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9 Things Women Were Once Not Allowed to Do

9 Things Women Were Once Not Allowed to Do

It's no secret that for as long as any of us can remember, women have not been granted many of the same ordinary rights as men, yet the gender wage gap and other women's rights issues are still a source of inequality around the world.

This reality, unfortunately, is not only affecting developing countries, but prominent nations as well — including the United States.

And, believe it or not, some of these rights were only granted within the last 50 or so years.

Below are just nine (of the many) things women could not do before the laws were amended.

1. Work while pregnant
According to Marie Claire, depending on where and for whom you worked, "Working women could have their careers cut short if they became pregnant until the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which outlawed the practice."

2. Get a credit card
Married women had a lot of trouble signing for a credit card up until the 1970s. Before that they often needed their husbands to co-sign.

3. Get an Ivy League education
The Huffington Post states "The only Ivy League schools to admit women before 1913 were Cornell, which admitted a woman in 1870, and UPenn, which opened its doors to female students 1876."

4. Serve in combat
Up until as recently as 2013, women were not allowed on the front lines.

5. Serve on a jury
By 1968, Mississippi became the last state to allow women to serve jury duty.

6. Vote
Until the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, women were not allowed to vote.

7. Sue for sexual harassment
Courts did not officially recognize sexual harassment until 1977, shortly before "sexual harassment" was explicitly defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

8. Get a divorce without difficulty
Thankfully in 1969, the No Fault Divorce law was passed, but before it's enactment, spouses had to prove "the faults of the other party, such as adultery, and could easily be overturned by recrimination."

9. Refuse sex with spouse
In 1993 marital rape was criminalized, but before that it was not a punishable offense for a spouse to rape their partner.

NEXT: Watch MAKERS' Exclusive "Women Who Make America" Documentary »

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