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Lasting Effects

Page history last edited by Sophie Smith 6 years, 1 month ago



As a result of May and June 1968, 67 new universities were opened across France. It became standard practice within universities to allow students to voice their concerns in a calm and orderly manner during organised meetings. From this, we can say that further education establishments had learned from the events on 1968 and wished to avoid a repeat.



Protest for free contraception 1972 1

It can also be argued that the events sparked the second wave of feminism through the 1970s. Changes in the laws directly affecting women as a result of 1968 include: in 1970 a change in family law replacing the wording of 'paternal' authority with 'parental' authority, paternal authority had sexist connotations that men had a more important parental role. The 1972 law for equal pay for equal work, this is an especially important change as it shows success for both women and workers. The 1974 law saw the introduction of limited free contraception. In 1975 and finally in 1979 the repeal of previous laws forbidding abortion. Another gain for women was the 1975 law against sex discrimination in recruitment procedures.3



Furthermore, working rights in France changed as an undeniably direct result of the protest, workers conditions improved, with changes to ensure better pay and shorter hours were implemented across the majority of factories/businesses.  Many communist and socialist groups were disbanded and declared illegal which diminished students abilities to support alternative Political parties.


The events of may 68 are viewed from many different perspectives, depending on who you were, and where you were, if you were and student or worker in France you would have seen it as an attempt at a revolution, for Gaullist politicians and the majority of the baby-boom generation it was viewed as unnecessary turmoil. For women, it was seen as an opportunity for future change. Additionally, on an international scale, events in 1968 were everything from barbaric to revolutionary, from the Vietnam war to the changes in the civil right movement in the United States. As written by Jeremi Suri "1968 divides the ‘before’ from the ‘after,’ the world we lost from the world we gained."2



1http://www.zones-subversives.com/2015/07/la-contestation-des-annees-1968.html (photograph)


3Reader K.A., Wadia K. (1993) Women and the Events of May 1968. In: The May 1968 Events in France, pp. 148-166, Palgrave Macmillan, London.





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