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date: 19 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Women’s activism in the judicial arena has a long history. This chapter reviews the scholarly literature to provide core insights into women’s struggles and their legal successes in the courts. It begins with a broad definition of women’s legal activism and describes barriers that historically prevented women from fully participating in the courts. Women’s legal activism has played a significant role in removing these barriers. The chapter also discusses key events in feminist law, including the Roe v. Wade decision, congressional passage of the 1963 Equal Pay and 1964 Civil Rights Acts, and the 1971 Reed v. Reed decision. These legal developments erected important legal platforms for pursuing further rights and equality for women, for instance, in the areas of sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. In recent years, women have continued their legal efforts to expand the reach of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VII and to protect reproductive rights.

Keywords: feminism, litigation, legal activism, law, judiciary, Roe v. Wade

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