Family and children

How did the Women’s Liberation Movement challenge traditional attitudes towards women and their ‘special relationship’ with the home and children? Discover the prevailing view of families, childcare, marriage, partnership and domestic work in the 1950s and find out how the WLM found new ways of imagining family, kinship and community.

Families and children

Family, children and the Women's Liberation Movement

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

From the beginning, the Women’s Liberation Movement argued that ‘women’s oppression’ began in the family. Why did feminists focus so much attention on the family, marriage and children? This introductory article explains the background.

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Marriage, civil partnership and the Women's Liberation Movement

Marriage and civil partnership

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

Until the 1960s a married woman took her husband’s name, promised to ‘obey’ him and often became economically and financially dependent on him. Find out how the WLM campaigned to change the ‘laws, assumptions and institutions’ about marriage.

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Families and parenting

Families and parenting

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

For centuries raising children has been thought of as ‘women’s work’, as a natural extension of carrying a child and giving birth. Discover how the Women’s Liberation Movement challenged this idea and experimented with different childcare and domestic arrangements.

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Division of labour

The domestic division of labour

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

The Women’s Liberation Movement campaigned to achieve fundamental shifts in the attitudes towards housework. Find out more about the image of the 1950s ‘happy’ housewife and the campaigns and lifestyle changes that sought to update traditional perceptions of domestic responsibility.

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Further themes

Family and children

Discover how the Women’s Liberation Movement challenged attitudes towards childcare, marriage, partnership and domestic work.

Bodies, minds and spirits

Explore the ways in which the Women’s Liberation Movement sought to change attitudes towards women’s bodies and minds.

Sex, love and friendship

No justice without love. No love without justice. How did sex, sexuality, love and justice relate to the Women’s Liberation Movement?

Race, place and nation

How did the feminism of the Women’s Liberation Movement overlap with campaigns against racism, militarism and nuclear weapons?

Education

How were girls taught and brought up before women’s liberation? Find out how activism by teachers, students, writers and publishers led to changes in teaching, sex education and academia.

Equality and work

Find out how the Women’s Liberation Movement fought for equal pay, access to training, equality in religious institutions, and recognition of work carried out by women.

Activism

Learn about the many forms of activism used by the Women’s Liberation Movement, from consciousness-raising to campaigns and protests.

Politics and legislation

How did WLM campaigns lead to more equal political representation and legislation changes that have fundamentally altered women’s lives?

Changing cultures and the arts

How were literature, art, photography, performance, animation, music, theatre, film and sport changed by feminism?

Who we were, who we are

What is a feminist, why is feminism often controversial and how have men responded to Women’s Liberation?