which makes secondary and higher education open to females for the first time.[111]
  • Sweden: Universities open to women (at the same terms as men 1873).[69] The first female student is Betty Pettersson.
  • United States, Georgia: Married women granted separate economy.[112]
  • United States, South Carolina: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, South Carolina: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Tennessee: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Iowa: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
1871
  • India: First training school for woman teachers.[73]
  • Japan: Women are allowed to study in the USA (though not yet in Japan itself).[113]
  • New Zealand: Universities open to women.[114]
  • United States, Mississippi: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Mississippi: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Mississippi: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, Arizona: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Arizona: Married women granted trade license.[41]
1872
  • Austria-Hungary: Women allowed to work in the post- and telegraph office.[56]
  • Canada: Dominion Lands Act grant mothers without husbands homestead land.
  • Japan: Geisha and prostitutes are freed from guardianship and granted legal majority and the right to change profession.[115]
  • Japan: Compulsory elementary education for both girls and boys.[116]
  • Ottoman Empire: The first government primary school open to both genders.[117] Women's Teacher's Training School opened in Istanbul.[118]
  • Spain: María Elena Maseras is allowed to enlist as a university student with special dispensation: having been formally admitted to a class in 1875, she was finally allowed to graduate 1882, which created a Precedent allowing females to enroll at universities from this point on.[119]
  • Sweden: Women are granted unlimited right to choose marriage partner without the need of any permission from her family, and arranged marriages are thereby banned (women of the nobility, however, are not granted the same right until 1882).[120]
  • Switzerland: The universities of Bern and Geneva open to women (Lausanne follow in 1876 and Basel in 1890).[106]
  • United States, Pennsylvania: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, California: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Montana: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, California: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, California: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, Wisconsin: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
1873
  • Egypt: The first public Egyptian primary school open to females: two years later, there are 32 primary schools for females in Egypt, three of whom also offered secondary education.[80]
  • United Kingdom: Custody of Infants Act 1873; Mothers granted guardianship for children at divorce.
  • United States, Arkansas: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Kentucky: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, North Carolina: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, Kentucky: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Arkansas: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, Delaware: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, Iowa: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Nevada: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Iowa: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Nevada: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Nevada: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States: The Comstock Law was a federal act passed by the United States Congress on March 3, 1873, as the Act for the "Suppression of Trade in, and Circulation of, Obscene Literature and Articles of Immoral Use". The Act criminalized usage of the U.S. Postal Service to send any of the following items:[121] erotica, contraceptives, abortifacients, sex toys, Personal letters alluding to any sexual content or information, or any information regarding the above items. 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.[121] Half of the states passed similar anti-obscenity statutes that also banned possession and sale of obscene materials, including contraceptives.[122] 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.[121]
  • United States: Bradwell v. State of Illinois, 83 U.S. 130 (1873), was a United States Supreme Court case that solidified the narrow reading of the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and determined that the right to practice a profession was not among these privileges. The case is also notable for being an early 14th Amendment challenge to sex discrimination in the United States. In this case the United States Supreme Court held that Illinois constitutionally denied law licenses to women, because the right to practice law was not one of the privileges and immunities guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed.
1874
  • France: First trade union open to women.
  • Iran: The first school for girls is founded by American missionaries (only non-Muslims attend until 1891).[123]
  • Japan: The profession of public school teacher is opened to women.[124]
  • Netherlands: Aletta Jacobs becomes the first woman allowed to study medicine.
  • Sweden: Married women granted control over their own income.[69]
  • United States, Massachusetts: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, New Jersey: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, Rhode Island: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, New Jersey: Married women granted trade licenses.[41]
  • United States, Colorado: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Illinois: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Minnesota: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Montana: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, Montana: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Colorado: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Colorado: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]

1875–1899

1875
  • Denmark: Universities open to women.[69]
  • India: First women admitted to college courses, although with special permission (at Madras Medical College).[73]
  • United States, Delaware: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States: Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. (21 Wall.) 162 (1875), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the Constitution did not grant anyone, and in this case specifically a female citizen of the state of Missouri, a right to vote even when a state law granted rights to vote to a certain class of citizens. The Supreme Court upheld state court decisions in Missouri, which had refused to register a woman as a lawful voter because that state's laws allowed only men to vote. The Minor v. Happersett ruling was based on an interpretation of the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court readily accepted that Minor was a citizen of the United States, but it held that the constitutionally protected privileges of citizenship did not include the right to vote. The Nineteenth Amendment, which became a part of the Constitution in 1920, effectively overruled Minor v. Happersett by prohibiting discrimination in voting rights based on sex.[125]
1876
  • Argentina: Girls are included in the national school system by the transference of the control of the private girls schools from the charitable Beneficent Society to the provincial government.[58]
  • United Kingdom: Universities open to women.[126]
  • India: Women allowed to attend university exams at the Calcutta University.[73]
  • Italy: Universities open to women.[127]
  • Netherlands:Universities open to women.[127]
  • United States, New Hampshire: Married women granted trade licenses.[41]
  • United States, Wyoming: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Wyoming: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, Wyoming: Married women granted trade license.[41]
1877
  • Chile: Universities open to women.[83][128]
  • Italy: Women can serve as witnesses to legal acts.[102]
  • Scotland: Married Women's Property (Scotland) Act 1877.
  • United States, Connecticut: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, Connecticut: Married women granted trade licenses.[41]
  • United States, Dakota: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Dakota: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, Dakota: Married women granted trade license.[41]
1878
  • Austria-Hungary: Women allowed to attend university lectures as guest auditors.[129]
  • Bulgaria: Elementary education for both sexes.[130]
  • Finland: Equal inheritance.[69]
  • United Kingdom: Women can secure a separation on the grounds of cruelty, claim custody of their children and demand spousal and child support. Abused wives granted separation orders.[131]
  • United Kingdom: Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
  • United States, Virginia: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
1879
  • Brazil: Universities open to women.[132]
  • France: Colleges and secondary education open to women.[56]
  • India: The first college open to women: Bethune College (the first female graduate in 1883).[73]
  • United States, Indiana: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Indiana: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States: A law was enacted allowing qualified female attorneys to practice in any federal court in the United States.[133]
1880
  • Australia : Universities open to women.[134]
  • Belgium: The university of Brussels open to women.[127]
  • Canada: Universities open to women.[citation needed]
  • Denmark: Married women granted the right to control their own income.[135]
  • France: Universities open to women.[56]
  • France: Free public secondary education to women.[136]
  • France: Public teachers training schools open to women.[136]
  • United States, Oregon: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Oregon: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • Japan: Japan's first penal code declared abortion a crime.[65]
1881
  • France: Women allowed to open a bank account in their own name.[56]
  • Scotland: Married Women's Property (Scotland) Act 1881
  • United States, Vermont: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Vermont: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Nebraska: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Nebraska: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • United States, Nebraska: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, Florida: Married women allowed to own and manage property in their own name during the incapacity of their spouse.[41]
1882
  • United Kingdom: Married Women's Property Act 1882
  • France: Compulsory elementary education for both genders.[137]
  • Norway: Women allowed to study at the university.[81]
  • Nicaragua: The first public secular education institution for women, Colegio de Senoritas, open.[138]
  • Poland: The Flying University provides academic education for women.
  • Serbia: Compulsory education for both sexes.[99]
  • United States: Lindon v. First National Bank, 10 F. 894 (W.D. Pa. 1882), is one of the very earliest precedent-setting US federal court cases involving common law name change.[139] A woman who had changed her last name to one that was not her husband's original surname was trying to claim control over her inheritance. The court ruled in her favor. This set forth many things. By common law, one may lawfully change their name and be "known and recognized" by that new name. Also, one may enter into any kinds of contracts in their new adopted name. Contracts include employment (see Coppage v. Kansas 236 U.S. 1), and one can be recognized legally in court in their new name.
1883
  • Belgium: Universities open to women.[127]
  • India: Bombay University open to women.[73]
  • Romania: Universities open to women.[140]
  • Victoria, Australia: Married women granted separate economy.[134]
1884
  • France: Equal divorce legalized for women and men.[141]
  • Switzerland: Legal majority for unmarried women (including widows).[83]
  • Norway: Universities open to women.[69]
  • Germany: Legal majority for unmarried women.[56]
  • Mexico: Legal majority for unmarried women and separate economy granted for married women.[142]
  • Ontario: Married women granted separate economy.[143]
  • United Kingdom: Married Women's Property Act 1884
1886
  • Costa Rica: A public academic educational institution open to women.[71]
  • France: Married allowed to open a bank account without the consent of her husband.[141]
  • France: Women eligible to public education boards.[144]
  • United Kingdom: Guardianship of Infants Act 1886
  • United Kingdom: Josephine Butler puts a stop to the prostitution reglement.
  • Guatemala: Married women granted separate economy.[110]
  • Korea: The first educational institution for women, Ewha Womans University
  • Portugal: Article 400 of the Portuguese penal code of 1886,[145] which still functioned in post-colonial Mozambique until its replacement on 11 July 2014,[146] stated that rapists who married their victim would not be punished.[145] The law was not applied since independence in 1974.[147] It was repealed in 2014.[147]
1887
  • Albania: The first Albanian language elementary school open to female pupils.[148]
  • Costa Rica: Legal majority for married women.[110]
  • Costa Rica: Married women granted separate economy.[110]
  • Mexico: Universities open to women.[128]
  • United States, Idaho: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, Idaho: Married women granted trade license.[41]
1888
  • Costa Rica: Married women are allowed to be guardians and execute wills.[71]
  • Denmark: Fathers are forced to pay support to illegitimate children.[135]
  • Serbia: Universities open to women,[109] the first two women graduating in 1891.[99]
  • Spain: Women are allowed to private university degrees by dispensation (Universities fully open to women in 1910).[109]
  • Norway: Legal majority for married women.[75]
  • Montenegro: Legal majority for unmarried women.[107]
1889
  • Egypt: The first teacher training college for women.[117]
  • Palestine: The first school open to girls founded by missionaries.[117]
  • Sweden: Women eligible to boards of public authority such as public school boards, public hospital boards, inspectors, poor care boards and similar positions.[69]
  • United States, State of Washington: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, State of Washington: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, State of Washington: Married women granted trade license.[41]
1890
  • Bohemia: The first secondary education school for females in Prague.[97]
  • United Kingdom: Matrimonial Causes Act 1890
  • Greece: Universities open to women.[109]
  • Norway: Married women gained majority status by law. Another law ended the authority of the husband over the wife. The man retained control of the home of the couple, but the woman could now freely dispose of the fruit of his work.
1891
  • Albania: The first school of higher education for women is opened.[149]
  • Germany: Women are allowed to attend university lectures, which makes it possible for individual professors to accept female students if they wish.[129]
  • Portugal: The first medical university degree is granted to a woman.[150]
  • Switzerland: Secondary schools open to women.[106]
  • Switzerland: Trade unions open to women.[88]
  • United States: Marie Owens hired as a police officer in Chicago.
  • India: On 9 January 1891, the Viceroy of India, Lord Lansdowne presented a bill before the Council of India, which was then headed by Andrew Scoble, called the "Age of Consent". It sought to amend Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code. Previously, the age of consent had been set at 10 in 1860. After the bill was passed on 29 March 1891, the Section 376 included sex with a girl under 12 even if the person is the wife of the perpetrator, as rape.[151]
  • United Kingdom: The Slander of Women Act 1891 was enacted. The Act was repealed[152] for the Republic of Ireland on 1 January 1962[153] and for England and Wales on 1 January 2014 by section 14(1) of the Defamation Act 2013.[154]
1893
  • France: Legal majority for unmarried, divorced and separated women.[141]
  • Ottoman Empire: Women are permitted to attend medical lectures at Istanbul University.[117]
  • United Kingdom: Married Women's Property Act 1893 grants married women control of property acquired during marriage.
1894
  • Norway: Married women given right to engage in commerce.[63]
  • Poland: Kraków University open to women.[155]
  • United States, Louisiana: Married women granted trade license.[41]
  • Guatemala: Divorce legalized[60]
1895
  • Austria-Hungary : Universities open to women.[56]
  • Egypt: A public school system for girls is organized.[117]
  • France: Women eligible as administrators of public charity boards.[136]
  • Upper Canada: Women allowed to work as barristers.[citation needed]
  • Russia: A Women's medical university are opened, which opens the profession of physician for women.[56]
  • United States, South Carolina: Separate economy allowed for married women.
  • United States, Utah: Married women granted separate economy.[41]
  • United States, State of Washington: Married women granted control over their earnings.[41]
  • United States, State of Washington: Married women granted trade license.[41]
1896
  • Norway: Women are admitted at all secondary educational schools of the state.[63]
1897
  • France: Women (regardless of marital status) eligible as witnesses in civil action.[141]
1898
  • France: Women eligible as administrators of commercial boards and mutual aid societies.[136]
  • Haiti: The Medical University accept female students in obstetrics.[74]
  • Serbia: Co-education, banned since the 1850s, is re-introduced, equalizing the schooling of males and females.[99]
  • Japan: The Revised Civil Code of 1898 stated that a woman who commits adultery is subject to divorce and up to two years in prison.
1899
  • Denmark: Legal majority for married women.[135]
  • Iceland: Legal majority for married women.[56]

20th century

1900–1939

1900
  • Belgium: Legal majority for unmarried women.[156]
  • Egypt: A school for female teachers is founded in Cairo.[118]
  • France: Women allowed to practice law.[136]
  • Korea: The post office profession is open to women and thereby open the public work market for women.[157]
  • Tunisia: The first public elementary school for girls.[118]
  • Japan: The first Women's University.[158]
  • Baden, Germany: Universities open to women.[159]
  • Sri Lanka: Secondary education open to females.[160]
  • Sweden: Maternity leave for female industrial workers.[70]
1901
  • Bulgaria: Universities open to women.[130]
  • China: Girls are included in the education system.[97]
  • Cuba: Universities open to women.[128]
  • Denmark: Maternity leave for all women.[135]
  • Sweden: Women are given four weeks maternity leave.[100]
1902
1903
  • Bavaria, Germany: Universities open to women.[159]
  • Sweden: Public medical offices open to women.[162]
1904
  • Nicaragua: Married women granted separate economy.[110]
  • Nicaragua: Legal majority for married women.[110]
  • Württemberg, Germany: Universities open to women.[159]
  • Egypt: Article 291 of the Egypt Penal Code, adopted in 1904 and inspired by a French provision, allowed any individual who committed sexual assault to avoid penalty if he entered into marriage with the female victim; it was eventually repealed in 1999.[163][164][165]
1905
  • Argentina: University preparatory secondary education open to females.[58]
  • Iceland: Educational institutions open to women.[56]
  • Russia: Universities open to women.[56]
  • Serbia: Female university students are fully integrated in to the university system.[99]
1906
  • Finland: Women gain the right to stand for election.
  • Honduras: Married women granted separate economy.[110]
  • Honduras: Legal majority for married women.[110]
  • Honduras: Divorce is legalized.[60]
  • Korea: The profession of nurse is allowed for women.[157]
  • Nicaragua: Divorce is legalized.[60]
  • Saxony, Germany: Universities open to women.[159]
1907
  • France: Married women given control of their income.[166]
  • France: Women allowed guardianship of children.[136]
  • United Kingdom: Matrimonial Causes Act 1907
  • Iran: Compulsory primary education for females.[123]
  • Iran: The first Iranian school for girls is established by Tuba Azmudeh, followed by others in the following years.[123]
  • Japan: Tohoku University, the first (private) coeducational university.
  • Japan: The punishments for abortion grew more severe in 1907 when the penal code revised: women could be incarcerated for up to a year for having an abortion; practitioners could be jailed for up to seven.[65] The Criminal Abortion Law of 1907 is still technically in effect today, but other legislation has overridden its effects.[65]
  • Norway: Women gain the right to stand for election.
  • Sudan: The first school open to Muslim girls.[117]
  • Uruguay: Divorce is legalized.[167]
  • United States: Section 3 of the Expatriation Act of 1907 provided for loss of citizenship by American women who married aliens.[168] Section 4 provided for retention of American citizenship by formerly alien women who had acquired citizenship by marriage to an American after the termination of their marriages. Women residing in the US would retain their American citizenship automatically if they did not explicitly renounce; women residing abroad would have the option to retain American citizenship by registration with a US.consul.[169] The aim of these provisions was to prevent cases of multiple nationality among women.[170]
  • England and Wales: The Qualification of Women (County and Borough Councils) Act 1907 is an Act of Parliament (7 Edw. VII) that clarified the right of certain women ratepayers to be elected to Borough and County Councils in England and Wales. It followed years of uncertainty and confusion, which included challenges in the courts when women first tried to stand for the London County Council. Women had been elected to separate boards dealing with the Poor Law and the 1870 Education Act and were entitled to serve on the new urban and rural district councils from 1894. Women had lost their influence on education boards when the free-standing boards were absorbed into newly established councils. Women had also lost places when towns grew and obtained Borough status.[171] The 1907 Act which was seen as a victory for the Women's Local Government Society[172] gave widows and unmarried women the right to stand anywhere in local government.[171]
1908
  • Belgium: Women may act as legal witnesses in court.[56]
  • Denmark: Juridical professions of lower rank open to women.[87]
  • Denmark: Unmarried women are made legal guardian of their children.[135]
  • Korea: Secondary education for females through the foundation of the Capital School for Girl's Higher Education.[97]
  • Ottoman Empire: The Young Turks introduce several reform in favor of gender equality: the professions of doctor, lawyer, and civil servant as well as public places such as restaurants, theatres and lecture halls open to both genders.[90]
  • Peru: Universities open to women.[173]
  • Prussia, Alsace-Lorraine and Hesse, Germany: Universities open to women.[159]
  • Sweden: First women are employed in the Swedish Police Authority.[174]
  • United States: Muller v. Oregon, 208 U.S. 412 (1908), was a landmark decision in United States Supreme Court history, as it was used to justify both sex discrimination and usage of labor laws during the time period. The case upheld Oregon state restrictions on the working hours of women as justified by the special state interest in protecting women's health. The ruling had important implications for protective labor legislation.
1909
  • France: Married women are given the legal right to be consulted by husbands before he disposes of family property, and to press charges against the economic mismanagement of the husband.[141]
  • Sweden: Women granted eligibility to municipal councils.[175]
  • Sweden: The phrase "Swedish man" are removed from the application forms to public offices and women are thereby approved as applicants to most public professions and posts as civil servants.[162]
  • Mecklenburg, Germany: Universities open to women.[159]
1910
  • Ecuador: Divorce is legalized.[60]
  • Spain: Universities fully open to women.[119]
  • United States: The White-Slave Traffic Act, or the Mann Act, is a United States federal law, passed June 25, 1910 (ch. 395, 36 Stat. 825; codified as amended at 18 U.S.C. §§ 24212424). It is named after Congressman James Robert Mann of Illinois, and in its original form made it a felony to engage in interstate or foreign commerce transport of "any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose". In practice, its ambiguous language about "immorality" has resulted in its being used to criminalize even consensual sexual behavior between adults.[176] It was amended by Congress in 1978 and again in 1986.[177]
1911
  • Luxembourg: A new educational law gives women access to higher education, and two secondary education schools open to females.[178]
  • Portugal: Civil offices open to women.[150]
  • Portugal: Legal majority for married women[150] (rescinded in 1933).[179]
  • Portugal: Divorce legalized.[179]
  • Taiwan: In Taiwan from 1911 to 1915 foot binding was gradually made illegal.[180]
  • Canada: In 1911 in Sault Ste. Marie, Angelina Napolitano, a 28-year-old, pregnant immigrant, killed her abusive husband Pietro with an axe after he tried to force her into prostitution.[181] She confessed and was sentenced to hang after a brief trial, but during the delay before the sentence was carried out (a delay necessary to allow her to give birth to her child), a public campaign for her release began.[182] Her supporters argued that the judge in the case had been wrong to throw out evidence of her long-standing abuse at Pietro's hands (including an incident five months before when he stabbed her nine times with a pocket knife).[182] The federal cabinet eventually commuted her sentence to life imprisonment.[182] She was the first woman in Canada to use the battered woman defense on a murder charge.[183]
1912
  • France: Women allowed to bring paternity suits.[136]
  • Norway: Women are given limited access to public offices.[63]
  • Republic of China: In 1912, the new Republic of China government banned foot binding.[184]
  • South Africa: In the South African case, Incorporated Law Society v. Wookey, 1912 AD 623, the Appellate Division found that the word "persons" used in the statute concerning admission of attorneys to the bar included only men, and thus Madeline Wookey could not be a lawyer.[185][186][187] This case came about because although a law firm was willing to enroll Wookey as an articled clerk, the Cape Law Society refused to register her articles.[186] Wookey then applied to the Cape Supreme Court, which ordered the Cape Law Society to register her.[186] The Cape Law Society then appealed this to the Appellate Division, claiming that Wookey could not be admitted as a lawyer because she was female.[186]
1913
1914
  • Russia: Married women allowed their own internal passport.[39]
1915
  • Ottoman Empire: Women are permitted to unveil during office hours.[117]
  • United States: Section 3 of the Expatriation Act of 1907 provided for loss of citizenship by American women who married aliens.[168] The Supreme Court first considered the Expatriation Act of 1907 in the 1915 case MacKenzie v. Hare. The plaintiff, a suffragist named Ethel MacKenzie, was living in California, which since 1911 had extended the franchise to women. However, she had been denied voter registration by the respondent in his capacity as a Commissioner of the San Francisco Board of Election on the grounds of her marriage to a Scottish man.[170] MacKenzie contended that the Expatriation Act of 1907 "if intended to apply to her, is beyond the authority of Congress", as neither the Fourteenth Amendment nor any other part of the Constitution gave Congress the power to "denationalize a citizen without his concurrence". However, Justice Joseph McKenna, writing the majority opinion, stated that while "[i]t may be conceded that a change of citizenship cannot be arbitrarily imposed, that is, imposed without the concurrence of the citizen", but "[t]he law in controversy does not have that feature. It deals with a condition voluntarily entered into, with notice of the consequences." Justice James Clark McReynolds, in a concurring opinion, stated that the case should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.[190]
1917
  • Cuba: Married women granted separate economy.[110]
  • Cuba: Legal majority for married women.[110]
  • Greece: The first public secondary educational school for girls open.[81]
  • Netherlands: Women gain the right to stand for election.
  • Mexico: Legal majority for married women.[110]
  • Mexico: Divorce legalized.[110]
  • Uruguay: University education open to women.[128]
1918
  • New South Wales, Australia: The Women's Legal Status Act 1918 formally legalize all professions for females.[97]
  • Czechoslovakia: Females are given the same rights as males in the new constitution and divorce is legalized for both sexes.[97]
  • Cuba: Divorce is legalized.[60]
  • Iran: Public schools for girls are opened in order to enforce the law of compulsory education for girls in practice.[123]
  • Soviet Russia: The first Soviet Constitution explicitly declares the equal rights of men and women.
  • Thailand: Universities open to women.[191]
  • United Kingdom: The Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918 gave women over 21 the right to stand for election as an MP.
1919
  • Puerto Rico: In 1919, Luisa Capetillo challenged mainstream society by becoming the first woman in Puerto Rico to wear trousers in public. Capetillo was sent to jail for what was then considered to be a crime, but, the judge later dropped the charges against her.
  • Italy: Married women granted separate economy.[102]
  • Italy: Public offices on lower levels are opened to women.[102]
  • United Kingdom: The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919.
  • International: The Conventions concerning Employment of Women during the Night are conventions drafted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) which prohibit women from performing industrial work during the night. The first convention was adopted in 1919 (as C04, shortened Night Work (Women) Convention, 1919) and revised versions were adopted in 1934 (C41, Night Work (Women) Convention (Revised), 1934) and 1948 (C89, Night Work (Women) Convention (Revised), 1948). A protocol (P89, Protocol to the Night Work (Women) Convention (Revised), 1948) to the convention was adopted in 1990 allowing for easing of the restriction under conditions. As of April 2011 the conventions had 27, 15, 46 (undenounced) ratifications respectively. The protocol was ratified 5 and denounced by 2.
  • International: Maternity Protection Convention, 1919 is an International Labour Organization Convention. It was established in 1919: "Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to "women's employment, before and after childbirth, including the question of maternity benefit",...The principles contained in the convention were subsequently revised and included in ILO Convention C103, Maternity Protection Convention (Revised), 1952 and the Maternity Protection Convention, 2000.
1920
  • China: The first female students are accepted in the Peking University, soon followed by universities all over China.[192]
  • Canada: Women gain the right to stand for election, with some restrictions/conditions.
  • Haiti: The apothecary profession open to women.[74]
  • Korea: The profession of telephone operator, as well as several other professions, such as store clerks, are open to women.[157]
  • Nepal: Sati is banned.[97]
  • Portugal: Secondary school open to women.[150]
  • Sweden: Legal majority for married women and equal marriage rights.[69]
  • United States: The Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. It was adopted on August 18, 1920.
1921
  • Belgium: Women gain the right to stand for election.
  • Belgium: The position of mayor, several lower public offices, such as financial adviser, open to women at local level.[156]
  • Denmark: Women are given access to all official professions and positions in society, with some excpetions.[68]
  • Thailand: Compulsory elementary education for both girls and boys.[191]
  • Monaco: The 1921 Women's Olympiad was held, first international women's sports event.
  • United States: The Promotion of the Welfare and Hygiene of Maternity and Infancy Act, more commonly known as the Sheppard–Towner Act, was a 1921 U.S. Act of Congress that provided federal funding for maternity and child care.[193] It was sponsored by Senator Morris Sheppard (D) of Texas and Representative Horace Mann Towner (R) of Iowa, and signed by President Warren G. Harding on November 23, 1921.[194] This showed the political and economic power of women's issues since the bill was passed due to pressure from the newly formed Women's Joint Congressional Committee. Before its passage, most of the expansion in public health programs occurred at the state and local levels. Many factors helped its passage including the environment of the Progressive Era.[195] Massachusetts, Connecticut and Illinois never participated in the program. Participation in the program varied depending on states. The Act was due for renewal in 1926, but was met with increased opposition.[195] Hence, Congress allowed the act's funding to lapse in 1929 after successful opposition by the American Medical Association, which saw the act as a socialist threat to its professional autonomy.[196] This opposition was in spite of the fact that the Pediatric Section of the AMA House of Delegates had endorsed the renewal of the act. The rebuking of the Pediatric Section by the full House of Delegates led to the members of the Pediatric Section establishing the American Academy of Pediatrics.[197] The Act was held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1922 but the Act continued to be in force until 1929.
1922
  • Belgium: The profession of lawyer is open to women.[56]
  • Iraq: The first woman university student in Iraq.[80]
  • Japan: Women are allowed to be present and political meetings and form political organizations.[198]
  • Peru: Women are allowed to serve in public welfare boards.[128]
  • Syria: Muslim women appear unveiled for the first time in public.[199]
  • United States: The Cable Act of 1922 (ch. 411, 42 Stat. 1021, "Married Women's Independent Nationality Act") was a United States federal law that reversed former immigration laws regarding marriage.(It is also known as the Married Women's Citizenship Act or the Women's Citizenship Act). Previously, a woman lost her United States citizenship if she married a foreign man, since she assumed the citizenship of her husband, a law that did not apply to United States citizen men who married foreign women. The law repealed sections 3 and 4 of the Expatriation Act of 1907.[200] However, the Cable Act of 1922 guaranteed independent female citizenship only to women who were married to an "alien eligible to naturalization."[201] At the time of the law's passage, Asian aliens were not considered to be racially eligible for US citizenship.[202][203] As such, the Cable Act only partially reversed previous policies and allowed women to retain their United States citizenship after marrying a foreigner who was not Asian. Thus, even after the Cable Act become effective, any woman who married an Asian alien lost her United States citizenship, just as under the previous law. The Cable Act also had other limitations: a woman could keep her United States citizenship after marrying a non-Asian alien if she stayed within the United States. However, if she married a foreigner and lived on foreign soil for two years, she could still lose her right to United States nationality.
  • Japan: The Diet of Japan amended Article 5 in the 1900 Police Law, allowing women to attend political gatherings while continuing to forbid them from joining political parties and voting.
1923
  • Egypt: Veiling is discarded: unveiling is supported by a fatwa in 1937.[199]
  • Egypt: Compulsory education for both sexes.[117]
  • Sweden: The Law of Access formally grants women the right to all professions and positions in society, except for certain priest- and military positions.[204]
  • Japan: Doctors were granted legal permission to perform emergency abortions to save the mother's life; abortions performed under different, less life-threatening circumstances were still prosecuted.[65]
1924
  • Argentina: Women are secured the right to maternity leave and daycare and employers are banned from firing women because of pregnancy.[108]
  • Denmark: The first ever female minister in Western Europe is appointed, when Nina Bang is appointed Minister of Education by Thorvald Stauning.
  • Peru: Legislation was passed which stated that rapists were legally able to be exempt from sexual assault charges through a loophole. In cases of rape and to serve as a punishment for the perpetrator, the victim was required to enter into a marriage with their rapist.[205] In 1991, this law was modified to absolve co-conspirators in a gang rape case if one of them married the victim. In 1997, the law was completely repealed.[206]
1925
1926
  • Argentina: Married women granted separate economy[110] legal majority and the right to employment.[58]
  • Lebanon: The University of Beirut is open to women.[117]
  • Romania: Married women allowed to manage their own income.[105]
  • Turkey: The Civil Code of 1926 secures equal rights to women in inheritance, marriage (thereby abolishing polygamy and harems) and divorce.[207][208]
  • Tonga: The Parent Consent Act 1926 allows rapists to marry their victim (between the age of 14 and 18) if the victim's parents give consent.[209]
1927
  • Afghanistan: The monarch introduces compulsory education for the daughters of officials.[80]
  • Luxembourg: Women are explicitly approved to function as a witness in court.[210]
  • Mexico: Legal majority for married women.[60]
  • Norway: the 1927 Law on Spouses awarded equal legal weight to the verbal testimony of the housewife in parity with men.
1928
  • Afghanistan: The first women are sent abroad to study (women banned from studying abroad in 1929).[80] Compulsory veiling, polygamy and forced concubinage is abolished (rescinded in 1929).[80]
  • Albania: The Civil Code of 1928 bans forced marriages and gives married women the right to divorce and equal inheritance.[149]
  • Bahrain: The first public primary school for girls.[117]
  • Egypt: The first Women students is admitted to Cairo University.[117]
  • Mexico: Equal marriage law.[110]
  • Southern Rhodesia: the marital power was abolished in 1928 by the Married Persons' Property Act, which also abolished community of property.[211]
1929
  • Greece: Secondary education for females is made equal to that of males.[81]
  • Haiti: The lawyer profession open to women.[74]
  • Canada: Edwards v Canada (AG)[212]—also known as the Persons Case—is a famous Canadian constitutional case that decided that women were eligible to sit in the Senate of Canada. The case, put forward by the Government of Canada on the lobbying of a group of women known as the Famous Five, began as a reference case in the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled that women were not "qualified persons" and thus ineligible to sit in the Senate. The case then went to the Judicial Committee of the Imperial Privy Council, at that time the court of last resort for Canada within the British Empire and Commonwealth. The Judicial Committee overturned the Supreme Court's decision. The Persons Case was a landmark case in two respects. First, it established that Canadian women were eligible to be appointed senators. Second, it established what came to be known as the "living tree doctrine", which is a doctrine of constitutional interpretation that says that a constitution is organic and must be read in a broad and liberal manner so as to adapt it to changing times.
1930
  • Peru: Divorce is legalized.[60]
  • Turkey: Equal right to university education for both men and women.[117]
  • South Africa: The Women's Enfranchisement Act, 1930, was an act of the Parliament of South Africa which granted white women aged 21 and older the right to run for office.
1931
  • China: The new Civil Code grant equal inheritance rights, the right for women to choose marriage partner, equal right to divorce and right to control their own property after divorce.[83]
  • Spain: Legal majority for married women (rescinded in 1939).[213]
  • Spain: Equal right to profession (rescinded in 1939).[213]
  • Spain: Divorce is legalized (rescinded in 1939).[213]
  • United States: An amendment to the Cable Act allowed females to retain their citizenship even if they married an Asian.[214]
  • Mexico enacted a national marry-your-rapist law, which was repealed in 1991.[215] As of 2017, the laws of three states (Campeche, Baja California and Sonora) provide that marriage to the victim exonerates the perpetrator of the crime of estupro (seduction of minors).[216][217][215]
1932
  • Bolivia: Divorce is legalized.[60]
  • Colombia: Legal majority for married women.[110]
  • Colombia: Married women granted separate economy.[110]
  • Romania: Married women granted legal majority.[103]
  • Ireland: The marriage bar was introduced in Ireland; it prevented any married woman from working in the public sector.[218] In 1973, the marriage bar was removed in Ireland.[219]
1933
  • Colombia: Universities open to women.[220]
  • Luxembourg: A ban against firing women teachers after marriage.[178]
  • Some states in the Americas: The Convention on the Nationality of Women was adopted in 1933 by the Pan American Union in Montevideo, Uruguay.[221] It was the first international treaty ever adopted concerning women's rights. The Seventh International Conference of American States agreed that "There shall be no distinction based on sex as regards nationality, in their legislation or in their practice".[222] This agreement, which effected only the status of the member states in the Americas,[221] was the precursor to the United Nations own study on the subject of nationality begun in 1948.[223]
1934
  • Brazil: The constitution of 1934 grants all women equality before the law, maternity leave, access to all public professions.[128]
  • Haiti: The physician profession open to women.[74]
  • Iran: In order to prepare for an abolition of the veil and social gender segregation, women teachers and students are encouraged to appear unveiled: this is followed the next year by an order to male politicians to introduce their wives to representational gender mixed social life.[123]
  • Turkey: Women gain the right to stand for election.
1935
  • Iran: Women are admitted to Tehran University.[224] The access of university education to females is, in fact, also a reform regarding women's access to professions, as it open numerous professions to women.[123]
  • Luxembourg: The profession of nurse and social worker, though de facto already in existence, are formally legalized and regulated for women.[178]
  • Thailand: Polygamy is banned and women are entitled to an equal share of common property after divorce.[225]
  • International: Underground Work (Women) Convention, 1935 is an International Labour Organization Convention.

It was established in 1935, with the preamble stating:

Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to the employment of women on underground work in mines of all kinds,..

1936
  • Colombia: The national University open to women.[226]
  • Iran: Reza Shah Pahlavi set the mandatory unveiling of women—a highly controversial policy which nonetheless was significant for the desegregation of women.[224] In order to enforce the abolition of gender segregation, male civil servants were ordered to bring their wives to official ceremonies.[123] As well, to enforce the unveiling decree, police were ordered to physically remove the veil off of any woman who wore it in public. Women were beaten, their headscarves and chadors torn off, and their homes forcibly searched.[227][228][229][123][230][231][232][233][234][235] Until Reza Shah’s abdication in 1941, many women simply chose not to leave their houses in order to avoid such embarrassing confrontations,[228][229][231][232][233] and some even committed suicide.[231][232][233]
  • Peru: Married women granted separate economy.[110]
  • United States: In 1936, a federal appeals court ruled in United States v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries that the federal government could not interfere with doctors providing contraception to their patients.[236]
  • United States: The Cable Act was repealed.
  • Romania: Abortion remained illegal under Romania's 1936 Criminal Code, except if needed to save the pregnant woman's life or if the child risked inheriting a severe genetic disorder. Nevertheless, the punishments for both abortionists and pregnant women who procured an abortion were extremely lenient, almost symbolical, compared to many other European countries. Articles 482–485 of that code dealt with abortion.[237] The punishment for both the person performing an abortion and the pregnant woman who procured the abortion were 3–6 months if she was unmarried; and 6 months-1 year if she was married. The punishments increased if the woman didn't consent to the abortion, if she was severely injured, or if she died. Medical personnel or pharmacists involved in performing abortions were barred for practicing the profession for 1–3 years. The significance of such legal provisions must be understood in an international context: for instance as late as 1943, in France, abortionist Marie-Louise Giraud was executed for performing abortions.
1937
  • Albania: Veiling is banned.[149]
  • United Kingdom: Matrimonial Causes Act 1937
  • Kuwait: The first public schools open to females.[117]
  • Puerto Rico: Women gain the right to stand for election.
  • Ireland: The 1937 Constitution and Taoiseach Éamon de Valera’s conservative leadership somewhat stripped women of their previously granted rights.[238] As well, though the 1937 Constitution guarantees women the right to vote and to nationality and citizenship on an equal basis with men, it also contains a provision, Article 41.2, which states:

1° [...] the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved.

2° The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.

1938
1939
  • Sweden: Ban against firing a woman for marrying or having children.[100]

1940–1969

1940s
  • Lebanon: Article 522 of the Lebanon Penal Code became a part of the law in the 1940s and stated that rape was a punishable offense, where the attacker could receive up to seven years in prison.[239] However, no criminal prosecution would take place if the perpetrator and their victim got married, and stayed married for a minimum of three years.[239] In 2017, Article 522 of the Lebanon Penal Code, which had been labelled a "rape law"[240] was repealed.[241] But after Article 522 was repealed, it was argued by many that the law still lived on through Articles 505 and 518.[239] Article 505 involves the act of sex with a minor, while Article 518 deals with the seduction of a minor accompanied by the promise of marriage.[241]
1940
  • Japan: The National Eugenic Law stopped short of explicitly calling abortion legal by outlining a set of procedures a doctor had to follow in order to perform an abortion; these procedures included getting second opinions and submitting reports, though these could be ignored when it was an emergency.[65] This was a daunting and complicated process that many physicians did not want to deal with, and some sources attribute the fall in abortion rate between 1941 and 1944 from 18,000 to 1,800 to this legislation.[65]
1942
  • Russia: Women formally accepted into the military.[39]
  • Venezuela: Legal majority for married women.[110]
  • Venezuela: Married women granted separate economy.[110]
1943
  • Iran: Compulsory primary education for both males and females.[117]
1945
  • 'British Guiana'-Guyana: Women gain the right to stand for election.
  • United States, Illinois: In People ex rel. Rago v. Lipsky, 63 N.E.2d 642 (Ill. 1945), the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District did not allow a married woman to stay registered to vote under her birth name, due to "the long-established custom, policy and rule of the common law among English-speaking peoples whereby a woman's name is changed by marriage and her husband's surname becomes as a matter of law her surname."[242][243]
1946
  • Burma: Myanmar: Women gain the right to stand for election.
  • Uruguay: Legal majority for married women.[110]
  • Uruguay: Married women granted separate economy.[110]
  • Sudan: Sudan was the first country to outlaw FGM in 1946, under the British. However, currently there is no national law forbidding FGM there.
  • United States, North Carolina: A state constitutional amendment passed in North Carolina making women eligible to serve on a jury.[244]
  • Norway: allowances for mothers at home were created.
1947
1948
  • Sweden: Maternity pay.[100]
  • United States: Goesaert v. Cleary, 335 U.S. 464 (1948), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld a Michigan law which prohibited women from being licensed as a bartender in all cities having a population of 50,000 or more, unless their father or husband owned the establishment. Valentine Goesaert, the plaintiff in this case, challenged the law on the ground that it infringed on the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. Speaking for the majority, Justice Felix Frankfurter affirmed the judgment of the Detroit, Michigan district court and upheld the constitutionality of the state law. The state argued that since the profession of bartending could potentially lead to moral and social problems for women, it was within the state's power to bar them from working as bartenders. Only when the owner of the bar was a sufficiently close relative to the women bartender could it be guaranteed that such immorality would not be present.
  • United States: The Women's Armed Services Integration Act (Pub.L. 80–625, 62 Stat. 356, enacted June 12, 1948) is a United States law that enabled women to serve as permanent, regular members of the armed forces in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and the recently formed Air Force. However, Section 502 of the act limited service of women by excluding them from aircraft and vessels of the Air Force and Navy that might engage in combat.
  • Japan: Japan legalized abortion under special circumstances.[247] The Eugenic Protection Law of 1948 made Japan one of the first countries to legalize induced abortion. This law was revised as the Maternal Body Protection Law in 1996.[248]
1949
1950
  • China: Statute grants women equal right to property, to seek divorce and to inheritance.
  • Norway: Women who married foreigners could decide for themselves whether to keep Norwegian citizenship or not.
1951
  • Bahrain: First secondary education school open to females.[117]
1953
  • Afghanistan: The age of marriage for women are raised to sixteen, dowries are made the property of the wife, females are appointed judges in family courts and numerous professions, such as flight attendants, police officers, telephone operators and receptionists, are opened to women.[80]
  • Mexico: Women gain the right to stand for election.
  • South Africa: The Matrimonial Affairs Act in 1953, restricts but did not abolish the marital power.[251]
  • International: The Convention concerning Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal Value, or Equal Remuneration Convention, which went into force in 1953, is the 100th International Labour Organization Convention and the principal one aimed at equal remuneration for work of equal value for men and women. States parties may accomplish this through legislation, introduction of a system for wage determination and/or collective bargaining agreements. It is one of 8 ILO fundamental conventions.[252]
  • International: The Convention on the Political Rights of Women was approved by the United Nations General Assembly during the 409th plenary meeting, on 20 December 1952, and adopted on 31 March 1953. The Convention's purpose is to codify a basic international standard for women's political rights.
  • Libya: Under Article 424, the perpetrator of rape, as well as any accomplice, can avoid imprisonment for rape as stipulated in Article 407 if he makes a contract of marriage with his victim.[188][188][249][250]
1955
  • Qatar: First public school for girls.[117]
  • India: The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 was passed. The main purpose of the act was to amend and codify the law relating to marriage among Hindus and others. Besides amending and codifying Sastrik Law, it introduced separation and divorce, which did not exist in Sastrik Law. This enactment brought uniformity of law for all sections of Hindus. In India there are religion-specific civil codes that separately govern adherents of certain other religions.
  • India: The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to amend and codify the law relating to intestate or unwilled succession, among Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs.[253] The Act lays down a uniform and comprehensive system of inheritance and succession into one Act. The Hindu woman's limited estate is abolished by the Act. Any property possessed by a Hindu female is to be held by her absolute property and she is given full power to deal with it and dispose it of by will as she likes. Parts of this Act were amended in 2005 by the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005.[254] Under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956,[253] females are granted ownership of all property acquired either before or after the signing of the Act, abolishing their “limited owner" status. However, it was not until the 2005 Amendment that daughters were allowed equal receipt of property as with sons.
1957
  • Convention on the Nationality of Married Women, an UN convention that entered force in 1958 and was ratified by 74 countries, protects the citizenships of women who married citizens of other countries (previously such a marriage often resulted in the loss of the woman's original citizenship).
  • Romania: Abortion was officially legalized in Romania, following which for a time 80% of pregnancies ended in abortion, mainly due to the lack of effective contraception.
1958
  • Sweden: Women allowed to become priests.[69]
  • Netherlands: In the Netherlands marital power was abolished in 1958.
  • Bahrain: Article 353 of the Bahrain Penal Code, dating from 1958, has undergone several amendments since its adoption. It states that if a perpetrator marries the victim before the final sentencing is pronounced, the charges will be dropped[255] and criminal proceedings will be suspended.[256][257]
1959
  • Afghanistan: Veiling is not banned but the compulsory veiling is abolished and women in official positions, as well as the wives and daughters of male officials, are asked to discard the veil in public.[80]
  • Iraq: The new personal status law provide equal inheritance rights, raise women's age of marriage to 18, prohibit men's right to divorce unilaterally and virtually abolish polygamy.[80]
  • Gaza Strip: Since being annexed by Egypt in 1959, the Gaza Strip has applied Egyptian penal law Article 291, although this has been repealed in Egypt itself in 1999.[188] Article 291 allows any individual who commits sexual assault to avoid penalty if he enters into marriage with the female victim.[163]
1960
  • Afghanistan: The University of Kabul open to women.[80]
  • Canada: Women gain the right to stand for election, with no restrictions/conditions.
  • Jordan: Article 308 in the Jordanian Penal Code, enacted in 1960 (and abolished in 2017) originally allowed for an aggressor of sexual assault to avoid persecution and punishment if he married the victim. Only if the marriage lasted under three years did he need to serve his time. The article was amended in 2016, barring full pardon in cases of rape but keeping a loophole clause that pardoned perpetrators if they married the victim if she was aged between 15 and 18 and if the assault was regarded as “consensual.”
  • Kuwait: Article 182 states that if a rapist legally marries his victim with her guardian's permission, and the guardian requests that he is not punished, he won't be punished as he would be under Article 180.[249][188]
1961
  • El Salvador: Women gain the right to stand for election.
  • Kuwait: Mandatory veiling is abolished for female public servants.[117]
  • India: The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 prohibits the request, payment or acceptance of a dowry, "as consideration for the marriage", where "dowry" is defined as a gift demanded or given as a precondition for a marriage. Gifts given without a precondition are not considered dowry, and are legal. Asking or giving of dowry can be punished by an imprisonment of up to six months, or a fine of up to 5,000 (US$70, £53 or A$97). It replaced several pieces of anti-dowry legislation that had been enacted by various Indian states.[258] Murder and suicide under compulsion are addressed by India's criminal penal code.
  • India: The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.
  • United States: Hoyt v. Florida, 368 U.S. 57 (1961), was an appeal by Gwendolyn Hoyt, who had killed her husband and received a jail sentence for second degree murder. Although she had suffered mental and physical abuse in her marriage, and showed neurotic, if not psychotic, behavior, a six-man jury deliberated for just twenty-five minutes before finding her guilty.[259] They sentenced her to 30 years of hard labor. Hoyt claimed that her all-male jury led to discrimination and unfair circumstances during her trial. In a unanimous opinion written by Justice John Marshall Harlan II, Supreme Court of the United States held the Florida jury selection statute was not discriminatory.
  • United States, Ohio: In State ex rel. Krupa v. Green, 177 N.E.2d 616 (Ohio 1961), the Ohio appellate court allowed a married woman to register to vote in her birth name which she had openly and solely used, and been well-known to use, before her marriage, and held that she could use that name as a candidate for public office.[260][242]
  • Singapore: The Women's Charter is an Act of the Singaporean Parliament passed in 1961. The Act was designed to improve and protect the rights of females in Singapore and to guarantee greater legal equality for women in legally sanctioned relationships (except in the area of Muslim marriages, which are governed separately by the Administration of Muslim Law Act). Among other things, the Act provides for the institution of monogamous marriages, the rights of husbands and wives in marriage, the protection of the family, and the legal potentialities with regard to divorce and separation.
1962
  • Brazil: Legal majority for married women.[261]
  • Kuwait: The right to education and employment are secured to all citizens regardless of gender.[117]
  • Ireland: The Slander of Women Act 1891 was repealed[152] for the Republic of Ireland on 1 January 1962.[153]
1963
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 [...][264] For the first nine years of the EPA, the requirement of equal pay for equal work did not extend to persons employed in an executive, administrative or professional capacity, or as an outside salesperson. Therefore, the EPA exempted white-collar women from the protection of equal pay for equal work. In 1972, Congress enacted the Educational Amendment of 1972, which amended the FLSA to expand the coverage of the EPA to these employees, by excluding the EPA from the professional workers exemption of the FLSA.
1964
  • Afghanistan: The 1964 constitution state the equal right of women to education, employment and rights within marriage.[80]
  • United States: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, codified as Subchapter VI of Chapter 21 of title 42 of the United States Code, prohibits discrimination by covered employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin (see 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2[265]). Title VII applies to and covers an employer "who has fifteen (15) or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year" as written in the Definitions section under 42 U.S.C. §2000e(b). Title VII also prohibits discrimination against an individual because of his or her association with another individual of a particular race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, such as by an interracial marriage.[266] The EEO Title VII has also been supplemented with legislation prohibiting pregnancy, age, and disability discrimination (See Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, Age Discrimination in Employment Act,[267] Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

In very narrowly defined situations, an employer is permitted to discriminate on the basis of a protected trait where the trait is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise. To prove the bona fide occupational qualifications defense, an employer must prove three elements: a direct relationship between the protected trait and the ability to perform the duties of the job, the BFOQ relates to the "essence" or "central mission of the employer's business", and there is no less-restrictive or reasonable alternative (United Automobile Workers v. Johnson Controls, Inc., 499 U.S. 187 (1991) 111 S.Ct. 1196). The Bona Fide Occupational Qualification exception is an extremely narrow exception to the general prohibition of discrimination based on protected traits (Dothard v. Rawlinson, 433 U.S. 321 (1977) 97 S.Ct. 2720). An employer or customer's preference for an individual of a particular religion is not sufficient to establish a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Kamehameha School – Bishop Estate, 990 F.2d 458 (9th Cir. 1993)). There are partial and whole exceptions to Title VII for four types of employers:

  • Federal government; (Comment: The proscriptions against employment discrimination under Title VII are now applicable to certain federal government offices under 42 U.S.C. Section 2000e-16)
  • Federally recognized Native American tribes
  • Religious groups performing work connected to the group's activities, including associated education institutions;
  • Bona fide nonprofit private membership organizations.

The Convention reaffirms the consensual nature of marriages and requires the parties to establish a minimum marriage age by law and to ensure the registration of marriages.[269]

  • Pakistan: Family Court Act of 1964; it has proven to be unenforceable.
  • Norway: The first law to legalize abortion in Norway was passed in 1964. It allowed abortion in cases of danger to the mother, and the abortion decision was taken by two doctors.
1965
  • France: Married women obtained the right to work without their husbands' consent.[270]
  • Kuwait: Compulsory education for both boys and girls.[117]
  • United States: Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965),[271] is a landmark case in the United States in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution protected a right to privacy. The case involved a Connecticut "Comstock law" that prohibited any person from using "any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception." By a vote of 7–2, the Supreme Court invalidated the law on the grounds that it violated the "right to marital privacy", establishing the basis for the right to privacy with respect to intimate practices. This and other cases view the right to privacy as a right to "protect[ion] from governmental intrusion."

Although the Bill of Rights does not explicitly mention "privacy", Justice William O. Douglas wrote for the majority that the right was to be found in the "penumbras" and "emanations" of other constitutional protections, such as the self-incrimination clause of the Fifth Amendment. Justice Arthur Goldberg wrote a concurring opinion in which he used the Ninth Amendment in support of the Supreme Court's ruling. Justice Arthur Goldberg and Justice John Marshall Harlan II wrote concurring opinions in which they argued that privacy is protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Byron White also wrote a concurrence based on the due process clause.

  • United States: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) decided in 1965 that segregated job advertising—"Help Wanted Male" and "Help Wanted Female"—was permissible because it served "the convenience of readers".[272] Advocates for women's rights founded the National Organization for Women (NOW) in June 1966 out of frustration with the enforcement of the sex bias provisions of the Civil Rights Act and Executive Order 11375.[273]
1966

– women over 45 (lowered to 40 in 1974, raised back to 45 in 1985)[276][277]
– women who had already delivered and reared four children (raised to five in 1985)[276][277]
– women whose life would be threatened by carrying to term due to medical complications[276][277]
– women whose fetuses were malformed[278]
- women who were pregnant through rape or incest[276][277]

1967
  • United Kingdom: Abortion Act 1967
  • France: The Neuwirth Act of 1967 authorizes contraception.[279]
  • United States: Executive Order 11375, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 13, 1967, banned discrimination on the basis of sex in hiring and employment in both the United States federal workforce and on the part of government contractors.
  • United States: President Johnson signs Public Law 90-130, lifting grade restrictions and strength limitations on women in the United States military. Among other things, Public Law 90-130 amended 10 USC, eliminating the 2% ceiling on enlisted women. It also allowed female officers to be promoted to Colonel and above.
  • United States, Maryland: In Erie Exchange v. Lane, 246 Md. 55 (1967) the Maryland Court of Appeals held that a married woman can lawfully adopt an assumed name, even if it is not her birth name or the name of her lawful husband, without legal proceedings.[280]
  • England and Wales: In England and Wales, the only part of the United Kingdom where the law against being a common scold had any effect, section 13(1)(a) of the Criminal Law Act 1967 abolished it.
  • Pakistan: Anti-dowry law of 1967; it has proven to be unenforceable.
1968
1969
  • Portugal: Legal majority for married women.[179]
  • Sierra Leone: The Special Court for Sierra Leone's (SCSL) Appeals Chamber found the abduction and confinement of women for "forced marriage" in war to be a new crime against humanity (AFRC decision).[284][285]
  • Iraq: Article 427 of Iraq's penal code, in its current form dating from 1969, states that if the perpetrator of rape lawfully marries the victim, any legal action becomes void.[249][188]

1970–1999

1970
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: Women gain the right to stand for election.
  • Ecuador: Married women granted separate economy.[110]
  • France: The paternal authority of a man over his family was ended in 1970 (before that parental responsibilities belonged solely to the father who made all legal decisions concerning the children).[286]
  • United States: In 1970, Eleanor Holmes Norton represented sixty female employees of Newsweek who had filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that Newsweek had a policy of only allowing men to be reporters.[287] The women won, and Newsweek agreed to allow women to be reporters.[287] The day the claim was filed, Newsweek's cover article was "Women in Revolt", covering the feminist movement; the article was written by a woman who had been hired on a freelance basis since there were no female reporters at the magazine.[288]
  • United States: The Title X Family Planning Program, officially known as Public Law 91-572 or "Population Research and Voluntary Family Planning Programs", was enacted under President Richard Nixon in 1970 as part of the Public Health Service Act. Title X is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. Title X is legally designed to prioritize the needs of low-income families or uninsured people (including those who are not eligible for Medicaid) who might not otherwise have access to these health care services. These services are provided to low-income and uninsured individuals at reduced or no cost.[289] Its overall purpose is to promote positive birth outcomes and healthy families by allowing individuals to decide the number and spacing of their children. The other health services provided in Title X-funded clinics are integral in achieving this objective.[290]
  • United States: Schultz v. Wheaton Glass Co., 421 F.2d 259 (3rd Cir. 1970) was a case heard before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 1970. It is an important case in studying the impact of the Bennett Amendment on Chapter VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, helping to define the limitations of equal pay for men and women.[291][292] In its rulings, the court determined that a job that is "substantially equal" in terms of what the job entails, although not necessarily in title or job description, is protected by the Equal Pay Act.[293] An employer who hires a woman to do the same job as a man but gives the job a new title in order to offer it a lesser pay is discriminating under that act.[293]
  • United States: Congress removed references to contraception from federal anti-obscenity laws.[294]
  • United States: In Sprogis v. United Air Lines, Inc., a U.S. federal trial court ruled in a female flight attendant’s favor on whether airline marriage bans were illegal under Title VII. The court found that neither sex nor marital status was a bona fide occupational qualification for the flight attendant occupation. The court's ruling was upheld upon appeal.[295][296][297]
  • United States: Women were not allowed in McSorley's Old Ale House's until August 10, 1970, after National Organization for Women attorneys Faith Seidenberg and Karen DeCrow filed a discrimination case against the bar in District Court and won.[298] The two entered McSorley's in 1969, and were refused service, which was the basis for their lawsuit for discrimination. The case decision made the front page of The New York Times on June 26, 1970.[299] The suit, Seidenberg v. McSorleys' Old Ale House (1970, United States District Court, S. D. New York) established that, as a public place, the bar could not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.[300] The bar was then forced to admit women, but it did so "kicking and screaming."[301] With the ruling allowing women to be served, the bathroom became unisex. But it was not until sixteen years later that a ladies room was installed.[302]
  • United Kingdom: The Equal Pay Act 1970 was an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament, which prohibited any less favorable treatment between men and women in terms of pay and conditions of employment.
1971
  • Egypt: The new constitution confirms equality before the law and women's right to inheritance, property, education, employment and divorce.[80]
  • Switzerland: Women allowed to stand for election at federal level.[303]
  • United States: Barring women from practicing law was prohibited in the U.S. in 1971.[304]
  • United States: United States v. Vuitch, 402 U.S. 62 (1971) was a United States Supreme Court abortion rights case, which held that the District of Columbia's abortion law banning the practice except when necessary for the health or life of the woman was not unconstitutionally vague.
  • United States: Reed v. Reed, 404 U.S. 71 (1971), was an Equal Protection case in the United States in which the Supreme Court ruled that the administrators of estates cannot be named in a way that discriminates between sexes. The Supreme Court ruled for the first time in Reed v. Reed that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibited differential treatment based on sex.[305]
  • United States: Phillips v. Martin Marietta Corp., 400 U.S. 542 (1971), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an employer may not, in the absence of business necessity, refuse to hire women with pre-school-age children while hiring men with such children. It was the first sex discrimination case under Title VII to reach the Court.
1972
  • Bolivia: Married women granted separate economy.[110]
  • Bolivia: Legal majority for married women.[110]
  • Luxembourg: Legal majority for married women.[97]
  • United States: Title IX is a portion of the United States Education Amendments of 1972, Public Law No. 92‑318, 86 Stat. 235 (June 23, 1972), codified at 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681–1688, co-authored and introduced by Senator Birch Bayh; it was renamed the Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act in 2002, after its late House co-author and sponsor. It states (in part) that:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

  • United States: Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972), is a United States Supreme Court case that established the right of unmarried people to possess contraception on the same basis as married couples. The Court struck down a Massachusetts law prohibiting the distribution of contraceptives to unmarried people for the purpose of preventing pregnancy, ruling that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.
  • United States: The common law offence of being a common scold was extant in New Jersey until struck down in 1972 by Circuit Judge McCann who found it had been subsumed in the provisions of the Disorderly Conduct Act of 1898, was bad for vagueness and offended the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution for sex discrimination.
  • United States: Under § 215 of the Social Security Act (42 USCS 415), old-age insurance benefits are computed on the basis of the wage earner's "average monthly wage" earned during their "benefit computation years," which are the "elapsed years" (reduced by five) during which their covered wages were highest. Under the pre-1972 version, the computation for old age insurance benefits was such that a woman obtained larger benefits than a man of the same age having the same earnings record. The 1972 amendment altered the formula for computing benefits so as to eliminate the previous distinction between men and women, but only as to men reaching the age of 62 in 1975 or later; it was not given retroactive application.
  • United States: The 10th Circuit case Moritz v. Commissioner successfully challenged the denial of a dependent-care deduction to a single man who was a caretaker for his sick mother; the deduction had previously been limited to women, widowers, or divorced men.[306][307]
  • United States, Maryland: In Stuart v. Board of Elections, 266 Md. 440, 446, on the question of whether a wife could register to vote in her birth name rather than her husband's last name, the Maryland Court of Appeals held, "[A] married woman's surname does not become that of her husband where, as here, she evidences a clear intent to consistently and nonfraudulently use her birth given name subsequent to her marriage."[280]
1973
1974
  • United States: Geduldig v. Aiello, 417 U.S. 484 (1974), was an equal protection case in the United States in which the Supreme Court ruled on whether unfavorable treatment to pregnant women could count as sex discrimination. It held that the denial of insurance benefits for work loss resulting from a normal pregnancy did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. The California insurance program at issue did not exclude workers from eligibility based on sex but did exclude pregnancy from a list of compensable disabilities. The majority found that even though only women would be directly affected by the administrative decision, the classification of normal pregnancy as non-compensable was not a sex-based classification, and therefore the court would defer to the state so long as it could provide a rational basis for its categorization.
  • United States: The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) is a United States law (codified at 15 U.S.C. § 1691 et seq.), enacted in 1974, that makes it unlawful for any creditor to discriminate against any applicant, with respect to any aspect of a credit transaction, on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age (provided the applicant has the capacity to contract);[314] to the fact that all or part of the applicant's income derives from a public assistance program; or to the fact that the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The law applies to any person who, in the ordinary course of business, regularly participates in a credit decision, including banks, retailers, bankcard companies, finance companies, and credit unions. Failure to comply with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act's Regulation B can subject a financial institution to civil liability for actual and punitive damages in individual or class actions. Liability for punitive damages can be as much as $10,000 in individual actions and the lesser of $500,000 or 1% of the creditor's net worth in class actions.[315]
  • Spain: Angela Hernandez (also known as Angela Hernandez Gomez and just Angela), of Spain, won a case in the Spanish Supreme Court allowing women to be bullfighters in Spain; a prohibition against women doing so was put in place in Spain in 1908.[316][317]
  • International: The Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict was adopted by the United Nations in 1974 and went into force the same year. It was proposed by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, on the grounds that women and children are often the victims of wars, civil unrest, and other emergency situations that cause them to suffer "inhuman acts and consequently suffer serious harm".[318]
  • Portugal: Article 400 of the Portuguese penal code of 1886,[145] which still functioned in post-colonial Mozambique until its replacement on 11 July 2014,[146] stated that rapists who married their victim would not be punished.[145] The law was not applied since independence in 1974.[147] It was repealed in 2014.[147]
  • Ireland: McGee v. The Attorney General [1974] IR 284 was a case in the Irish Supreme Court in 1974 that referenced Article 41 of the Irish Constitution.[319][320] It concerned Mary McGee, whose condition was such that she was advised by her physician that if she would become pregnant again her life would be endangered. She was then instructed to use a diaphragm and spermicidal jelly that was prescribed to her.[321] However, Section 17 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1935 prohibited her from acquiring the prescription. The Supreme Court ruled by a 4 to 1 majority in favor of her, after determining that married couples have the constitutional right to make private decisions on family planning.[321]
  • United States: In Kahn v. Shevin the Supreme Court ruled that a Florida statute providing property tax exemptions only to widows does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.[322]
  • United States: In Kaplowitz v. University of Chicago, 387 F.Supp. 42 (N.D.Ill.1974), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that a law school was not required to police the discriminatory practices of employers using its placement facilities. The court did find that the law school was an employment agency, but found that employment agencies are only obligated to refer potential employees without discrimination.[323][324]
  • United States: The Women's Educational Equity Act (WEEA) of 1974 is one of the several landmark laws passed by the United States Congress outlining federal protections against the gender discrimination of women in education (educational equity). WEEA was enacted as Section 513 of P.L. 93-380. In 1984, Congress rewrote the WEEA legislation.
1975
  • United Kingdom: The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (c. 65) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which protected men and women from discrimination on the grounds of sex or marital status. The Act concerned employment, training, education, harassment, the provision of goods and services, and the disposal of premises.
  • Sweden: The right to abortion is secured.[69]
  • Spain: abolition of the permiso marital (which required married women to have their husbands' consent for nearly all economic activities, including employment, ownership of property and traveling away from home).[325]
  • France: The Veil Law legalizes abortion.[279]
  • Austria: abolition of the requirement that married women must have their husbands' permission to initiate judicial proceeding.[262]
  • Italy: Law no 151/1975 provides for gender equality within marriage, abolishing the legal dominance of the husband.[326][327]
  • United States: Stanton v. Stanton, was a 421 U.S. 7 (1975) United States Supreme Court case which struck down Utah's definitions of adulthood as a violation of equal protection: females reached adulthood at 18; males at 21.[328]
  • United States: Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld, 420 U.S. 636 (1975), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court, which unanimously held that the gender-based distinction under 42 U.S.C. § 402(g) of the Social Security Act of 1935—which permitted widows but not widowers to collect special benefits while caring for minor children—violated the right to equal protection secured by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  • United States: Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. 522 (1975), is a significant Supreme Court of the United States case, which held women could not be excluded from a venire, or jury pool, on the basis of having to register for jury duty.
  • United States: On February 19, 1975 the Texas Supreme Court's ruling in the case Jacobs v. Theimer made Texas the first state in America to declare a woman could sue her doctor for a wrongful birth.[329][330][331] That case involved Dortha Jean Jacobs (later Dortha Biggs), who caught rubella while pregnant and gave birth to Lesli, who was severely disabled.[331][329] Dortha and her husband sued her doctor, saying he did not diagnose the rubella or warn them how it would affect the pregnancy.[331]
  • Schlesinger v. Ballard, 419 U.S. 498 (1975), was a United States Supreme Court case that upheld a federal statute granting female Naval officers four more years of commissioned service before mandatory discharge than male Naval officers.[332] A federal statute granted female Naval officers fourteen years of commissioned service while allowing only nine years of commissioned service for male Naval officers before mandatory discharge. The Supreme Court held that the law passed intermediate scrutiny equal protection analysis because women, excluded from combat duty, had fewer opportunities for advancement in the military. The Court found the statute to directly compensate for the past statutory barriers to advancement.[333]
  • United States: Joan Little became the first woman in United States history to be acquitted using the defense that she used deadly force to resist sexual assault.[334][335]
  • United States, Tennessee: In Dunn v. Palermo, the Supreme Court of Tennessee held that "in this jurisdiction a woman, upon marriage, has a freedom of choice. She may elect to retain her own surname or she may adopt the surname of her husband. The choice is hers. We hold that a person's legal name is that given at birth, or as voluntarily changed by either spouse at the time of marriage, or as changed by affirmative acts as provided under the Constitution and laws of the State of Tennessee. So long as a person's name remains constant and consistent, and unless and until changed in the prescribed manner, and absent any fraudulent or legally impermissible intent, the State has no legitimate concern."[336]
  • United States, Wisconsin: In Kruzel v. Podell (1975), the Supreme Court of Wisconsin decided that a woman upon marriage adopts the last name of her husband by customarily using that name after marriage, but also stated that no law required her to.[337]
1976
  • Austria: reform to marriage law removing the husband's power to restrict his wife's employment.[338]
  • United States: Bellotti v. Baird, 428 U.S. 132 (1976), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld a Massachusetts law requiring parental consent to a minor's abortion, which provided that "if one or both of the [minor]'s parents refuse ... consent, consent may be obtained by order of a judge ... for good cause shown."[339] The decision was unanimous, and the opinion of the Court was written by Justice Blackmun. The law in question "permits a minor capable of giving informed consent to obtain a court order allowing abortion without parental consultation, and further permits even a minor incapable of giving informed consent to obtain an abortion order without parental consultation where it is shown that abortion would be in her best interests."[339]
  • United States: Craig v. Boren, 429 U.S. 190 (1976), was the first case in which a majority of the United States Supreme Court determined that statutory or administrative sex classifications were subject to intermediate scrutiny under Fourteenth Amendment's the Equal Protection Clause. The Court also acknowledged that parties economically affected by regulations may challenge them "by acting as advocates of the rights of third parties who seek access to their market or function." The case specifically concerned the fact that Oklahoma passed a statute prohibiting the sale of "nonintoxicating" 3.2% beer to males under the age of 21 but allowed females over the age of 18 to purchase it. The Court held that the gender classifications made by the Oklahoma statute were unconstitutional because the statistics relied on by the state were insufficient to show a substantial relationship between the statute and the benefits intended to stem from it.
  • United States: Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, 428 U.S. 52 (1976) is a United States Supreme Court case on abortion. The plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of a Missouri statute regulating abortion. The Court upheld the right to have an abortion, declaring unconstitutional the statute's requirement of prior written consent from a parent (in the case of a minor) or a spouse (in the case of a married woman).[340]
  • United States: In United States politics, the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortion unless the pregnancy arises from incest, rape, or to save the life of the mother.[341][342] The Hyde Amendment is not a permanent law, but rather is a "rider" that in various forms has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976.[341] Legislation including the Hyde Amendment generally only restricts the use of funds allocated for the Department of Health and Human Services and primarily affects Medicaid.[341][342]
  • Japan: In Japan, marriage law requires that married couples share a surname because they must belong to the same koseki (household). It has been possible since 1976[343] for the husband to join the wife's family in certain circumstances.[344]
  • Bahrain: Article 353 was enacted; it exempts rapists (defined in Article 344[188]) from punishment if they marry their victim.
  • Ireland: Prior to the Family Home Protection Act, 1976, a husband could sell or mortgage the family home, without the consent or even knowledge of his wife.
  • Northern Ireland: Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976
  • Pakistan: Anti-dowry law of 1976; it has proven to be unenforceable.
1977
  • Afghanistan: Full equality of men and women before the law.[80]
  • West Germany: reform of family law provides for gender equality in marriage.[345]
  • United States: Beal v. Doe, 432 U.S. 438 (1977), was a United States Supreme Court case that concerned the disbursement of federal funds in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania statute restricted federal funding to abortion clinics. The Supreme Court ruled states are not required to treat abortion in the same manner as potential motherhood. The opinion of the Court left the central holding of the Roe v. Wade decision – abortion as a right – intact. The statute was upheld, with Justice Powell writing the majority opinion.
  • United States: Califano v. Goldfarb, 430 U.S. 199 (1977), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court, which held that the different treatment of men and women mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 402(f)(1)(D) constituted invidious discrimination against female wage earners by affording them less protection for their surviving spouses than is provided to male employees, and therefore violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  • United States: Carey v. Population Services International, 431 U.S. 678 (1977), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that it was unconstitutional to prohibit anyone other than a licensed pharmacist to distribute nonprescription contraceptives to persons 16 years of age or over, to prohibit the distribution of nonprescription contraceptives by any adult to minors under 16 years of age, and to prohibit anyone, including licensed pharmacists, to advertise or display contraceptives.
  • United States: Califano v. Webster, 430 U.S. 313 (1977) was a decision by the United States Supreme Court, which held that Section 215 of the Social Security Act does not violate due process by allowing women to calculate retirement benefits without including additional low-earning years, since it is an attempt to compensate for previous discrimination.
  • United States: In 1977, the National Partnership for Women & Families litigated and achieved a significant victory in Barnes v. Costle, a U.S. Court of Appeals decision that held that any retaliation by a boss against an employee for rejecting sexual advances violates Title VII's prohibition against sex discrimination.[346]
  • Ireland: The Employment Equality Act of 1977[347] prohibited most gender discrimination in employment.
  • Germany: In Germany, the marriage name law has been as such since 1977: a woman may adopt her husband's surname or a man may adopt his wife's surname. One of them may use a name combined from both surnames. The remaining single name is the "family name" (Ehename), which will be the surname of the children. If a man and woman decide to keep and use their birth names after the wedding (no combined name), they have to declare one of those names the "family name". A combined name is not possible as a family name, but, since 2005, it has been possible to have a double name as a family name if one already had a double name, and the partner adopts that name. Double names then must be hyphenated. All family members must use that double name.[348][349]
  • United States, Washington: The January 7, 1977 Supreme Court ruling in State of Washington v. Wanrow was an important victory for the feminist cause of gender-equality before the law. In a landmark ruling, the Washington Supreme Court, sitting en banc, declared that Yvonne Wanrow was entitled to have a jury consider her actions in the light of her "perceptions of the situation, including those perceptions which were the product of our nation's long and unfortunate history of sex discrimination." [350] The ruling was the first in America recognizing the particular legal problems of women who defend themselves or their children from male attackers, and was again affirmed by the Washington Supreme Court in denying the prosecutor's petition for rehearing in 1979.[350][351] Before the Wanrow decision, standard jury instructions asked what a "reasonably prudent man" would have done, even if the accused was a woman; the Wanrow decision set a precedent that when a woman is tried in a criminal trial the juries should ask "what a reasonably prudent woman similarly situated would have done." [352]
  • Norway: Law on the work environment that allows, among other reforms, to extend pregnancy leave and greater access to parental leave.
1978
  • Austria: reform to family law providing gender equality in parental rights over children, and ownership of property and assets, ending the legal authority of the husband.[338]
  • Afghanistan: Mandatory literacy and education of all females.[80]
  • Dominican Republic: Abolition of the requirement that married women must have their husbands' permission to initiate judicial proceedings.[262]
  • 'Rhodesia'-Zimbabwe: Women gain the right to stand for election.
  • Portugal: new family law providing for gender equality between husband and wife comes into force.[353]
  • United States: Dothard v. Rawlinson, 433 U.S. 321 (1977), was the first United States Supreme Court case which the bona fide occupational qualifications (BFOQ) defense was used. The court held that Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an employer may not, in the absence of business necessity, set height and weight restrictions which have a disproportionately adverse effect on one gender. However, on the issue of whether women could fill close contact jobs in all male maximum security prisons the Court ruled 6–3 that the BFOQ defense was legitimate in this case. The reason for this finding is that female prison guards were more vulnerable to male sexual attack than male prison guards.[354]
  • Canada: Bliss v Canada (AG) 1 S.C.R. 183 is a famous Supreme Court of Canada decision on equality rights for women under the Canadian Bill of Rights. The Court held that women were not entitled to benefits denied to them by the Unemployment Insurance Act during a certain period of pregnancy. This case has since become the prime example demonstrating the inadequacies of the Canadian Bill of Rights in protecting individuals' rights.
  • United States: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 is a United States federal statute. It amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to "prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy."[355] The Act covers discrimination "on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions." It only applies to employers with 15 or more employees.[356][357] Employers are exempt from providing medical coverage for elective abortions – except in the case that the mother's life is threatened – but are required to provide disability and sick leave for women who are recovering from an abortion.[358]
  • United States: Judge John Sirica ruled the law banning Navy women from ships to be unconstitutional in the case Owens v. Brown. That same year, Congress approved a change to Title 10 USC Section 6015 to permit the Navy to assign women to fill sea duty billets on support and noncombatant ships.[359]
  • United States: The Mann Act originally made it a felony to engage in interstate or foreign commerce transport of "any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose". In 1978, Congress updated the Mann Act's definition of "transportation" and added protections against commercial sexual exploitation for minors.
  • United States: The federal lawsuit, Melissa Ludtke and Time, Inc., Plaintiffs, v. Bowie Kuhn, Commissioner of Baseball et al. (1978) is credited with giving equal access to Major League Baseball locker rooms to women sports reporters.[360][361] In 1977, Ludtke sued the baseball commission on the basis that her 14th amendment rights were violated when she was denied access to the New York Yankees clubhouse while reporting on the 1977 World Series.[362][363] She won the lawsuit.[364][365] The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York stated her fourteenth amendment right was violated since the New York Yankees clubhouse was controlled by New York City. That court also stated that her fundamental right to pursue a career was violated based on her sex.[366]
  • Norway: In spring 1978, the law on free access to abortion was passed.
1979
  • Chile: Legal majority for married women.[110]
  • West Germany: reform to parental rights law giving equal legal rights to the mother and the father, abolishing the legal authority of the father.[367]
  • International: The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), an international treaty, was adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly.
  • United States: Bellotti v. Baird, 443 U.S. 622 (1979) is a United States Supreme Court case that ruled that teenagers do not have to secure parental consent to obtain an abortion. The Court, 8–1, elaborates on its parental consent decision of 1976. It implies that states may be able to require a pregnant, unmarried minor to obtain parental consent to an abortion so long as the state law provides an alternative procedure to parental approval, such as letting the minor seek a state judge's approval instead. This plurality opinion declined to fully extend the right to seek and obtain an abortion, granted to adult women in Roe v. Wade, to minors.[368] The Court rejected this extension to minors by placing emphasis on the especially vulnerable nature of children, their "inability to make critical decisions in an informed and mature manner; and the importance of the parental role in child rearing."[368][369]
  • United States: Colautti v. Franklin, 439 U.S. 379 (1979) was a United States Supreme Court abortion rights case, which held void for vagueness part of Pennsylvania's 1974 Abortion Control Act. The section in question was the following:

(a) Every person who performs or induces an abortion shall prior thereto have made a determination based on his experience, judgment or professional competence that the fetus is not viable, and if the determination is that the fetus is viable or if there is sufficient reason to believe that the fetus may be viable, shall exercise that degree of professional skill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the fetus which such person would be required to exercise in order to preserve the life and health of any fetus intended to be born and not aborted and the abortion technique employed shall be that which would provide the best opportunity for the fetus to be aborted alive so long as a different technique would not be necessary in order to preserve the life or health of the mother.

Doctors who failed to adhere to the provisions of this section were liable to civil and criminal prosecution "as would pertain to him had the fetus been a child who was intended to be born and not aborted." Franklin and others sued, arguing that the provision was both vague and overbroad. In a 6–3 decision written by Roe author Harry Blackmun, the Supreme Court agreed, finding that requiring a determination "if... the fetus is viable or if there is sufficient reason to believe the fetus may be viable" was insufficient and impermissibly vague guidance for physicians who might face criminal liability if a jury disagrees with their judgment.

The law was challenged as violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by a woman, who argued that the law discriminated on the basis of sex because so few women were veterans.[370]

  • Ireland: The Health (Family Planning) Act, 1979 allowed the sale of contraceptives in Ireland, upon presentation of a prescription.
  • Pakistan: In Pakistan, the Hudood Ordinances of 1979 subsumed prosecution of rape under the category of zina, making rape extremely difficult to prove and exposing the victims to jail sentences for admitting illicit intercourse.[371][372] Although these laws were amended in 2006, they still blur the legal distinction between rape and consensual sex.[373]
  • United States: Duren v. Missouri, 439 U.S. 357 (1979), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the exemption on request of women from jury service under Missouri law, resulting in an average of less than 15% women on jury venires in the forum county, violated the "fair-cross-section" requirement of the Sixth Amendment as made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth.
  • Norway: Law on Gender Equality (implemented in 1979). To ensure compliance, an ombudsman responsible for enforcing the law on gender equality is created along with a complaints committee for equality. Norway is the first country to adopt such means. Even if the sanctions were limited, the mediator had a genuine moral authority.
1980
  • Sweden: Gender discrimination forbidden by law.[100]
  • United States: Shyamala Rajender v. University of Minnesota was a landmark class action lawsuit dealing with sexual discrimination at an American university.[374] The case was filed on September 5, 1973 by Shyamala Rajender, an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Minnesota. Rajender accused the university of engaging in employment discrimination on the basis of sex and national origin after she was turned down for a tenure-track position despite being recommended for the position by several university committees.[375] The suit was certified as a class action by the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota in 1978. After eleven weeks of trial, the suit was settled in 1980 by a consent decree. Rajender received $100,000 and Judge Miles Lord enjoined the university from discriminating against women on the basis of sex.[376] Rajender's attorneys were awarded approximately $2 million in fees.[377]
  • United States: Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297 (1980),[378] was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that States that participated in Medicaid were not required to fund medically necessary abortions for which federal reimbursement was unavailable as a result of the Hyde Amendment, which restricted the use of federal funds for abortion. The Court also held that the funding restrictions of the Hyde Amendment did not violate either the Fifth Amendment or the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
  • United States: In William v. Zbaraz, the United States Supreme Court upheld that states could constitutionally make their own versions of the anti-abortion Hyde Amendment, and that states/the federal government have no statutory or constitutional obligation to fund medically necessary abortions.
  • Iran: Hijab was made mandatory in government and public offices in Iran in 1980, which provoked only disorganized reactions, and in 1983 it became mandatory for all women.[123]
  • Turkey: The hijab was banned in universities and public buildings until late 2013 – this included libraries or government buildings. The ban was first in place during the 1980 military coup, but the law was strengthened in 1997.
  • United States: Alexander v. Yale, 631 F.2d 178 (2d Cir. 1980),[379] was the first use of Title IX[380] in charges of sexual harassment against an educational institution.[381] It further established that sexual harassment of female students could be considered sex discrimination, and was thus illegal.
1981
  • Spain: Abolition of the requirement that married women must have their husbands' permission to initiate judicial proceedings.[262]
  • Italy: repeal of the law which provided for mitigated punishment in case of honor killings; prior to 1981, the law read: Art. 587: He who causes the death of a spouse, daughter, or sister upon discovering her in illegitimate carnal relations and in the heat of passion caused by the offence to his honour or that of his family will be sentenced to three to seven years. The same sentence shall apply to whom, in the above circumstances, causes the death of the person involved in illegitimate carnal relations with his spouse, daughter, or sister.[382][383]
  • Italy: Italy repealed Article 544 of the Penal Code that allowed male rapists of women to marry their victims to avoid punishment.[384]
  • United States: the full end of the legal subordination of a wife to her husband: Kirchberg v. Feenstra, 450 U.S. 455 (1981), a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held a Louisiana Head and Master law, which gave sole control of marital property to the husband, unconstitutional.[385]
  • United States: H. L. v. Matheson, 450 U.S. 398 (1981) was a United States Supreme Court abortion rights case, according to which a state may require a doctor to inform a teenaged girl's parents before performing an abortion or face criminal penalty.
  • United States: Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981), was a decision of the United States Supreme Court holding that the practice of requiring only men to register for the draft was constitutional. After extensive hearings, floor debate and committee sessions on the matter, the United States Congress enacted the law, as it had previously been, to apply to men only. Several attorneys, including Robert L. Goldberg, subsequently challenged the gender distinction as unconstitutional. (The named defendant is Bernard D. Rostker, Director of the Selective Service System.) In a 6–3 decision, the Supreme Court held that this gender distinction was not a violation of the equal protection component of the due process clause, and that the Act would stand as passed.
  • United States: Bundy v. Jackson, 641 F.2d 934 (C.A. D.C. 1981), was a D.C. Circuit opinion, written by Judge Skelly Wright, that held that workplace sexual harassment could constitute employment discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • United States: Michael M. v. Superior Court of Sonoma County, 450 U.S. 464 (1981), was a United States Supreme Court case over the issue of gender bias in statutory rape laws. The petitioner argued that the statutory rape law discriminated based on gender and was unconstitutional. The court ruled otherwise. Sexual intercourse entails a higher risk for women than men. Thus, the court found the law just in targeting men as the only possible perpetrators of statutory rape.[386]
  • Tunisia: Women with headscarves are banned from schools and government buildings, and those who insist on wearing them face losing their jobs.[387]
  • Canada: Prior to 1981 in Québec, married women would traditionally go by their husbands' surname in daily life, but their maiden name remained their legal name.[388] Since the passage of a 1981 provincial law intended to promote gender equality as outlined in the Québec Charter of Rights, no change may be made to a person's name without the authorization of the registrar of civil status or the authorization of the court. Newlyweds who wish to change their names upon marriage must therefore go through the same procedure as those changing their names for other reasons. The registrar of civil status may authorize a name change if: 1) the name the person generally uses does not correspond to the name on their birth certificate, 2) the name is of foreign origin or too difficult to pronounce or write in its original form, or 3) the name invites ridicule or has become infamous.[389] This law does not make it legal for a woman to immediately change her name upon marriage, as marriage is not listed among the reasons for a name change.[390]
  • United States: The version of the Hyde Amendment in force from 1981 until 1993 prohibited the use of federal funds for abortions "except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term."[391]
  • Norway: The Labour Code which dates from 1935 was revised regularly. Review of 1981: Provided equal treatment between men and women in hiring and salary.
1982
1983
  • Greece: new family law, which provides for gender equality in marriage, abolishes dowry, and liberalizes the divorce law.[397][398][399] Since this law was enacted in 1983, one aspect of it is that[400] women in Greece are required to keep their birth names for their whole life.[401]
  • Australia: abolition of the requirement that the husband must authorize the application of a married woman for a passport.[402]
  • United States: City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. 416 (1983),[403] was a case in which the United States Supreme Court affirmed its abortion rights jurisprudence. The case, decided June 15, 1983, struck down an Ohio abortion law with several provisions.
  • Ireland: The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, which recognized "the unborn" as having a right to life equal to that of "the mother",[404] was passed.[405]
  • Iran: Hijab became mandatory for all women.[123]
  • India: The anti-dowry Section 498a of Indian Penal Code was enacted in 1983.
  • United States: After 139 years of existence as an all-male public high school, Central's all-male policy was challenged by Susan Vorchheimer, who wished to be admitted to Central. On August 7, 1975, U.S. District Court Judge Clarence C. Newcomer ruled that Central must admit academically qualified girls starting in the fall term of 1975. The decision was appealed, and the Third Circuit Court ruled that Central had the right to retain its present status.[406] The case eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court that, on April 19, 1977, upheld the Third Circuit Court's verdict by a 4 to 4 vote with one abstention.[407] That Supreme Court case was called Vorchheimer v. School Dist. of Philadelphia. However, in August 1983, Judge William M. Marutani of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, ruled that the single-sex admission policy was unconstitutional. The Board of Education voted not to appeal the legal decision, thereby admitting girls to Central High School. In September 1983, the first six girls, all seniors, were admitted.
1984
  • Netherlands: gender equality in family law, abolishing the stipulation that the husband's opinion prevailed over the wife's regarding issues such as decisions on children's education and the domicile of the family.[408][409]
  • Peru: Legal majority for married women.[110]
  • South Africa: The Matrimonial Property Act of 1984 abolished the marital power prospectively (i.e. for marriages contracted after the act came into force) but not for marriages between black people.
  • Switzerland: Abolition of the requirement that married women must have their husbands' permission to initiate judicial proceedings.[262]
  • Australia: Sex Discrimination Act 1984
  • United States: The U.S. Supreme Court's 1984 ruling Grove City College v. Bell[410] held that Title IX applied only to those programs receiving direct federal aid.[411] The case reached the Supreme Court when Grove City College disagreed with the Department of Education's assertion that it was required to comply with Title IX. Grove City College was not a federally funded institution; however, they did accept students who were receiving Basic Educational Opportunity Grants through a Department of Education program.[410] The Department of Education's stance was that, because some of its students were receiving federal grants, the school was receiving federal assistance and Title IX applied to it. The Court decided that since Grove City College was only receiving federal funding through the grant program, only that program had to be in compliance. The ruling was a major victory for those opposed to Title IX, as it made many institutions' sports programs outside of the rule of Title IX and, thus, reduced the scope of Title IX.[412]
  • United States: Roberts v. United States Jaycees, 468 U.S. 609 (1984), was an opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States overturning the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit's application of a Minnesota antidiscrimination law, which had permitted the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) to exclude women from full membership.
  • United States: People v. Pointer[413] was a criminal law case from the California Court of Appeal, First District, which is significant because the trial judge included in his sentencing a prohibition on the defendant becoming pregnant during her period of probation. The appellate court held that such a prohibition was outside the bounds of a judge's sentencing authority. The case was remanded for resentencing to undo the overly broad prohibition against conception.
  • United States: In Tallon v. Liberty Hose Co. No. 1 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1984), it was ruled that a volunteer fire department may be held liable under section 1983 for violating a plaintiff's constitutional rights.[414]
  • United States: In Hishon v. King & Spaulding (1984) the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans discrimination by employers in the context of any contractual employer/employee relationship, including but not limited to law partnerships.[415]
1985
  • France: A new reform in 1985 abolishes the stipulation that the father has the sole power to administer the children's property.[286]
  • United Kingdom: the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985.
  • United States: The "Mexico City Policy" came into effect, and it directed the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to withhold USAID funds from NGOs that use non-USAID funds to engage in a wide range of activities, including providing advice, counseling, or information regarding abortion, or lobbying a foreign government to legalize or make abortion available.
  • Japan: The Nationality Law was amended to allow Japanese mothers to pass Japanese nationality to their children.
  • Ireland: The Health (Family Planning) (Amendment) Act, 1985 allowed the sale of condoms and spermicides to people over 18 in Ireland without having to present a prescription.
  • Norway: The Labour Code which dates from 1935 was revised regularly. Revision 1985: creation of a delegate for equality between men and women in business.
1986
  • Djibouti: Women gained the right to stand for election.
  • United States: Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 476 U.S. 747 (1986) was a United States Supreme Court case involving a challenge to Pennsylvania's Abortion Control Act of 1982.[328] The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists sought an injunction to all enforcement of the Pennsylvania law. Although the law in question was similar to the one in City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, in Thornburgh the Reagan administration asked the justices to overrule Roe v. Wade. Justice Blackmun's opinion for the court rejected this position, reaffirming Roe.
  • United States: Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986), marked the United States Supreme Court's recognition of certain forms of sexual harassment as a violation of Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII, and established the standards for analyzing whether conduct was unlawful and when an employer would be liable.
  • United States: The Mann Act originally made it a felony to engage in interstate or foreign commerce transport of "any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose". In 1978, Congress updated the Mann Act's definition of "transportation" and added protections against commercial sexual exploitation for minors. In 1986 it was further amended to replace the ambiguous "debauchery" and "any other immoral purpose" with the more specific "any sexual activity for which* any person can be charged with a criminal offense" as well as to make it gender-neutral.[416]
  • Japan: The Women's Bureau of the Ministry of Labor enacted an Equal Employment Opportunity Law,[417] the first "gender equality law formulated mainly by Japanese women."[417]
  • Ireland: The Domicile and Recognition of Foreign Divorces Act, 1986,[418] abolished the dependent domicile of the wife.
  • India: The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act is an Act of the Parliament of India which was enacted to prohibit indecent representation of women through advertisement or in publications, writings, paintings, figures or in any other manner.[419][420]
  • India except Jammu and Kashmir: The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986 was passed; as per the Act, a divorced Muslim woman is entitled to reasonable and fair provision and maintenance from her former husband and this should be paid within the period of iddah. According to the Statement of Objects and Reasons of this Act, when a Muslim divorced woman is unable to support herself after the iddah period that she must observe after the death of her spouse or after a divorce, during which she may not marry another man, the magistrate is empowered to make an order for the payment of maintenance by her relatives who would be entitled to inherit her property on her death according to Muslim Law. But when a divorced woman has no such relatives, and does not have enough means to pay the maintenance, the magistrate would order the State Waqf Board to pay the maintenance. The 'liability' of husband to pay the maintenance was thus restricted to the period of the iddah only.[421][422]
  • India: Mary Roy won a lawsuit in 1986, against the inheritance legislation of her Keralite Syrian Christian community in the Supreme Court. The judgement ensured equal rights for Syrian Christian women with their male siblings in regard to their ancestral property.[423][424] Until then, her Syrian Christian community followed the provisions of the Travancore Succession Act of 1916 and the Cochin Succession Act, 1921, while elsewhere in India the same community followed the Indian Succession Act of 1925.[425]
1987
  • Argentina: divorce is legalized; the new law also provides for gender equality between the wife and husband.[426]
  • Paraguay: Abolition of the requirement that married women must have their husbands' permission to initiate judicial proceedings.[262]
  • United States: California Federal S. & L. Assn. v. Guerra, 479 U.S. 272 (1987), was a United States Supreme Court case about whether a state may require employers to provide greater pregnancy benefits than required by federal law, as well as the ability to require pregnancy benefits to women without similar benefits to men. The court held that The California Fair Employment and Housing Act in 12945(b)(2), which requires employers to provide leave and reinstatement to employees disabled by pregnancy, is consistent with federal law.
  • United States: In 1976, the Rotary Club of Duarte in Duarte, California, admitted three women as members. After the club refused to remove the women from membership, Rotary International revoked the club's charter in 1978. The Duarte club filed suit in the California courts, claiming that Rotary Clubs are business establishments subject to regulation under California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination based on race, gender, religion or ethnic origin. Rotary International then appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The United States Supreme Court, on 4 May 1987, confirmed the Californian decision supporting women, in the case Board of Directors, Rotary International v. Rotary Club of Duarte.[427] Rotary International then removed the gender requirements from its requirements for club charters, and most clubs in most countries have opted to include women as members of Rotary Clubs.[428][429]
  • Johnson v. Transportation Agency, 480 U.S. 616 (1987), is the only United States Supreme Court case to address a sex-based affirmative action plan in the employment context. The case was brought by Paul Johnson, a male Santa Clara Transportation Agency employee, who was passed over for a promotion in favor of Diane Joyce, a female employee who Johnson argued was less qualified. The Court found that the plan did not violate the protection against discrimination on the basis of sex in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII.[430]
1988
  • Switzerland: legal reforms providing gender equality in marriage, abolishing the legal authority of the husband, come into force (these reforms had been approved in 1985 by voters in a referendum.[431][432][433]
  • South Africa: Marital power is abolished prospectively for marriages of black people under the civil law, but not for marriages contracted under customary law.
  • Brazil: husband no longer "head of the household" (which gave him certain legal powers over his wife).[262]
  • Rwanda: Abolition of the requirement that married women must have their husbands' permission to initiate judicial proceedings.[262]
  • United States: The Civil Rights Restoration Act was passed in 1988 which extended Title IX coverage to all programs of any educational institution that receives any federal assistance, both direct and indirect.[434]
  • Canada: R v Morgentaler was a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada which held that the abortion provision in the Criminal Code was unconstitutional, as it violated a woman's right under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to security of person. Since this ruling, there have been no criminal laws regulating abortion in Canada.
  • Ireland: The Family Law Act 1988 abolished the legal action for restitution of conjugal rights.[435]
  • India: The Indian Sati Prevention Act from 1988 further criminalised any type of aiding, abetting, and glorifying of sati.
1989
  • United States: Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989), was a United States Supreme Court decision on July 3, 1989 upholding a Missouri law that imposed restrictions on the use of state funds, facilities, and employees in performing, assisting with, or counseling on abortions. The Supreme Court in Webster allowed for states to legislate in an area that had previously been thought to be forbidden under Roe v. Wade.
  • United States: Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989), was an important decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of employer liability for sex discrimination. The Court held that the employer, the accounting firm Price Waterhouse, must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the decision regarding employment would have been the same if sex discrimination had not occurred. The accounting firm failed to prove that the same decision to postpone Ann Hopkins's promotion to partnership would have still been made in the absence of sex discrimination, and therefore, the employment decision constituted sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The significance of the Supreme Court's ruling was twofold. First, it established that gender stereotyping is actionable as sex discrimination. Second, it established the mixed-motive framework as an evidentiary framework for proving discrimination under a disparate treatment theory even when lawful reasons for the adverse employment action are also present.[436]
  • United States: The first "Restroom Equity" Act in the United States was passed in California in 1989.[437] It was introduced by then-Senator Arthur Torres after several long waits for his wife to return from the bathroom.[437]
  • Canada: Brooks v Canada Safeway Ltd [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1219 is a leading Supreme Court of Canada decision on employer discrimination of pregnant employees. The Court found that Safeway violated the provincial Human Rights Act by failing to provide equal compensation for those who missed work due to pregnancy. This decision overturned the controversial case of Bliss v. Attorney General of Canada.
  • England: Kiranjit Ahluwalia is an Indian woman who came to international attention after burning her husband to death in 1989 in the UK. She claimed it was in response to ten years of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.[438] After initially being convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, Ahluwalia's conviction was later overturned on grounds of inadequate counsel and replaced with voluntary manslaughter. Although her submission of provocation failed (under R v Duffy the loss of control needed to be sudden,[439] which this was not), she successfully pleaded the partial defence of diminished responsibility under s.2 Homicide Act 1957 on the grounds that fresh medical evidence (which was not available at her original trial) may indicate diminished mental responsibility.[440]
  • England: The Sara Thornton case concerns that of Englishwoman Sara Thornton who was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of the 1989 murder of her violent and alcoholic husband. Thornton never denied the killing, but claimed it had been an accident during an argument. The prosecution at her trial argued that she had carried out the act for financial gain, and she was found guilty of murder. The case became a cause célèbre among women's groups, and ignited a political debate on how the courts should deal with the issue of domestic violence. At a retrial in 1996 Thornton was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter and freed from custody.
1990
  • United States: Hodgson v. Minnesota, 497 U.S. 417 (1990), was a United States Supreme Court abortion rights case that dealt with whether a state law may require notification of both parents before a minor can obtain an abortion. The law in question provided a judicial alternative. The law was declared valid with the judicial bypass, but the ruling struck down the two-parent notification requirement.
  • Ireland: Marital rape was outlawed in 1990.[441]
  • Canada: R v. Lavallee, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 852 is a leading Supreme Court of Canada case on the legal recognition of battered woman syndrome. The judgment, written by Justice Bertha Wilson, is generally considered one of her most famous. The court held in favor of allowing battered woman syndrome to explain how the mental conditions for self-defense were present in this case, and Lavallee's acquittal for killing the man she was in an abusive common law relationship with was restored. Justice Wilson, writing for the Court, held that expert evidence is often needed when stereotypes and myths are inherent in a lay-person's reasoning. In particular here, the woman's experience and perspective is relevant to inform the reasonable person's standard required for self-defense.
  • Romania: Abortion was legalized on request in Romania.
1991
  • United Kingdom: England and Wales: Marital rape was made illegal by the case of R v R.[442]
  • United States: Rust v. Sullivan, 500 U.S. 173 (1991), was a United States Supreme Court case decided in 1991 that found restrictions on funding with regard to abortion counseling to be constitutionally permissible.
  • United States: United Automobile Workers v. Johnson Controls, Inc. 499 U.S. 187 (1991)[443] is a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States establishing that private sector policies which allow men but not women to knowingly work in potentially hazardous occupations is gender discrimination and violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. At the time the case was heard, it was considered one of the most important sex-discrimination cases since the passage of Title VII.[444]
  • United States: In Robinson v. Jacksonville Shipyards, Inc., a Florida district court judge ruled that "pictures of nude and partially nude women" placed throughout the workplace do constitute sexual harassment.[445]
  • Peru: In 1991, a law was modified to absolve co-conspirators in a gang rape case if one of them married the victim. In 1997, the law was completely repealed.[206]
  • Mexico: Mexico enacted a national marry-your-rapist law in 1931, which was repealed in 1991.[215] As of 2017, the laws of three states (Campeche, Baja California and Sonora) provide that marriage to the victim exonerates the perpetrator of the crime of estupro (seduction of minors).[216][217]
  • Argentina: The Argentine law 24,012 or Argentine quota law (Spanish: Ley de cupo) seeks to increase the number of women in government in Argentina, by setting quotas for the minimum representation of women on the ballots of each party at the legislative elections. The law was enacted in 1991.
  • India: In 1991, the Kerala High Court restricted entry of women above the age of 10 and below the age of 50 from Sabarimala Shrine as they were of the menstruating age. However, on 28th September 2018, the Supreme Court of India lifted the ban on the entry of women. It said that discrimination against women on any grounds, even religious, is unconstitutional.[446][447]
1992
  • United States: Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992) was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in which the constitutionality of several Pennsylvania state statutory provisions regarding abortion were challenged. Notably, the case was a turn from the Roe v. Wade decision to tie an abortion's legality to the third trimester, associating the legal timeframe with fetal viability. In theory, its aim was to make the woman's decision more thoughtful and informed.[448] The Court's plurality opinion upheld the constitutional right to have an abortion while altering the standard for analyzing restrictions on that right. Applying its new standard of review, the Court upheld four regulations and invalidated the requirement of spousal notification.
  • United States: In R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul (1992), the United States Supreme Court overturned a statute prohibiting speech or symbolic expression that "arouses anger, alarm or resentment in others on the basis of race, color, creed, religion or gender" on the grounds that, even if the specific statute was limited to fighting words, it was unconstitutionally content-based and viewpoint-based because of the limitation to race-/religion-/sex-based fighting words. The Court, however, made it repeatedly clear that the City could have pursued "any number" of other avenues, and reaffirmed the notion that "fighting words" could be properly regulated by municipal or state governments.
  • Italy: In Rome in 1992, a 45-year-old driving instructor was accused of rape. When he picked up an 18-year-old girl for her first driving lesson, he allegedly raped her for an hour, then told her that if she was to tell anyone he would kill her. Later that night she told her parents and her parents agreed to help her press charges. While the alleged rapist was convicted and sentenced, the Italian Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 1998 because the victim wore tight jeans. It was argued that she must have necessarily have had to help her attacker remove her jeans, thus making the act consensual ("because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them...and by removing the jeans...it was no longer rape but consensual sex"). The Italian Supreme Court stated in its decision "it is a fact of common experience that it is nearly impossible to slip off tight jeans even partly without the active collaboration of the person who is wearing them."[449] This ruling sparked widespread feminist protest. The day after the decision, women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans and holding placards that read "Jeans: An Alibi for Rape." As a sign of support, the California Senate and Assembly followed suit. Soon Patricia Giggans, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women, (now Peace Over Violence) made Denim Day an annual event. As of 2011 at least 20 U.S. states officially recognize Denim Day in April. Wearing jeans on this day has become an international symbol of protest. As of 2008 the Italian Supreme Court has overturned their findings, and there is no longer a "denim" defense to the charge of rape.
  • Botswana: Attorney General v Dow was a Botswanan High Court case. The plaintiff, Unity Dow, was a citizen of Botswana, married to a non-citizen, whose children had been denied citizenship under a provision of the Citizenship Act of 1984. This Act conferred citizenship on a child born in Botswana only if "a) his father was a citizen of Botswana; or b) in the case of a person born out-of-wedlock, his mother was a citizen of Botswana." The plaintiff claimed that this provision violated guarantees of the Constitution of Botswana. The High Court agreed, holding that the provision infringed:

-the right to liberty; -the right not to be expelled from Botswana; -the right not to be subjected to degrading treatment; and -the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex.

The Court concluded that the right to liberty had been infringed because the provision hampered a woman's free choice to marry a non-citizen and, in fact, undermined marriage. The Court also decided that the right not to be expelled from Botswana was infringed because, if the plaintiff's resident permit was not renewed, she would be forced to leave Botswana if she desired to stay with her family. Finally, the Court stated that the right not to be subjected to degrading treatment was infringed because any law discriminating against women constitutes an offense against human dignity.

This decision was subsequently upheld by the Botswana Court of Appeal.[450]

1993
  • South Africa: Marital power is repealed for all civil marriages, whenever they were contracted.[251] The marital power persisted, however, in the Transkei (which was nominally independent from 1976 to 1994) but it was held to be unconstitutional for civil marriages by the High Court in 1999.[251]
  • United States: Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic was a United States Supreme Court case in which the court held that 42 U.S.C. 1985(3) does not provide a federal cause of action against persons obstructing access to abortion clinics. Several abortion clinics (most known was the Alexandria Health Clinic) sued to prevent Jayne Bray and other anti-abortion protesters from voicing their freedom of speech in front of the clinics in Washington D.C.[455] Alexandria Women's Health Clinic reported that the protesters violated 42 U.S.C. 1985(3), which prohibits protests to deprive "any person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws, or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws."[456]
  • United States: The "Mexico City Policy", which directed the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to withhold USAID funds from NGOs that use non-USAID funds to engage in a wide range of activities, including providing advice, counseling, or information regarding abortion, or lobbying a foreign government to legalize or make abortion available, was rescinded by President Clinton.
  • United States: Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc., 510 U.S. 17 (1993), is a case in which the United States of America Supreme Court clarified the definition of a "hostile" or "abusive" work environment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the Court held that a determination about whether a work environment is hostile or abusive requires a consideration of all relevant circumstances.[457]
  • United States: On October 22, 1993, President Clinton signed into law the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1994.[458] The Act contained a new version of the Hyde Amendment that expanded the category of abortions for which federal funds are available under Medicaid to include cases of rape and incest.[459]
  • United States: The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is a United States federal law requiring covered employers to provide employees job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. Qualified medical and family reasons include: personal or family illness, family military leave, pregnancy, adoption, or the foster care placement of a child.[460]
  • Ireland: In 1993, the Health (Family Planning) (Amendment) Act, 1992 allowed the sale of contraceptives in Ireland without prescription.
1994
  • Malaysia: A judgment from the then–Supreme Court of Malaysia cites that the niqab, or purdah, "has nothing to do with (a woman's) constitutional right to profess and practise her Muslim religion", because Islam does not make it obligatory to cover the face.[461]
  • United States: The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 is a United States federal law (Title IV, sec. 40001-40703 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, H.R. 3355) signed as Pub.L. 103–322 by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994 (codified in part at 42 U.S.C. sections 13701 through 14040). The Act provides $1.6 billion toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposes automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allows civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave un-prosecuted. The Act also establishes the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.
  • United States: In 1994, the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, sponsored by congresswoman Cardiss Collins, required federally assisted higher education institutions to disclose information on roster sizes for men's and women's teams, as well as budgets for recruiting, scholarships, coaches' salaries, and other expenses, annually.[462]
  • United States: J. E. B. v. Alabama ex rel. T. B., 511 U.S. 127 (1994), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that making peremptory challenges based solely on a prospective juror's sex is unconstitutional. J.E.B. extended the court's existing precedent in Batson v. Kentucky (1986), which found race-based peremptory challenges in criminal trials unconstitutional, and Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Company (1991), which extended that principle to civil trials. As in Batson, the court found that sex-based challenges violate the Equal Protection Clause.
  • United States: The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE or the Access Act, Pub. L. No. 103-259, 108 Stat. 694) (May 26, 1994, 18 U.S.C. § 248) is a United States law that was signed by President Bill Clinton in May 1994, which prohibits the following three things: (1) the use of physical force, threat of physical force, or physical obstruction to intentionally injure, intimidate, interfere with or attempt to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person who is obtaining reproductive health services or providing reproductive health services (this portion of the law typically refers to abortion clinics), (2) the use of physical force, threat of physical force, or physical obstruction to intentionally injure, intimidate, interfere with or attempt to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person who is exercising or trying to exercise their First Amendment right of religious freedom at a place of religious worship, (3) the intentional damage or destruction of a reproductive health care facility or a place of worship.[463][464]
  • Malawi: In Malawi women were not legally allowed to wear trousers under President Kamuzu Banda's rule until 1994.[465] This law was introduced in 1965.[466]
  • Ghana: The Criminal Code was amended in 1994 to outlaw FGM.
  • El Salvador: A law made in 1994 known as Article 14, stated that as a general rule, persons under eighteen years of age can not marry, but established in the second paragraph, that exceptionally they can contract marriage if they are pubescent, they already have a child in common, or if the woman is pregnant.[467] This law was abolished in 2017.[468]
  • France: Until 1994, France kept in the French Penal Code the article from 1810 that exonerated a rapist in the event of a marriage to their victim.[54]
1995
  • Canada: Thibaudeau v Canada, [1995] 2 SCR 627 was one of a trilogy of equality rights cases published by a divided Supreme Court of Canada in the spring of 1995.[469] The Court held that the provisions of the Income Tax Act requiring an ex-wife to include among her taxable income amounts received from ex-husband as alimony for maintenance of children is not a violation of the ex-wife's equality rights under Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • Dijibouti: FGM was outlawed in the country's revised Penal Code that went into effect in April 1995.
  • United States: The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, enacted in 28 U.S.C. § 994 note Sec. 280003, requires the United States Sentencing Commission to increase the penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived gender, race, color, religion, national origin, or ethnicity of any person. In 1995, the Sentencing Commission implemented these guidelines, which only apply to federal crimes.[470]
  • Spain: A 1995 reform in the law allows the parents to choose whether the father's or the mother's surname goes first, although this order must be the same for all their children.
  • England: Emma Humphreys was a Welsh woman who was imprisoned in England in December 1985 at Her Majesty's pleasure, after being convicted of the murder of her violent 33-year-old boyfriend and pimp, Trevor Armitage.[471][472][473] Aged 17 when convicted, Humphreys spent a decade in prison before winning an appeal against the conviction, on 7 July 1995, on the grounds of long-term provocation. The Court of Appeal reduced the conviction to manslaughter, and she was released immediately.[474] Three years later she died, aged 30, from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs at her flat in Holloway, North London.[475] The successful appeal was significant because it supported the argument that courts should take long-term issues such as "battered woman syndrome" into account when considering a defense of provocation.[471][472][476][a] Humphreys was assisted in her defence by Justice for Women, a feminist law-reform group founded in 1991 by Julie Bindel and Harriet Wistrich.[478][479][480]
1996
  • Burkina Faso: A law prohibiting FGM was enacted in 1996 and went into effect in February 1997.
  • Central African Republic: In 1996, the President issued an Ordinance prohibiting FGM throughout the country. It has the force of national law.
  • Namibia: The marital power is abolished in 1996 by the Married Persons Equality Act.
  • Angola: Abolition of the requirement that married women must have their husbands' permission to initiate judicial proceedings.[262]
  • Guatemala: the Guatemalan Constitutional Court struck down the adultery law, which was gendered, based both on the Constitution's gender equality clause and on human rights treaties including CEDAW.[481]
  • United States: Fauziya Kasinga, a 19-year-old member of the Tchamba-Kunsuntu tribe of Togo, was granted asylum in 1996 after leaving an arranged marriage to escape FGM; this set a precedent in US immigration law because it was the first time FGM was accepted as a form of persecution.[482]
  • United States: United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996), was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the Virginia Military Institute (VMI)'s long-standing male-only admission policy in a 7–1 decision. (Justice Clarence Thomas, whose son was enrolled at VMI at the time, recused himself.)
  • Italy: Italy amended its rape laws, toughening the punishment for sexual assault and reclassifying it from a moral offense to a criminal felony.[483]
  • Japan: The Eugenic Protection Law of 1948 made Japan one of the first countries to legalize induced abortion. This law was revised as the Maternal Body Protection Law in 1996.[248]
  • El Salvador: “In 1996 the Assembly of El Salvador repealed an old law that exonerated a rapist if he offered to marry the victim and she accepted.”[484] However, many rapists still had the ability to get away with rape by marrying the victim according to a law made in 1994 known as Article 14, which stated that as a general rule, persons under eighteen years of age can not marry, but established in the second paragraph, that exceptionally they can contract marriage if they are pubescent, they already have a child in common, or if the woman is pregnant.[485] This law was abolished in 2017.[468]
  • Ireland: In 1996, Ireland repealed its constitutional prohibition of divorce; this was effected by the Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1995, which was approved by referendum on 24 November 1995 and signed into law on 17 June 1996.
1997
1998
  • South Africa: Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, 1998 – women in customary marriages no longer legal minors.[262]
  • United States: Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court identified the circumstances under which an employer may be held liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for the acts of a supervisory employee whose sexual harassment of subordinates has created a hostile work environment amounting to employment discrimination. The court held that "an employer is vicariously liable for actionable discrimination caused by a supervisor, but subject to an affirmative defense looking to the reasonableness of the employer's conduct as well as that of a plaintiff victim."
  • United States: Lois E. Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co. was the first class-action sexual harassment lawsuit in the United States. It was filed in 1988 on behalf of Lois Jenson and other female workers at the EVTAC mine in Eveleth, Minnesota on the state's northern Mesabi Range, which is part of the Iron Range. On December 23, 1998, just before the trial was set to begin, fifteen women settled with Eveleth Mines for a total of $3.5 million.
  • United States: Miller v. Albright, 523 U.S. 420 (1998), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld the validity of laws relating to U.S. citizenship at birth for children born outside the United States, out of wedlock, to an American parent. The Court declined to overturn a more restrictive citizenship requirement applying to an illegitimate foreign-born child of an American father, as opposed to a child born to an American mother under similar circumstances.
  • Côte d'Ivoire: A December 18, 1998 law provides that harm to the integrity of the genital organ of a woman by complete or partial removal, excision, desensitization or by any other procedure will, if harmful to a woman's health, be punishable by imprisonment of one to five years and a fine of 360,000 to two million CFA Francs (approximately US$576–3,200). The penalty is five to twenty years incarceration if a death occurs during the procedure and up to five years' prohibition of medical practice, if this procedure is carried out by a doctor.
  • Tanzania: Section 169A of the Sexual Offences Special Provisions Act of 1998 prohibits FGM in Tanzania. Punishment is imprisonment of from five to fifteen years or a fine not exceeding 300,000 shillings (approximately US$250) or both. But the Tanzania 1998 Act protects only girls up to the age of 18 years.
  • Togo: On October 30, 1998, the National Assembly unanimously voted to outlaw the practice of FGM.
  • Ireland: The Employment Equality Act, 1998[497] upholds gender equality.
  • Pakistan: Anti-dowry law of 1998; it has proven to be unenforceable.
  • United States: Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 US 742 (1998) is a landmark employment law case of the United States Supreme Court holding that employers are liable if supervisors create a hostile work environment for employees. Ellerth also introduced a two-part affirmative defense allowing employers to avoid sex discrimination liability if they follow best practices. Ellerth is often considered alongside Faragher v. City of Boca Raton.
  • United States: In Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, the Supreme Court ruled that in order for a party to recover sexual harassment damages under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, they must show that a school district official knew what was happening and was able to take measures to correct it if they wished, and that the educational establishment deliberately failed to respond properly. Since that was not what happened in this case, Lago Vista was not liable for sexual harassment damages.[498]
  • United States: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, 523 U.S. 75 (1998), was a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States. The case arose out of a suit for sex discrimination by a male oil-rig worker, who claimed that he was repeatedly subjected to sexual harassment by his male co-workers with the acquiescence of his employer. The Court held that Title VII's protection against workplace discrimination "because of... sex" applied to harassment in the workplace between members of the same sex.
  • New Zealand: In R v Fate (1998) 16 CRNZ 88 a woman who had come to New Zealand from the small island of Nanumea, which is part of the Tuvalu Islands, received a two-year sentence for manslaughter by provocation. Mrs. Fate spoke no English and was isolated within a small close-knit Wellington community of 12 families, so she felt trapped in her abusive relationship.[499]
1999
  • United States: A United States House of Representatives appropriations bill (HR 2490) that contained an amendment specifically permitting breastfeeding[500] was signed into law on September 29, 1999. It stipulated that no government funds may be used to enforce any prohibition on women breastfeeding their children in federal buildings or on federal property.
  • United States: A federal law enacted in 1999 specifically provides that "a woman may breastfeed her child at any location in a federal building or on federal property, if the woman and her child are otherwise authorized to be present at the location."[501]
  • United States: In Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled that a school board can be held responsible under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 for student-on-student sexual harassment.[502]
  • Senegal: A law that was passed in January 1999 makes FGM illegal in Senegal.[503]
  • South Africa: The marital power persisted in the Transkei (which was nominally independent from 1976 to 1994) but it was held to be unconstitutional for civil marriages by the Transkei High Court in 1999.[251]
  • Japan: The birth control pill was legalized in Japan in 1999.[504]
  • Egypt: Article 291 of the Egypt Penal Code was repealed by former president Hosni Mubarak by a presidential decree.[164] The article had been adopted in 1904 and inspired by a French provision.[165] The article allowed any individual who committed sexual assault to avoid penalty if he entered into marriage with the female victim.[163]
  • Chile: A new Sexual Crimes Code, which no longer contained a rape-marriage law, was enacted in July 1999.[505]

21st century

2000s

2000
2001
  • United States: The "Mexico City Policy", which directed the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to withhold USAID funds from NGOs that use non-USAID funds to engage in a wide range of activities, including providing advice, counseling, or information regarding abortion, or lobbying a foreign government to legalize or make abortion available, was reinstated by President George W. Bush, who implemented it through conditions in USAID grant awards, and subsequently extended the policy to "voluntary population planning" assistance provided by the Department of State.
  • United States: Ferguson v. City of Charleston, 532 U.S. 67 (2001), is a United States Supreme Court decision that found Medical University of South Carolina's policy regarding involuntary drug testing of pregnant women to violate the Fourth Amendment. The Court held that the search in question was unreasonable.
  • United States: Nguyen v. INS, 533 U.S. 53 (2001), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld the validity of laws relating to U.S. citizenship at birth for children born outside the United States, out of wedlock, to an American parent. The Court declined to overturn a more restrictive citizenship requirement applying to a foreign-born child of an American father and a non-American mother who was not married to the father, as opposed to a child born to an American mother under similar circumstances.[511][512]
2002
  • United Kingdom: Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002
  • Benin: abolition of the requirement that married women must have their husbands' permission to initiate judicial proceeding.[262]
  • Nepal: married daughters under 35 can inherit property.[262]
  • United States: In 2002, Sultaana Freeman filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against Florida when the state's Department of Highway Safety suspended her license when she refused to be re-photographed without her veil. Her legal license was suspended without change in policy or law following the September 11, 2001 attacks. Her lawsuit argued that her religious beliefs required her to wear a veil "in front of strangers and unrelated males". It also stated that other states allowed photo-free licenses for religious reasons. Judge Janet C. Thorpe denied her lawsuit that year, and a state appeals court later upheld Thorpe's ruling.[513][514]
  • United States: In Apessos v. Memorial Press Group, a Massachusetts state court made a ruling forbidding employers from firing domestic violence survivors who need to take time off from work to obtain a court order of protection.[515]
  • Bangladesh: Bangladesh introduced the death penalty for acid attacks and laws strictly controlling the sale, use, storage, and international trade of acids. The acids are used in traditional trades carving marble nameplates, conch bangles, goldsmiths, tanneries, and other industries, which have largely failed to comply with the legislation. Salma Ali of the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association derided these laws as ineffective.[516] The names of these laws are the Acid Crime Control Act (ACCA) and the Acid Control Act (ACA), respectively.[517]
  • New Zealand: The Queen v Epifania Suluape (2002) NZCA 6, deals with a wife who pleaded provocation after she killed her husband with an axe when he proposed to leave her for another woman. There was some evidence of neglect, humiliation, and abuse but the court concluded that this was exaggerated. On appeal, the court was very conscious of the Samoan culture in New Zealand in restricting the power of the wife to act independently of her husband and reduced her sentence for manslaughter to five years.[518]
2003
  • United Kingdom: the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (applies to England and Wales and Northern Ireland)
  • Canada: Trociuk v British Columbia (AG), [2003] 1 S.C.R. 835 is a leading Supreme Court of Canada decision on section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms where a father successfully challenged a provision in the British Columbia Vital Statistics Act, which gave a mother complete control over the identity of the father on a child's birth certificate, on the basis that it violated his equality rights.
  • Benin: A 2003 law bans all forms of FGM.[519]
  • Niger: A law banning FGM was passed in 2003 by the Niger government.[520]
  • United States: Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs, 538 U.S. 721 (2003), was a United States Supreme Court case which held that the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 was "narrowly targeted" at "sex-based overgeneralization" and was thus a "valid exercise of [congressional] power under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment."[521]
  • United States: The Supreme Court of Indiana recognized the medical malpractice tort of "wrongful pregnancy" when a woman became pregnant after a failed sterilization procedure. The court decided that the damages may include the cost of the pregnancy but may not include the ordinary cost of raising the child, as the benefits of rearing the child could not be calculated.[522]
  • United States: The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 (Pub.L. 108–105, 117 Stat. 1201, enacted November 5, 2003, 18 U.S.C. § 1531,[523] "PBA Ban") is a United States law prohibiting a form of late-term abortion that the Act calls "partial-birth abortion", referred to in medical literature as intact dilation and extraction.[524] Under this law, "Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both."
  • England: In R v Charlton (2003) EWCA Crim 415, following threats of sexual and violent abuse against herself and her daughter, the defendant killed her obsessive, jealous, controlling partner while he was restrained by handcuffs, blindfolded and gagged as part of their regular sexual activity. The term of five years' imprisonment was reduced to three and a half years because of the terrifying threats made by a man determined to dominate and control the defendant's life. The threats created a genuine fear for the safety of herself and more significantly, her daughter, and this caused the defendant to lose control and make the ferocious attack.[525]
2004
  • Chile: Divorce is legalized.[526][527]
  • Botswana: the marital power is abolished by the Abolition of Marital Power Act.
  • Mozambique: abolition of the requirement that married women must have their husbands' permission to initiate judicial proceeding.[262]
  • South Africa: Bhe and Others v Magistrate, Khayelitsha and Others; Shibi v Sithole and Others; SA Human Rights Commission and Another v President of the RSA and Another,[528] an important case in South African customary law, was heard in the Constitutional Court on 2 and 3 March 2004, with judgment handed down on 15 October. Chaskalson CJ, Langa DCJ, Madala J, Mokgoro J, Moseneke J, Ngcobo J, O'Regan J, Sachs J, Skweyiya J, Van Der Westhuizen J, and Yacoob J were the presiding judges. The court held that section 23 of the Black Administration Act, in applying the system of male primogeniture, was incompatible with sections 9 (equality) and 10 (dignity) of the Constitution.
  • Pakistan: On December 8, 2004, under international and domestic pressure, Pakistan enacted a law that made honor killings punishable by a prison term of seven years, or by the death penalty in the most extreme cases.[529] Women and human rights organizations were, however, skeptical of the law's impact, as it stopped short of outlawing the practice of allowing killers to buy their freedom by paying compensation to the victim's relatives, which was problematic because most honor killings are committed by close relatives.[530]
  • France: France passed a law banning "symbols or clothes through which students conspicuously display their religious affiliation" (including hijab) in public primary schools, middle schools, and secondary schools,[531] but this law does not concern universities (in French universities, applicable legislation grants students freedom of expression as long as public order is preserved[532]).
2005
  • Nepal: Chhaupadi was outlawed by the Supreme Court of Nepal in 2005.[533]
  • United Kingdom (Scotland): the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) Act 2005
  • Mexico: Supreme Court rules that forced sex in marriage is rape (marital rape).[534]
  • International: In 2005 the United Nations Human Rights Committee ordered Peru to compensate a woman (known as K.L.) for denying her a medically indicated abortion; this was the first time a United Nations Committee had held any country accountable for not ensuring access to safe, legal abortion, and the first time the committee affirmed that abortion is a human right.[535] K.L. received the compensation in 2016.[535]
  • Ethiopia: On May 9, 2005 the new Ethiopian Penal Code came into effect, which removed the marital exemption for kidnapping and rape, largely due to a campaign by Equality Now inspired by Woineshet Zebene's case.[536][537]
  • India except Jammu and Kashmir: The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 ("Domestic Violence Act") was passed in order to provide a civil law remedy for the protection of women from domestic violence in India.[538] It was brought into force by the Indian government from 26 October 2006. The Act provides for the first time in Indian law a definition of "domestic violence", with this definition being broad and including physical violenc as well as other forms of violence such as emotional/verbal, sexual, and economic abuse. It is a civil law meant primarily for protection orders and not meant to penalize criminally.[539] The act does not extend to Jammu and Kashmir, which has its own laws, and which enacted in 2010 the Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2010.[540]
  • India: The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005,[254] amended Section 4, Section 6, Section 23, Section 24 and Section 30 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. It revised rules on coparcenary property, giving daughters of the deceased equal rights with sons, and subjecting them to the same liabilities and disabilities. The amendment essentially furthers equal rights between males and females in the legal system.
  • United States: McCorvey v. Hill, 385 F.3d 846 (5th Cir. 2004)[6], was a case in which the principal original litigant in Roe v. Wade,[541] (1973) Norma McCorvey, also known as 'Jane Roe', requested the overturning of Roe. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that McCorvey could not do this; the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari on February 22, 2005,[542] rendering the opinion of the Fifth Circuit final.
  • United States: The lawsuit Eduardo Gonzalez, et al. v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., et al. (No. C03-2817), filed in June 2003, alleged that the nationwide retailer Abercrombie & Fitch "violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by maintaining recruiting and hiring practice that excluded minorities and women and adopting a restrictive marketing image, and other policies, which limited minority and female employment."[543][544] The female and Latino, African-American, and Asian American plaintiffs charged that they were either not hired despite strong qualifications or if hired "they were steered not to sales positions out front, but to low-visibility, back-of-the-store jobs, stocking and cleaning up."[545] In April 2005, the U.S. District Court approved a settlement, valued at approximately $50 million, which requires the retail clothing giant Abercrombie & Fitch to provide monetary benefits to the class of Latino, African American, Asian American and female applicants and employees who charged the company with discrimination.[545][546] The settlement, rendered as a Consent Decree, also requires the company to institute a range of policies and programs to promote diversity among its workforce and to prevent discrimination based on race or gender.[543][546] Implementation of the Consent Decree continued into 2011. Abercrombie did not admit liability.[545]
  • United States: New York City Council passed a law in 2005 requiring all new establishments falling under the terms of the legislation to maintain roughly a two-to-one ratio of women's bathroom stalls to men's stalls and urinals. Existing establishments were required to come into compliance when they undergo extensive renovations, while restaurants, schools, hospitals, and municipal buildings were excluded.[547][548]
  • United States: Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education, 544 U.S. 167 (2005), is a case in which the United States Supreme Court held that retaliation against a person because that person has complained of sex discrimination is a form of intentional sex discrimination encompassed by Title IX.
  • Some countries in Africa: The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, better known as the Maputo Protocol, guarantees comprehensive rights to women including the right to take part in the political process, to social and political equality with men, to control of their reproductive health, and an end to female genital mutilation.[549] As the name suggests, it was adopted by the African Union in the form of a protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights in Maputo, Mozambique. The protocol was adopted by the African Union on 11 July 2003 at its second summit in Maputo.[550] On 25 November 2005, having been ratified by the required 15 member nations of the African Union, the protocol entered into force.[551]
  • United States: Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled, 7–2, that a town and its police department could not be sued under 42 U.S.C. §1983 for failing to enforce a restraining order, which had led to the murder of a woman's three children by her estranged husband.
  • Brazil: Article 107 was repealed; it stated that a perpetrator's penalty was annulled when he married the person he made a victim, according to crimes listed elsewhere in the Code, including rape.[188]
  • Turkey: Turkey's rape-marriage law was repealed in 2005, as part of efforts to join the European Union.[552]
  • Victoria, Australia: The lack of success in raising self-defense in Australia for battered women has meant that provocation has been the main focus of the courts.[553] In 2005, based on the Victorian Law Reform Commission's Defences to Homicide: Final Report,[554] the Victorian government announced changes to the homicide laws in that jurisdiction, which are intended to address this perceived imbalance. Under the new laws, victims of family violence will be able to put evidence of their abuse before the court as part of their defense, and argue self-defense even in the absence of an immediate threat, and where the response of killing involved greater force than the threatened harm.[555]
  • China: Sex-selective abortions were banned in China.
2006

Darlene Jespersen was a 20-year employee at Harrah's Casino in Reno, Nevada. In 2000, Harrah's advanced a "Personal Best" policy, which created strict standards for employee appearance and grooming, which included a requirement that women wear substantial amounts of makeup. Jespersen was fired for non-compliance with its policy. Jespersen argued the makeup requirement was contrary to her self-image, and that the requirement violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.[564][565]

In 2001, Jespersen filed a lawsuit in United States District Court for the District of Nevada, which found against her claim. The district court opined that the policy imposed "equal burdens" on both sexes and that the policy did not discriminate based on immutable characteristics of her sex. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision, but on rehearing en banc, reversed part of its decision. The full panel concluded, in contrast to the previous rulings, that such grooming requirements could be challenged as sex stereotyping in some cases, even in view of the decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins. However, the panel found that Jespersen had not provided evidence that the policy had been motivated by stereotyping, and affirmed the district court's finding for Harrah's.[566][567][568]

  • United Kingdom: The Equality Act 2006 (c 3) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom covering the United Kingdom. The 2006 Act is a precursor to the Equality Act 2010, which combines all of the equality enactments within the United Kingdom and provide comparable protections across all equality strands. Those explicitly mentioned by the Equality Act 2006 include age; disability; gender; proposed, commenced or completed gender reassignment; race; religion or belief and sexual orientation.

The changes it made were,

  • creating the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) (merging the Commission for Racial Equality, the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Disability Rights Commission)
  • outlawing of discrimination on goods and services on the grounds of religion and belief (subject to certain exemptions)
  • allowing the Government to introduce regulations outlawing discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation in goods and services, which led to the Sexual Orientation Regulations 2006
  • creating a public duty to promote equality on the ground of gender (The Equality Act 2006, section 84, inserting section 76A of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, now found in section 1 of the Equality Act 2010).
  • Canada: Stopps v Just Ladies Fitness (Metrotown) Ltd was a discrimination by sex case heard before the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal that was significant in Canadian law because it found that a women-only admission policy of a public gym was not discrimination.
  • Italy: After a few cases of infibulation practiced by complaisant medical practitioners within the African immigrant community came to public knowledge through media coverage, the Law n°7/2006 was passed on 1/9/2006, becoming effective on 1/28/2006, concerning "Measures of prevention and prohibition of any female genital mutilation practice"; the Act is also known as the Legge Consolo ("Consolo Act") named after its primary promoter, Senator Giuseppe Consolo. Article 6 of the law integrates the Italian Penal Code with Articles 583-Bis and 583-Ter, punishing any practice of female genital mutilation "not justifiable under therapeutical or medical needs" with imprisonment ranging from 4 to 12 years (3 to 7 years for any mutilation other than, or less severe than, clitoridectomy, excision or infibulation). Penalty can be reduced up to ​23 if the harm caused is of modest entity (i.e. if partially or completely unsuccessful), but may also be elevated up to ​13 if the victim is a minor or if the offense has been committed for profit. An Italian citizen or a foreign citizen legally resident in Italy can be punished under this law even if the offense is committed abroad; the law will as well afflict any individual of any citizenship in Italy, even illegally or provisionally. The law also mandates any medical practitioner found guilty under those provisions to have his/her medical license revoked for a minimum of six up to a maximum of ten years.[569]
  • Pakistan: In March 2005, the Pakistani parliament rejected a bill which sought to strengthen the law against the practice of honor killing, declaring it to be un-Islamic.[570] The bill was eventually passed in November 2006.[571] However, doubts of its effectiveness remained.[572]
  • Pakistan: In Pakistan, the Hudood Ordinances of 1979 subsumed prosecution of rape under the category of zina, making rape extremely difficult to prove and exposing the victims to jail sentences for admitting illicit intercourse.[371][372] Although these laws were amended in 2006, they still blur the legal distinction between rape and consensual sex.[373] The amending of the laws was done by the Women's Protection Bill.
  • Israel: Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that women should be allowed to deliver eulogies and that the burial societies, or chevra kadisha, should not impose gender segregation in the cemetery.[573] The ruling was in response to an incident in Petach Tikvah in which a woman was stopped from eulogizing her father.[573] However, the court's ruling was not backed up by the Religious Services Ministry until 2012, when Israel's Chief Rabbinical Council ruled that women can deliver eulogies at funerals, but that it is up to the community rabbi to decide on a case-by-case basis.[573]
  • Uruguay: Article 116 of the Penal Code and Articles 22 and 23 of the executive order nº 15.032 of Uruguay were repealed in 2006. The articles stated that in crimes of sexual assault, statutory rape, abduction, and disrespect of modesty, the penalty would be extinguished in cases where the assailant and the victim made a matrimonial contract.[574][575]
  • Guatemala: Article 200[188] stated that a rapist could be exonerated if he promised to marry his victim, provided she had reached the age of 12.[576] It was repealed in 2006.[576]
  • Tunisia: The authorities launched a campaign against the hijab, banning it in some public places, where police would stop women on the streets and ask them to remove it, and warn them not to wear it again. The government described the headscarf as a sectarian form of dress which came uninvited to the country.[577]
2007
  • Costa Rica: Law on Criminal Sanctions for Violence Against Women (Ley de Penalización de la Violencia Contra las Mujeres).[578]
  • Costa Rica: Costa Rica repealed its marry-your-rapist law.[579][510] The law was Article 92, which stated that punishment of an accused or condemned person would be cancelled if he married his underage victim, if legally possible and no objections existed from her legal representatives and the National Children's Fund.[188]
  • New Zealand: Human Rights (Women in Armed Forces) Amendment Act 2007
  • Venezuela: enacts Organic Law on the Right of Women to a Life Free of Violence (Ley Organica Sobre el Derecho de las Mujeres a una Vida Libre de Violencia).[580]
  • England and Wales and Northern Ireland: The Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 (applicable in England and Wales, and in Northern Ireland) was passed, which enables the victims of forced marriage to apply for court orders for their protection.
  • Egypt: The June 2007 Ministry ban on FGM eliminated a loophole that allowed girls to undergo the procedure for health reasons.[581]
  • Eritrea: Eritrea outlawed all forms of female genital mutilation with Proclamation 158/2007 in March 2007.[582][583]
  • United States: Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124 (2007), is a United States Supreme Court case that upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.[584]
  • United States: Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 550 U.S. 618 (2007), is an employment discrimination decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, stating that employers cannot be sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 over race or gender pay discrimination if the claims are based on decisions made by the employer 180 days ago or more. Justice Alito held for the five-justice majority that each paycheck received did not constitute a discrete discriminatory act, even if affected by a prior decision outside the time limit. Ledbetter's claim of the "paycheck accrual rule" was rejected.[585] The decision did not prevent plaintiffs from suing under other laws, like the Equal Pay Act, which has a three-year deadline for most sex discrimination claims,[586] or 42 U.S.C. 1981, which has a four-year deadline for suing over race discrimination.[587]
  • United States: In 2007, Michael Buday and Diana Bijon enlisted the American Civil Liberties Union and filed a discrimination lawsuit against the state of California. According to the ACLU, the obstacles facing a husband who wishes to adopt his wife's last name violated the equal protection clause provided by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.[588] At the time of the lawsuit, only the states of Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York and North Dakota explicitly allowed a man to change his name through marriage with the same ease as a woman. As a result of the lawsuit, the Name Equality Act of 2007 was passed to allow either spouse to change their name, using their marriage license as the means of the change; the law took effect in 2009.[589][590]
  • New Zealand: The Human Rights (Women in Armed Forces) Amendment Act 2007 is an Act of Parliament passed in New Zealand in 2007. It removed an exemption from the Human Rights Act 1993 which barred women from serving in combat roles in the New Zealand Defence Force.
2008
  • Turkey: On 7 February 2008, the Turkish Parliament passed an amendment to the constitution, allowing women to wear the headscarf in Turkish universities, arguing that many women would not seek an education if they could not wear the hijab.[591][592][593][591] The decision was met with powerful opposition and protests from secularists. On 5 June 2008, the Constitutional Court of Turkey reinstated the ban on constitutional grounds of the secularity of the state.[594]
  • International: In 2008, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1820, which noted that "rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide".[595]
  • Guatemala: enacts Law against Femicide and Other Forms of Violence Against Women (Ley contra el Femicidio y otras Formas de Violencia Contra la Mujer).[596]
  • Colombia: enacts Law 1257 of 2008 for establishing rules of awareness, prevention and punishment of all forms of violence and discrimination against women (Ley 1257 de 2008, por la cual se dictan normas de sensibilización, prevención y sanción de formas de violenci a y discriminación contra las mujeres).[597]
  • Saudi Arabia: In 2008, women were allowed to enter hotels and furnished apartments without their mahram if they had their national identification cards.[598]
  • Nicaragua: Article 196, repealed in 2008, stated that if a rape victim marries the offender or grants a pardon, the procedure was suspended and the sentence imposed was cancelled.[188][599]
  • Panama: Article 225,[188] repealed in 2008, stated that a rapist could marry his victim (aged 14 or older) in order to avoid potential charges.[600]
  • Pakistan: Pakistan's Dowry and Marriage Gifts (Restriction) Bill, 2008, restricts dowry to PKR 30,000 (~US$300) while the total value of bridal gifts is limited to PKR 50,000.[601] The law made demands for a dowry by the groom's family illegal, as well as public display of dowry before or during the wedding. However, this and similar anti-dowry laws of 1967, 1976 and 1998, as well as Family Court Act of 1964 have proven to be unenforceable.
2009

The bill also:

– Removes the prerequisite that the victim be engaging in a federally protected activity, like voting or going to school; – Gives federal authorities greater ability to engage in hate crimes investigations that local authorities choose not to pursue; – Provided $5 million per year in funding for fiscal years 2010 through 2012 to help state and local agencies pay for investigating and prosecuting hate crimes; – Requires the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to track statistics on hate crimes based on gender and gender identity (statistics for the other groups were already tracked).[610][611]

  • Kosovo: The hijab was banned in public schools and universities or government buildings.[612]
  • France: In 2006, a French Muslim man sought an annulment on the grounds that his bride (also Muslim) turned out not to be a virgin. She denied having misled him, but did not contest the appeal, which was duly granted. However, in 2009, French justice minister Rachida Dati ordered the government to appeal this decision (on the grounds that an important element of French public policy was at issue). The appeals court reversed the judgment. As explained by writer Ronald Sokol, "The government argued that the wife's virginity was not an essential condition because her unchaste past has no effect on married life. The judges agreed. Even if she had lied, they said, it did not matter, as a woman's lies about her past love affairs are not matters essential to her married life. In short, a woman's past is her own."[613] It became known as the "Virginity Lie" case.[614]
2010
  • United States: In United States v. Jardee[615] it was ruled that the threat of being subjected to the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban did not turn an otherwise "petty" crime into a "serious" one requiring a jury trial.
  • United States: Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended the Fair Labor Standards Act and required employers to provide a reasonable break time for an employee to breastfeed her child if it is less than one year old.[616] The employee must be allowed to breastfeed in a private place, other than a bathroom. The employer is not required to pay the employee during the break time.[616] Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not required to comply with the law if doing so would impose an undue hardship to the employer based on its size, finances, nature, or structure of its business.[617]
  • United States: Sex discrimination was outlawed in health insurance.[618]
  • United Kingdom: The Equality Act 2010[619] is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom, and has the same goals as the four major EU Equal Treatment Directives, whose provisions it mirrors and implements.[620]

The primary purpose of the Act is to codify the complicated and numerous array of Acts and Regulations, which formed the basis of anti-discrimination law in the United Kingdom. This was, primarily, the Equal Pay Act 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and three major statutory instruments protecting discrimination in employment on grounds of religion or belief, sexual orientation and age. It requires equal treatment in access to employment as well as private and public services, regardless of the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. In the case of gender, there are special protections for pregnant women. The Act does not guarantee transsexuals' access to gender-specific services where restrictions are "a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim".[621] In the case of disability, employers and service providers are under a duty to make reasonable adjustments to their workplaces to overcome barriers experienced by disabled people. In this regard, the Equality Act 2010 did not change the law. Under s.217, with limited exceptions the Act does not apply to Northern Ireland.

The resolution was sponsored by 60 countries.[628] Its adoption was praised by Human Rights Watch, which called it "a tremendous step toward ending this horrendous practice".[629]

  • Jammu and Kashmir: enacted in 2010 the Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2010.
  • Israel: On September 28, 2010, the Israeli Supreme Court outlawed public gender segregation in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood in response to a petition submitted after extremist Haredi men physically and verbally assaulted women for walking on a designated men's only road. However, in January 2011, a ruling of the Israeli High Court of Justice allowed the continuation of the gender segregation in public buses on a strictly voluntary basis for a one-year experimental period.[630]
  • France: A ban on face covering,[631] targeting especially women wearing chador and burka, was adopted by the French Parliament.
  • Australia: In a Western Australian case in July 2010, a woman sought to give evidence in court wearing a niqab. The request was refused on the basis that the jury needs to see the face of the person giving evidence.[632]
  • Syria: In 2010, Ghiyath Barakat, Syria's minister of higher education, announced a ban on women wearing full-face veils at universities. The official stated that the face veils ran counter to secular and academic principles of Syria.[633]
  • United States, Oklahoma: Sex-selective abortions were banned in Oklahoma.

2010s

2011
  • Canada: On 12 December 2011, the Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration issued a decree banning the niqab or any other face-covering garments for women swearing their oath of citizenship; the hijab was not affected.[634] This edict was later overturned by a Court of Appeal on the grounds of being unlawful.
  • Australia: In September 2011, Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, passed the Identification Legislation Amendment Act 2011 to require a person to remove a face covering if asked by a state official. The law is viewed as a response to a court case of 2011 where a woman in Sydney was convicted of falsely claiming that a traffic policeman had tried to remove her niqab.[635]
  • El Salvador: enacts Law for a Life Free of Violence against Women (Ley Especial Integral para una Vida Libre de Violencia para las Mujeres).[636]
  • Afghanistan: In 2010 and 2011, the Afghan Supreme Court issued instructions to courts to charge women with "running away" as a crime. This makes it nearly impossible for women to escape forced marriages.
  • Scotland: The Forced Marriage etc. (Protection and Jurisdiction) (Scotland) Act 2011 gives courts the power to issue protection orders.
  • United States: Wal-Mart v. Dukes, 564 U.S. ___ (2011), was a United States Supreme Court case. The case was an appeal from the Ninth Circuit's decision in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in which the Supreme Court, by a 5–4 decision, reversed the district court's decision to certify a class action lawsuit in which the plaintiff class included 1.6 million women who currently work or have worked for Wal-Mart stores, including the lead plaintiff, Betty Dukes. Dukes, a current Wal-Mart employee, and others alleged gender discrimination in pay and promotion policies and practices in Wal-Mart stores.[637] The Court agreed to hear argument on whether Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, Rule 23(b)(2), which provides for class-actions if the defendant's actions make injunctive relief appropriate, can be used to file a class action that demands monetary damages. The Court also asked the parties to argue whether the class meets the traditional requirements of numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy of representation.[638] The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the class should not be certified in its current form but was only 5–4 on the reason for that and whether the class could continue in a different form.
  • Guinea-Bissau: A law banning the practice of FGM nationwide was made in 2011.[639]
  • Iraqi Kurdistan: A 2011 Kurdish law criminalized FGM practice in Iraqi Kurdistan.
  • United States, Arizona: Sex-selective abortions were banned in Arizona.
2012
  • Ireland: the Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2012,[640] bans FGM.
  • Nicaragua: enacts Law no 779- Integral Law against Violence against Women (Ley Integral contra la Violencia hacia la Mujer).[641]
  • The Special Court for Sierra Leone Trial Chamber in the Charles Taylor decision found that the term 'forced marriage' should be avoided and rather described the practice in war as 'conjugal slavery' (2012).[642]
  • United States: Planned Parenthood v. Rounds (686 F.3d 889 (8th Cir. 2012) (en banc)) was a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that upheld a provision of a South Dakota law that requires a doctor to inform a patient, prior to providing an abortion, that one of the "known medical risks of the procedure and statistically significant risk factors" is an "increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide."
  • United States: A provision of the Provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, effective August 1, 2012, states that all new health insurance plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance. Women's Preventive Services – including: well-woman visits; gestational diabetes screening; human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing for women age 30 and older; sexually transmitted infection counseling; human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening and counseling; FDA-approved contraceptive methods and contraceptive counseling; breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling; and domestic violence screening and counseling – will be covered without cost sharing.[643] The requirement to cover FDA-approved contraceptive methods is also known as the contraceptive mandate.[644][645]
  • Botswana: Mmusi and Others v Ramantele and Another is a 2012 case of the High Court of Botswana in which three sisters disputed their nephew's right to inherit the family home under customary inheritance laws that favored male descendants.[646][647] The court ruled that these laws were unconstitutional, asserting for the first time the right of Batswana women to inherit property.[647]
  • Morocco: Morocco amended Article 475, which provided between one- to five-year prison sentence for a perpetrator that abducted or deceived a minor with no resort to violence or threat, or attempted to do so. The Article included a second clause that permitted the withdrawal of a persecution if the perpetrator married the girl or woman.[648][649] The Parliament abolished the law in 2014[648] as it was considered to be at odds with the 2011 constitution.[650]
  • Argentina: Article 132 of the Argentine Penal Code stated that if a rape victim over the age of 16 agreed to marry her rapist, he could be freed from prison. This law was repealed in 2012.[651]
  • United States: In Coleman v. Maryland Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court ruled that the Family Medical Leave Act's self-care leave provision is not enforceable against states; the court did not agree that the provision addresses sex discrimination and sex stereotyping.[652]
2013
  • Switzerland: equality between husband and wife with regard to the choice of family name and citizenship law.[653]
  • India: Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013
  • Panama: enacts Law 82 – Typifying Femicide and Violence Against Women (Ley 82 – Tipifica el Femicidio y la Violencia contra las Mujeres).[654]
  • Swaziland: marital power is restricted, but not abolished: Sihlongonyane v Sihlongonyane (470/2013) [2013] SZHC 144 (18 July 2013).[655]
  • Ivory Coast: legal reforms provide for gender equality in marriage.[262]
  • Bolivia: enacts Law 348 – Integral law guaranteeing women a Life Free of Violence (Ley 348 – Ley Integral para Garantizar a las Mujeres una Vida Libre de Violencia).[656]
  • United States: On March 7, 2013, President Barack Obama signed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.[657] The renewed act expanded federal protections to gays, lesbians and transgender individuals, Native Americans and immigrants.[658][659][660]
  • United States: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, 570 U.S. ___ (2013), was a Supreme Court of the United States case involving the standard of proof required for a retaliation claim under Title VII.[661] The Court held that while Title VII applies a mixed motive discrimination framework to claims of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin (see 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2), that framework did not apply to claims of retaliation under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3. The Court reasoned that based on its decision in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc. and on common law principles of tort law, the plaintiff was required to show that a retaliatory motive was the "but for" cause of the adverse employment action.
  • United States: enacts the Transport for Female Genital Mutilation Act, which prohibits knowingly transporting a girl out of the United States for the purpose of undergoing FGM.[662]
  • United States: Vance v. Ball State University is a U.S. Supreme Court case regarding who is a "supervisor" for the purposes of harassment lawsuits. The Supreme Court upheld the Seventh Circuit's decision in a 5–4 opinion written by Samuel Alito, rejecting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's interpretation of who counts as a supervisor.[663] The case was important because it resolved a dispute between several different circuits.[664][665][666] The Supreme Court held that an employee is a "supervisor" for purposes of vicarious liability under Title VII only if he or she is empowered by the employer to take tangible employment actions against the victim.
  • United States: A Florida man successfully forced the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles to accept his decision to take his wife's last name.[667]
  • International: The first United Nations Human Rights Council resolution against child, early, and forced marriages was adopted; the resolution recognizes child, early, and forced marriage as involving violations of human rights which "prevents individuals from living their lives free from all forms of violence and that has adverse consequences on the enjoyment of human rights, such as the right to education, [and] the right to the highest attainable standard of health including sexual and reproductive health," and also states that "the elimination of child, early and forced marriage should be considered in the discussion of the post-2015 development agenda."[668][669][670]
  • International: The U.N. Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2122, which supported abortion rights for girls and women raped in wars, "noting the need for access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services, including regarding pregnancies resulting from rape, without discrimination."[671] United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had recommended to the U.N. Security Council earlier in 2013 (in September) that girls and women raped in war should have access to "services for safe termination of pregnancies resulting from rape, without discrimination and in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law." In March 2013 Ban Ki-moon had also recommended to the Council that women raped in war have access to abortion services.[671]
  • Turkey: Turkey's parliament ended a ban on women lawmakers wearing trousers in its assembly.[672]
  • France: An old bylaw requiring women in Paris, France to ask permission from city authorities before "dressing as men", including wearing trousers (with exceptions for those "holding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse") was declared officially revoked by France's Women's Rights Minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.[673] The bylaw was originally intended to prevent women from wearing the pantalons fashionable with Parisian rebels in the French Revolution.[673]
  • Saudi Arabia: Saudi women were first allowed to ride bicycles, although only around parks and other "recreational areas".[674] They also had to be dressed in full body coverings and be accompanied by a male relative.[674]
  • Saudi Arabia: The Saudi government sanctioned sports for girls in private schools for the first time.[675]
  • India: India introduced an amendment to the Indian Penal Code through the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, making acid attacks a specific offence with a punishment of imprisonment not less than 10 years and which could extend to life imprisonment and with fine.[676]
  • India: India's top court ruled that authorities must regulate the sale of acid. The Supreme Court's ruling on July 16, 2013 came after an incident in which four sisters suffered severe burns after being attacked with acid by two men on a motorbike. Acid which is designed to clean rusted tools is often used in the attacks and can be bought across the counter. But the judges said the buyer of such acids should in future have to provide a photo identity card to any retailer when they make a purchase. The retailers must register the name and address of the buyer.[677]
  • Israel: The Religious Judges Law in Israel was amended to say that at least four women must be included in the religious judges' nomination committee, including a female advocate in the religious courts, and that the total number of committee members shall be eleven.[678]
  • Israel: In May 2013, after Women of the Wall, led by Anat Hoffman, had engaged in civil disobedience to exercise freedom of religion, a judge ruled that a 2003 Israeli Supreme Court ruling prohibiting women from carrying a Torah or wearing prayer shawls at the Western Wall had been misinterpreted and that Women of the Wall prayer gatherings at the Western Wall should not be deemed illegal.[679]
  • Denmark: Until 2013,[680] according to section 227 of the Danish Penal Code, the penalty for rape committed pursuant to section 216 and for other sexual offences (sections 217–226) could be "reduced or remitted if the persons, between whom the sexual intercourse has taken place, have since married each other or registered their partnership."[681]
  • Turkey: The hijab was banned in universities and public buildings until late 2013 – this included libraries or government buildings. The ban was first in place during the 1980 military coup, but the law was strengthened in 1997.
  • Austria: Since the 1st of April 2013, marriage does not automatically change a woman's name; therefore a name change can only take place upon legal application. Before that date, the situation was the opposite: a married woman's name was changed to that of her husband, unless she legally applied to opt-out of the default situation.[682]
2014
  • Tunisia: Adopted the Tunisian Constitution of 2014, which recognizes equality between men and women.[683] Among other things, quotas for women were introduced in Article 16 of the new constitution, which guaranteed equal representation of women in politics.[684]
  • Europe: the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention), the first legally binding instrument in Europe in the field of domestic violence and violence against women, which creates obligations on states that choose to ratify it,[685] comes into force in August 2014.[686]
  • England and Wales and Scotland: The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 makes forcing someone to marry (including abroad) a criminal offense.[687] The law came into effect in June 2014 in England and Wales and in October 2014 in Scotland.
  • Japan: In a landmark ruling issued 23 October 2014, the Supreme Court of Japan ruled that demotion or other punitive measures based on pregnancy violate the Equal Employment Opportunity Law.[688]
  • India: In 2014, an Indian family court in Mumbai ruled that a husband objecting to his wife wearing a kurta and jeans and forcing her to wear a sari amounts to cruelty inflicted by the husband and can be a ground to seek divorce.[689] The wife was thus granted a divorce on the ground of cruelty as defined under section 27(1)(d) of Special Marriage Act, 1954.[689]
  • United States: Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, 573 U.S. ___ (2014), is a landmark decision[690][691] by the United States Supreme Court allowing closely held for-profit corporations to be exempt from a law its owners religiously object to if there is a less restrictive means of furthering the law's interest. It is the first time that the court has recognized a for-profit corporation's claim of religious belief,[692] but it is limited to closely held corporations.[b] The decision is an interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and does not address whether such corporations are protected by the free-exercise of religion clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution. For such companies, the Court's majority directly struck down the contraceptive mandate, a regulation adopted by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requiring employers to cover certain contraceptives for their female employees, by a 5–4 vote.[693] The court said that the mandate was not the least restrictive way to ensure access to contraceptive care, noting that a less restrictive alternative was being provided for religious non-profits, until the Court issued an injunction 3 days later, effectively ending said alternative, replacing it with a government-sponsored alternative for any female employees of closely held corporations that do not wish to provide birth control.[694]
  • Morocco: Article 475 provided between one- to five-year prison sentence for a perpetrator that abducted or deceived a minor with no resort to violence or threat, or attempted to do so. The Article included a second clause that permitted the withdrawal of a persecution if the perpetrator married the girl or woman.[648][649] The Parliament abolished the law in 2014[648] as it was considered to be at odds with the 2011 constitution.[650]
  • United States: United States v. Castleman (2014) challenged the application of the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban to misdemeanor convictions which did not involve "the use or attempted use of physical force". In a 9–0 decision, the United States Supreme Court held that Castleman's conviction of "misdemeanor domestic assault" did qualify as a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" under Tennessee state law. Specifically they held that the "'physical force' requirement is satisfied by the degree of force that supports a common-law battery conviction – namely, offensive touching" – thereby preventing him from possession of firearms.[695]
  • United States: McCullen v. Coakley, 573 U.S. ___ (2014), was a United States Supreme Court case. The Court unanimously held that Massachusetts' 35-feet fixed abortion buffer zones, established via amendments to that state's Reproductive Health Care Facilities Act, violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because it limited free speech too broadly.
  • Ecuador: In August 2014, a new criminal code came into force in Ecuador, and it no longer contains any marry-your-rapist laws.[696]
  • Portugal: Article 400 of the Portuguese penal code of 1886,[145] which still functioned in post-colonial Mozambique until its replacement on 11 July 2014,[146] stated that rapists who married their victim would not be punished.[145] The law was not applied since independence in 1974.[147] It was repealed in 2014.[147]
  • Ireland: The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 (Irish: An tAcht um Chosaint na Beatha le linn Toirchis 2013 was signed into law on 30 July by Michael D. Higgins, the President of Ireland; it commenced on 1 January 2014.[697][698][699] The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 [700] Act No.35 of 2013;[700] previously Bill No.66 of 2013[701]) is an Act of the Oireachtas which defined the circumstances and processes within which abortion in Ireland could be legally performed. The Act gave effect in statutory law to the terms of the Constitution of Ireland as interpreted by the Supreme Court in the 1992 judgment Attorney General v. X (the "X case"). That judgment (see above events in 1992) allowed for abortion where pregnancy endangers a woman's life, including through a risk of suicide.
  • England and Wales: The Slander of Women Act 1891 was repealed[702] for England and Wales on 1 January 2014 by section 14(1) of the Defamation Act 2013.[154]
  • Turkey: The ban on wearing hijab in high schools was lifted in 2014.[703]
  • Turkey: Since 2014, women in Turkey are allowed to keep their birth names alone for their whole life instead of using their husbands' names.[704] In 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled that prohibiting married women from retaining only maiden names is a violation of their rights.[705] Prior to this case, the Turkish Code of Civil Law Article 187 required a married woman to compulsorily obtain her husband’s surname after the marriage; or otherwise, to use her birth name in front of her husband’s name by giving a written application to the marriage officer or the civil registry office.
  • Romania: The new Penal Code, which came into force in 2014, regulates the procedure of abortion. Article 201 (1) punishes the performing of an abortion when done under any of these following circumstances: (a) outside medical institutions or medical offices authorized for this purpose; (b) by a person who is not a certified physician in the domain of obstetrics and gynecology and free to practice this profession; or (c) if the pregnancy has exceeded fourteen weeks. An exception to the fourteen weeks limit is provided by section (6) of Article 201, which stipulates that performing an abortion is not an offense if done for therapeutic purposes by a certified doctor until twenty-four weeks of pregnancy, and even after the twenty-four weeks limit, if the abortion is needed for therapeutic purposes "in the interest of the mother or the fetus". If the woman did not consent to the abortion; if she was seriously injured by the procedure; or if she dies as a result of it, the penalties are increased – sections (2) and (3) of Article 201. If the acts are done by a doctor, apart from criminal punishment, the doctor is also prohibited from practicing the profession in the future – section (4) of Article 201. Section (7) of Article 201 stipulates that a pregnant woman who provokes her own abortion will not be punished.[706]
2015
  • Gambia: In 2015, Gambia's president Yahya Jammeh banned FGM.[707]
  • Brazil: enacts law against femicide.[708]
  • Nicaragua: new Family Code which provides for gender equality comes into force,[709] replacing the old family law which gave the husband authority.[262][710]
  • Nigeria: bans FGM.[711][712]
  • Northern Ireland: The Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) 2015[713] criminalizes forced marriage (section 16 – Offence of forced marriage).[714]
  • United Kingdom: The first conviction for forced marriage in the United Kingdom occurred in June 2015, with the convicted being a man from Cardiff.[715]
  • Canada: In 2015, the Canadian Parliament enacted 2 new criminal offences to address the issue of forced marriage.[716] Forcing a person to marry against their will is now a criminal offence under the Criminal Code,[717] as is assisting or aiding a child marriage, where one of the participants is under age 16.[718]
  • United States: The Obama administration issued a new rule stating that a closely held for-profit company that objects to covering contraception in its health plan can write a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services stating its objection, and that the Department will then notify a third-party insurer of the company's objection, and the insurer will provide birth control coverage to the company's female employees at no additional cost to the company.[719]
  • United States: Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC and DOES 1–20 was a lawsuit filed in 2012 in San Francisco County Superior Court under the law of California by executive Ellen Pao for gender discrimination against her employer, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Overlapping with a number of condemning studies on the representation of women in venture capital, the case was followed closely by reporters, advocacy groups and Silicon Valley executives.[720] Given the tendency for similar cases to reach settlements out of court, coverage of Pao v. Kleiner Perkins described it as a landmark trial once it began in February 2015.[721][722] On March 27, 2015 the jury found in favor of Kleiner Perkins on all counts.
  • United States: A policy update in 2015 required all Indian Health Services-run pharmacies, clinics, and emergency departments to have Plan B One-Step in stock, to distribute it to any woman (or her representative) who asked for it without a prescription, age verification, registration or any other requirement, to provide orientation training to all staff regarding the medication, to provide unbiased and medically accurate information about emergency contraception, and to make someone available at all times to distribute the pill in case the primary staffer objected to providing it on religious or moral grounds.[723]
  • United States: In the U.S. Supreme Court case Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., 576 U.S. ___ (2015), the Court held that Congress specifically intended to include disparate impact claims in the Fair Housing Act, but that such claims require a plaintiff to prove it is the defendant's policies that cause a disparity.[724] The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on sex.[725]
  • United States: Young v. United Parcel Service, 575 U.S. ___ (2015), is a United States Supreme Court case that the Court evaluated the requirements for bringing a disparate treatment claim under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.[726] In a 6–3 decision, the Court held that to bring such a claim, a pregnant employee must show that their employer refused to provide accommodations and that the employer later provided accommodations to other employees with similar restrictions.[726]
  • Bulgaria: Until September 2015, under Bulgaria's penal code, a rapist could escape punishment, even in the case of statutory rape, if it was followed by marriage.[727]
  • Cameroon: On July 12, 2015, two women dressed in religious garments blew themselves up in Fotokol, killing 13 people. Following the attacks, since July 16 of that year, Cameroon banned the wearing of full-face Islamic veils, including the burqa, in the Far North region. Governor Midjiyawa Bakari of the mainly Muslim region said the measure was to prevent further attacks.[728]
  • Gabon: On July 15, 2015, Gabon announced a ban on the wearing of full-face veils in public and places of work. The mainly Christian country said it was prompted to do so because of the attacks in Cameroon (see above).[728]
  • Chad: Following a double suicide bombing on June 15, 2015, which killed 33 people in N'Djamena, the Chadian government announced on June 17, 2015, the banning of the wearing of the burqa in its territory for security reasons.[729][730]
  • Congo-Brazzaville: The full-face Islamic veil was banned in May 2015 in public places in Congo-Brazzaville, to "counter terrorism", although there had not been an Islamist attack in the country.[728]
  • Japan: Japanese law does not recognize married couples who have different surnames as lawful husband and wife, which means that 96% of married Japanese women take their husband's surname.[731] In 2015, the Japanese Supreme Court upheld the name-change law, ruling that it was not unconstitutional, noting that women could use informally their maiden names, and stating that it was the parliamentarians who should decide on whether to pass new legislation on separate spousal names.[732]
2016
  • Jordan: Article 308 in the Jordanian Penal Code originally allowed for an aggressor of sexual assault to avoid persecution and punishment if he married the victim.[733] Only if the marriage lasted under three years did he need to serve his time. The article was amended in 2016, barring full pardon in cases of rape but keeping a loophole clause that pardoned perpetrators if they married the victim if she was aged between 15 and 18 and if the assault was regarded as “consensual.” The article was fully abolished in 2017.
  • Algeria: An Algerian law came into effect punishing violence against women and sexual harassment.[734]
  • Australia: Hizb ut-Tahrir was ordered to stop forcibly segregating men and women at its public events after a NSW tribunal found the practice constituted sexual discrimination.[735]
  • Saudi Arabia: According to a directorate issued by the justice minister, Walid al-Samaani, clerics who register marriage contracts would have to hand a copy to the bride "to ensure her awareness of her rights and the terms of the contract".[736]
  • United States: Zubik v. Burwell was a case before the United States Supreme Court on whether religious institutions other than churches should be exempt from the contraceptive mandate, a regulation adopted by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires non-church employers to cover certain contraceptives for their female employees. Churches are already exempt under those regulations.[737] On May 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a per curiam ruling in Zubik v. Burwell that vacated the decisions of the Circuit Courts of Appeals and remanded the case "to the respective United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fifth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits" for reconsideration in light of the "positions asserted by the parties in their supplemental briefs".[738] Because the Petitioners agreed that "their religious exercise is not infringed where they 'need to do nothing more than contract for a plan that does not include coverage for some or all forms of contraception'", the Court held that the parties should be given an opportunity to clarify and refine how this approach would work in practice and to "resolve any outstanding issues".[739] The Supreme Court expressed "no view on the merits of the cases."[740] In a concurring opinion, Justice Sotomeyer, joined by Justice Ginsburg noted that in earlier cases "some lower courts have ignored those instructions" and cautioned lower courts not to read any signals in the Supreme Court's actions in this case.[741]
  • United States: Voisine v. United States, 579 U.S. ___ (2016), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that reckless misdemeanor domestic violence convictions trigger gun control prohibitions on gun ownership.[742][743][744]
  • United States: Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, 579 U.S. ___ (2016), was a United States Supreme Court case decided on June 27, 2016, when the Court ruled 5–3 that Texas cannot place restrictions on the delivery of abortion services that create an undue burden for women seeking an abortion. It has been called the most significant abortion rights case before the Supreme Court since Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992.[745]
  • United States: The Survivors' Bill of Rights Act of 2016 was passed by the United States Congress in September 2016 and signed into law by US President Barack Obama on October 7, 2016.[746] The law overhauls the way that rape kits are processed within the United States and creates a bill of rights for victims. Through the law, survivors of sexual assault are given the right to have a rape kit preserved for the length of the case's statute of limitations, to be notified of an evidence kit's destruction, and to be informed about results of forensic exams.[746]
  • United States: The Obama administration issued guidance that informed states that ending Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood or other health-care providers that performed abortions might be against federal law. The Obama administration contended that Medicaid law permitted states to ban providers from the program only if the providers could not perform covered services or bill for those services. However, the Trump administration repealed this guidance in 2018.[747]
  • Germany: Germany's parliament passed a new law saying that it is rape to have sex with a person who says "No" to the sex. Under the previous law, sex was not considered rape unless the victim fought back.[748] The new law also classifies groping as a sex crime, makes it easier to deport migrants who commit sex offences, and makes it easier to prosecute assaults committed by a large group.[748]
  • Tanzania: The Tanzanian High Court—in a case filed by the Msichana Initiative, a lobbying group that advocates for girls' right to education—ruled in favor of protecting girls from the harms of early marriage.[749][750]
  • Gambia: During a feast ending the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the Gambian President Yahya Jammeh announced that child and forced marriages were banned.[750][751]
  • Pakistan: Pakistan repealed the loophole which allowed the perpetrators of honor killings to avoid punishment by seeking forgiveness for the crime from another family member, and thus being legally pardoned.[752]
  • Punjab: Protection of Women against Violence Bill, 2015 is a bill drafted by CM's Special Monitoring Unit (Law and Order) [753] and passed by the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab[754] which was signed into a law on 1 March 2016 by Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana. The law declares physical violence, abusive language, stalking, cyber crimes, sexual violence, psychological and emotional abuse against women a crime in Punjab, home to 60% of Pakistan's population.[755] Additionally, it creates a toll-free universal access number (UAN) to receive complaints while district protection committees will be established to investigate complaints filed by women. Centres will also be set up for reconciliation and resolution of disputes. Every district would have women’s shelters and district-level panels to investigate reports of abuse and mandates the use of GPS bracelets to keep track of offenders [756]

The bill aims to promote gender equality in the province, it allows women to get a residence order, the victim has a right to stay in the house if she doesn’t want to vacate it or the defendant has to provide an alternative accommodation to the victim if she wants so.[757] Further, if she is being harassed or stalked, she can claim a protection order which ordains the defendant to not communicate with her or stay a certain distance from her. In addition, the victim can also seek monetary relief from the defendant to meet expenses occurred and losses suffered through monetary orders in this bill.[754][758]

  • Israel: It was announced that the High Court of Justice had given the Justice Ministry 30 days to formulate new regulations to allow women to compete equally with men for the position of director of rabbinical courts.[759]
  • Israel: The Tel Aviv Rabbinical Court ordered a man jailed for thirty days for helping his son refuse to give his daughter-in-law a divorce for eleven years.[760]
  • Malaysia: The Sessions Court declared that a man accused of two counts of statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl from Petra Jaya in the Malaysian part of Borneo in October 2015 would escape punishment because he claimed to have married his victim,[761] but this was overruled by the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak in August 2016 after large-scale protests argued this would set a dangerous precedent for child rapists to escape punishment.[762]
  • Bulgaria: A ban on the wearing of face-covering Islamic clothing in public was adopted by the Bulgarian parliament.[763]
  • Latvia: A ban on the wearing of face-covering Islamic clothing in public was adopted by the Latvian parliament, despite such garments being rarely worn in Latvia.[164]
2017
  • United States: The "Mexico City Policy" was reinstated by President Trump.[764] Trump not only reinstated the policy but expanded it, making it cover all global health organizations that receive U.S. government funding, rather than only family planning organizations that do, as was previously the case.[765]
  • United States: A new law ended former President Obama's executive order, which would have mandated companies trying to get contracts with the federal government to show compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws.[766] That executive order had been enjoined by a federal judge in October 2016.[767]
  • Norway: Norway adopted a law prohibiting people to wear "attire and clothing masking the face in such a way that it impairs recognizability" in schools and in universities.[768]
  • United States: In 2017 a rule about abortions was overturned by new legislation.[769] Late in 2016, the Obama administration issued the rule, effective in January 2017, banning U.S. states from withholding federal family-planning funds from health clinics that give abortions, including Planned Parenthood affiliates; this rule mandates that local and state governments give federal funds for services related to sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy care, fertility, contraception, and breast and cervical cancer screening to qualified health providers whether or not they give abortions.[770] However, this rule was blocked by a federal judge the day before it would have taken effect.[771]
  • United States: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that employers could pay women less than men for the same work if they based that on differences in the workers' previous salaries.[772]
  • United States: The Trump administration issued a ruling letting insurers and employers refuse to provide birth control if doing so went against their "religious beliefs" or "moral convictions".[773]
  • United States: Federal judge Wendy Beetlestone issued an injunction temporarily stopping the enforcement of the Trump administration ruling letting insurers and employers refuse to provide birth control if doing so went against their "religious beliefs" or "moral convictions".[773][774]
  • Sweden: Maria Teresa Rivera became the first woman in the world granted asylum because of being wrongly jailed for disregarding a ban on abortion.[775] She disregarded the ban in El Salvador and was given asylum in Sweden.[775]
  • Israel: The Jerusalem Magistrates Court ruled that employees of airlines could not request female passengers change their seats just because men wish them to.[776]
  • Europe: The European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of Maria Ivone Carvalho Pinto de Sousa Morais, who had had an operation that was mishandled and rendered her unable to have sex. Portuguese judges had previously reduced damages to her in 2014, ruling then that the operation, which occurred when she was 50, had happened at "an age when sex is not as important as in younger years". The European Court of Human Rights rejected that decision, with the majority's ruling stating in part, "The question at issue here is not considerations of age or sex as such, but rather the assumption that sexuality is not as important for a 50-year-old woman and mother of two children as for someone of a younger age. That assumption reflects a traditional idea of female sexuality as being essentially linked to childbearing purposes and thus ignores its physical and psychological relevance for the self-fulfillment of women as people."[777]
  • Tunisia: A law was passed that, among other things, declared that men who had sex with underage girls would not be able to avoid being prosecuted by marrying those girls, changed the age of consent from 13 to 16, criminalized marital rape and sexual harassment, and made wage and work discrimination against women punishable by a fine of 2,000 Tunisian dinars ($817).[778]
  • Tunisia: Tunisia removed a law (in place since 1973) which forbade Muslim women from marrying non-Muslims.[313]
  • Nepal: Nepal passed a law punishing people who force women into exile during menstruating with up to three months in jail or a fine of 3,000 Nepalese rupees.[779]
  • India: On 22 August 2017, the Indian Supreme Court deemed instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat) unconstitutional.[780][781]
  • Saudi Arabia: On 26 September 2017, King Salman issued an order to allow women to drive in Saudi Arabia, with new guidelines to be created and implemented by the following June.[782]
  • The Philippines: The Philippines forbid companies from mandating that female employees have to wear high heels at work.[783]
  • Canada: The Canadian province of British Columbia amended workplace legislation to prevent employers from requiring women to wear high heels at work. British Columbia premier Christy Clark stated that the government was "changing this regulation to stop this unsafe and discriminatory practice."[784]
  • El Salvador: A law made in 1994 known as Article 14, stated that as a general rule, persons under eighteen years of age can not marry, but established in the second paragraph, that exceptionally they can contract marriage if they are pubescent, they already have a child in common, or if the woman is pregnant.[785] This law was abolished in 2017.[468]
  • Lebanon: Article 522 of the Lebanon Penal Code became a part of the law in the 1940s and stated that rape was a punishable offense, where the attacker could receive up to seven years in prison.[239] However, no criminal prosecution would take place if the perpetrator and their victim got married, and stayed married for a minimum of three years.[239] In 2017, Article 522 of the Lebanon Penal Code, which had been labelled a "rape law"[240] was repealed.[241] But after Article 522 was repealed, it was argued by many that the law still lived on through Articles 505 and 518.[239] Article 505 involves the act of sex with a minor, while Article 518 deals with the seduction of a minor accompanied by the promise of marriage.[241]
  • Jordan: Article 308 in the Jordanian Penal Code was abolished in 2017. The article originally allowed for an aggressor of sexual assault to avoid persecution and punishment if he married the victim.[733] Only if the marriage lasted under three years did he need to serve his time. The article was amended in 2016, barring full pardon in cases of rape but keeping a loophole clause that pardoned perpetrators if they married the victim if she was aged between 15 and 18 and if the assault was regarded as “consensual.”
  • Puntland: The self-declared autonomous region of Puntland adopted a Sexual Offences Act in 2017, that criminalized all forms of sexual violence against women.[786]
  • Austria: A legal ban on face-covering Islamic clothing was adopted by the Austrian parliament.[787][788]
  • Germany: A ban on face-covering clothing for soldiers and state workers during work was approved by German parliament.[789]
  • Morocco: Morocco banned the manufacturing, marketing and sale of the burqa.[790]
  • Tajikistan: Tajikstan passed a law requiring people to "stick to traditional national clothes and culture", which has been widely seen as an attempt to prevent women from wearing Islamic clothing, in particular the style of headscarf wrapped under the chin, in contrast to the traditional Tajik headscarf tied behind the head.[791]
  • China: China banned the burqa in the Islamic area of Xinjiang.[792][793]
  • Quebec: The Quebec ban on face covering (known officially as “An act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality and, in particular, to provide a framework for requests for accommodations on religious grounds in certain bodies”)[794] made world headlines in October 2017.[795] The ban was instituted on October 18, 2017.[794] The ban prevents anyone whose face is covered from delivering or receiving a public service.[794] According to an article in The Economist by a left leaning journalist, the law's "real purpose is to ban Muslim women from wearing niqabs, or face veils, when they provide or receive public services". Others feel that the aim of the law is to counter growing use of religious symbolism by Muslim women in Quebec.
  • United States: In January 2017, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division in Camden County dismissed two suits filed by Linda Tisby in summer 2015 against her former employer, the county's Department of Corrections. The court decided that a New Jersey Superior Court was right to rule that it would have been an "undue hardship" for the agency to accommodate her religious beliefs concerning wearing a headscarf "because of overriding safety concerns, the potential for concealment of contraband, and the importance of uniform neutrality".[796]
  • India: The Maternity (Amendment) Bill 2017, an amendment to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, was passed; it protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her to a ‘maternity benefit’ – i.e. full paid absence from work – to take care for her child. The act is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more persons. As per the Act, to be eligible for maternity benefit, a woman must have been working as an employee in an establishment for a period of at least 80 days in the past 12 months. Payment during the leave period is based on the average daily wage for the period of actual absence.[797]
  • Russia: Vladimir Putin signed a law which decriminalizes a first offense of domestic violence which does not seriously injure the person, making that offense a less serious administrative offense in Russia.[798]
2018
  • Iceland: Legislation came into effect requiring government agencies and companies with more than 25 employees to get government certification for their equal-pay policies regarding gender, with fines for those that do not show pay equality.[799]
  • United States: The Trump administration repealed guidance issued in 2016 by the Obama administration, which had informed states that ending Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood or other health-care providers that performed abortions might be against federal law. The Obama administration had contended that Medicaid law permitted states to ban providers from the program only if the providers could not perform covered services or bill for those services.[747]
  • Sweden: Sweden passed a law defining sex without consent in clear body language or words as rape, even if no force or threats are used; previously a rape conviction had required proof that the offender used force or that the victim was in a vulnerable state.[800]
  • Iran: On February 23, 2018, Iranian Police released an official statement saying that any women found protesting Iran’s compulsory veiling code would be charged with “inciting corruption and prostitution,” which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.[801] Before this change, according to article 638 of the Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran, “Anyone in public places and roads who openly commits a harām (sinful) act, in addition to the punishment provided for the act, shall be sentenced to two months imprisonment or up to 74 lashes; and if they commit an act that is not punishable but violates public prudency, they shall only be sentenced to ten days to two months’ imprisonment or up to 74 lashes. Note- Women who appear in public places and roads without wearing an Islamic hijab, shall be sentenced to ten days to two months’ imprisonment or a fine of fifty thousand to five hundred Rials.”[802] After this change, any woman found without an islamic veil in a public space is charged according to article 639 of the Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which states: “The following individuals shall be sentenced to one year to ten years imprisonment and in respect to paragraph (A), in addition to the punishment provided, the relevant place shall be closed temporarily at the discretion of the court. A – Anyone who establishes or directs a place of immorality or prostitution. B – Anyone facilitates or encourages people to immorality or prostitution.”[802]
  • Denmark: Denmark's parliament voted 75–30 to ban garments that cover the face, which includes Islamic veils such as the niqāb and burqa. Those violating the law risk a fine of 1,000 kroner.[803]
  • Ireland: The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, which recognized "the unborn" as having a right to life equal to that of "the mother",[404] was repealed by referendum.[405]
  • United States: National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra was a case before the Supreme Court of the United States addressing the constitutionality of California's FACT Act, which mandated that crisis pregnancy centers provide certain disclosures about state services. The law required that licensed centers post visible notices that other options for pregnancy, including abortion, are available from state-sponsored clinics. It also mandated that unlicensed centers post notice of their unlicensed status. The centers, typically run by Christian non-profit groups, challenged the act on the basis that it violated their free speech. After prior reviews in lower courts, the case was brought to the Supreme Court, asking "Whether the disclosures required by the California Reproductive FACT Act violate the protections set forth in the free speech clause of the First Amendment, applicable to the states through the 14th Amendment."[804] The Court ruled on June 26, 2018 in a 5–4 decision that the notices required by the FACT Act violate the First Amendment by targeting speakers rather than speech.[805]
  • Israel: The Knesset passed a law, slated to remain in effect for three years, allowing Israel’s rabbinical courts to handle certain cases of Jewish women wishing to divorce their Jewish husbands, even if neither the wife nor the husband is an Israeli citizen.[806]
  • Morocco: A law went into effect known as the Hakkaoui law because Bassima Hakkaoui drafted it; it includes a ban on forced marriage and sexual harassment in public places, and harsher penalties for certain forms of violence. But it was criticized for requiring victims to file for criminal prosecution to get protection.[807]
  • India: The Supreme Court of India struck down a law making it a crime for a man to have sex with a married woman without the permission of her husband.[808]
  • India: In 1991, the Kerala High Court restricted entry of women above the age of 10 and below the age of 50 from Sabarimala Shrine as they were of the menstruating age. However, on 28th September 2018, the Supreme Court of India lifted the ban on the entry of women. It said that discrimination against women on any grounds, even religious, is unconstitutional.[446][447]
  • United States: A law was signed making California the first state in America to require women to be included on companies’ boards of directors. The law requires all publicly traded California companies to have at least one woman on their boards by the end of 2019, and in 2021 requires five-member boards to have two female members, and boards with six or more members to have three.[809]

See also

References

  1. ^ "The Court of Appeal quashed her murder conviction holding that her characteristic of attention seeking was sufficiently permanent and could be taken into account in assessing the standard of control expected of the defendant."[477]
  2. ^ "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, Aaron (June 30, 2014). "A LOT of people could be affected by the Supreme Court's birth control decision – theoretically". The Washington Post.
  1. ^ "The Reforms of Urukagina". History-world.org. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
  2. ^ Katherine I. Wright, Archaeology and Women, 2007, p. 206.
  3. ^ The Powers p. 40 by Walter Wink, 1992
  4. ^ Marilyn French, From Eve to Dawn: A History of Women, 2008, p. 100.
  5. ^ Roth, Martha. Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor, pp. 13–22.
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