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As long as women in general continue to avoid public disclosure or statement of their existence they can be regarded as not existing or not fully human 1 The examination of the Australian governments reaction to second - wave feminism and the implications it created for Australian women allows us to view the 1970s as a period of social growth for women as they gained political awareness and feminist consciousness Unhappy with their position in Australian society womens anger and frustration generated a demand for change as women fought to have their issues heard in the political domain Second-wave feminism hit Australia at the end of 1969 and created a movement of political groups which criticised the expected role of Australian women in their society These women pushed to identify with their right to decide to define themselves and to be autonomous responsible individuals 2 The womens liberation movement was focused on a revolution pushing for women to change their perception of themselves and society Emphasis was placed on raising female awareness and promoting personal transformation Women began to acknowledge the institutions which were contributing to their subordination making their impact into political life a major issue for the movement The control and development of Australias political system had traditionally been regarded as only suitable for men and their socialised attributes Australian society had adopted the sex-role ideology as a means of defining male characteristics as superior to female characteristics This sex-role ideology assumes both biologically and historically that individuals should be classified according to their biological sex which constructs their appropriate gender3 This differentiation of the sexes was thought to prescribe innately different qualities attitudes and characteristics Men were and many argue still are deemed legitimate in status and role articulation whilst a womens attempt at political life were looked upon as deviant because
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