Women’s health first emerged as a major social and political issue in the turbulent late 1960s. Women inspired by the civil rights movement and its demand for equal citizenship created a new wave of feminist activism. At the core of this activism was asserting that the most private, personal aspects of their identity — relationships, sexuality, health and family life — were political. In other words, personal experiences rooted in sexism could be channeled into “consciousness-raising,” a form of political action designed to elicit discussion about such topics as women’s relationships, their roles in marriage and their feelings about childbearing.
Ideas and personal stories began to unite a broad range of women who came to identify themselves as feminists. Sharing stories became, by the end of the 1960s, a strategy for creating change. Women’s liberation conferences sprang up across the country to create consciousness-raising experiences for women to explore political aspects of personal life.
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