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Bowe v. Colgate-Palmolive


The Bowe case was an early victory for the feminist movement. Discrimination on the basis of sex was subsequently challenged in the area of inheritance law in Reed v. Reed (1971); military regulations in Frontiero v. Richardson (1973) and Rostker v. Goldberg (1981); and equality in education in Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan (1982). Each of these cases challenged gender stereotypes which were codified in legislative statutes such as the one which enabled Colgate to place weight limits on items female employees could be required to carry. Such cases represent considerable progress in the area of sex discrimination, particularly when we consider that in cases such as Bradwell v. Illinois (1873), the Supreme Court upheld a state action denying women the right to practice law. Despite the legal progress made with respect to gender discrimination, it is clear that social traditions have precedents on the matter.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972Bowe v. Colgate-Palmolive - Significance, Protective Legislation, Gender Segregation, The First Round, Appeals Court Overrules, Impact