Biographical / Historical
A magazine based in Washington, DC during the late 1970s, Spokeswoman covered topics relating to the welfare of women. Although the collection does not include any Spokeswoman magazines, the organization collected the materials during the time in which the magazine was active. The majority of the publications relate to legal and civil rights, equality in education, women's healthcare, and employment equality.
Title IX, which prohibits any educational organization or activity that receives federal monies from discriminating on the basis of sex, was ratified into law in 1972. The materials in the collection focus on the implementation and effects of putting the law into place.
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which has never been made into law, came up for consideration for the second time in 1972. The legislation sought to amend the Constitution so that it protected the legal rights and equality of women. It was approved by Congress and was sent to state legislatures for ratification with an extended deadline set for 1982. Due to conservative opposition, it was not ratified. The collection is focused on this time frame, and includes many news updates and opinions on the ERA ratification process.
The Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, which protected the legal right of women to choose whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. The collection features many publications by Planned Parenthood as well as many other sources regarding women's reproductive healthcare.
The Spokeswoman Magazine Printed Materials Collection serves as a window into the world of feminists and women's rights activists from 1972 to 1980, and the topics discussed encompass the most important legislation and issues of the time period.