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1950 to 1959 

The Domestic Housewife 

"Life is a brief walk between two periods of darkness and anything that helps to cheer that up is valuable." - Joan Littlewood

Image taken from front cover of A 1950's Housewife (marriage and homemaking) by Sheila Hardy.  Well worth a read.​​


​With advertising and the media via films and women's magazines actively idealising the housewife in order to get women back in the non threatening position of the home and encouraging women’s domesticity, marriage became the goal for many women.

Housework was becoming easier with white goods at the forefront making the American style 1950’s housewife happy with home live the poster advert for female aspirations.

Ultra famine styles were created to with little white pinafore aprons to accentuate the domestic look, (previously used as maids uniforms).

Little progress was made with equality legislation for women during this period although legal reforms were to allow teachers and civil servants equal pay.

In 1956 the Sexual Offences Act outlines rape and expands it’s meaning.

The Life Peerages Act 1958 after much debate received Royal Assent (probably buoyed up by the assentation of Elizabeth II to the thrown in 1953) and included women into the house of Lords for the first time 4 women were given life peers Dame Katharine Elliot, Baroness Mary Curzon, Dame Stella Issacs, and Baroness Barbra Wootton.  Interestingly hereditary peeresses were not affected and subsequently continued to be excluded although a resolution was moved in 1959 and carried by 59 votes to 51 hereditary peeresses were not admitted until the Peerage Act of 1963.

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