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If they worked, positions available to women were typically in light manufacturing or agricultural work and a limited segment of positions in the service industries, such as bookkeeping, domestic labor, nursing, secretarial and clerical work, retail sales, or school teaching.Women were unable to obtain bank accounts or credit, making renting housing impossible, without a man's consent.Ideological differences between radicals and moderates, led to a split and a period of deradicalization, with the largest group of women's activists spearheading movements to educate women on their new responsibilities as voters.
Though families increasingly depended on dual incomes, women carried most of the responsibility for domestic work and care of children.
There had long been recognition by society in general of the inequalities in civil, socio-economic, and political agency between women and men.
The women's liberation movement (WLM) was a political alignment of women and feminist intellectualism that emerged in the late 1960s and continued into the 1980s primarily in the industrialized nations of the Western world, which affected great change (political, intellectual, cultural) throughout the world.
The WLM branch of radical feminism, based in contemporary philosophy, comprised women of racially- and culturally-diverse backgrounds who proposed that economic, psychological, and social freedom were necessary for women to progress from being second-class citizens in their societies.
Towards achieving the equality of women, the WLM questioned the cultural and legal validity of patriarchy and the practical validity of the social and sexual hierarchies used to control and limit the legal and physical independence of women in society.
Women's liberationists proposed that sexism—legalized formal and informal sex-based discrimination predicated on the existence of the social construction of gender—was the principal political problem with the power dynamics of their societies.
They focused their efforts to address gendered power imbalances in their quest for respect of human rights and nationalist goals.
This worldwide movement towards decolonization and the realignment of international politics into Cold War camps after the end of World War II, usurped the drive for women's enfranchisement, as universal suffrage and nationhood became the goal for activists.
Those who were still attached to the radical themes of equality were typically unmarried, employed, socially and economically advantaged and seemed to the larger society to be deviant.
In countries throughout Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Middle East and South America efforts to decolonize and replace authoritarian regimes, which largely began in the 1950s and stretched through the 1980s, initially saw the state overtaking the role of radical feminists.