The civil rights struggle helped spark the women’s movement of the later 1960s and early 1970s, just as the abolitionist movement energized the 19th-century women’s movement.
More directly, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had a major impact on women’s rights.
One part of this law prohibited job discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or sex. With this provision, women had an important weapon for fighting against discriminatory hiring and firing practices.
By 1966 they had filed 4,000 complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an agency set up to review violations of the law.
In 1963 four African American schoolgirls were killed when whites bombed a black church in Birmingham, Alabama. These murders outraged many Americans.
Patsy Mink of Hawaii became the first Japanese American woman elected to Congress, in 1964.