The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Digital Library

Women's Rights

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During the 1970s debate over women’s economic and civil rights, social role, and political power became a more prominent part of the public agenda. The Ford White House faced these issues in many guises: an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, development of Title IX regulations barring sex discrimination in education, military academy admissions, abortion policy, and credit and property law, for examples.

The substantive and the symbolic intertwined on such matters as the appointment of women, communication with women voters, and participation in the United Nations International Women’s Year, 1975. First Lady Betty Ford was the focus of conflicting reactions and expectations for her candor on some social, political, and health issues. Throughout the Ford administration, women office-holders such as Housing Secretary Carla Hills, the first woman appointed to the Cabinet in 20 years, sought to exercise greater power on issues unrelated to gender.

First Lady Betty Ford addresses the Greater Cleveland Congress of International Women's Year, 10/25/1975
First Lady Betty Ford addresses the Greater Cleveland Congress of International Women's Year, 10/25/1975
(White House photograph A7012-06)

 

Digitized Holdings Related to Women's Rights

General:
Abortion:
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA):
International Women's Year (IWY):
Legislation Case Files:
Native American Women:
Title IX:
Women in Government:
Women and the 1976 Election: