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PBS film examines women's movement

PBS special looks at the past 50 years of the women's movement in the United States.
By Jacqueline Cutler Modified: February 23, 2013 at 7:33 pm •  Published: February 25, 2013

For girls born after women were appointed to the Supreme Court, sexual harassment is not tolerated in the workplace, and females always competed in school sports. So for them, “Makers: Women Who Make America” is a history lesson.

The three-hour special that airs at 7 p.m. Tuesday on OETA-13 is naturally not just for younger women. It is for everyone — those who relished victories whenever women won higher office, experienced fury when colleagues made sexual advances or were frustrated when schools allocated money only for boys sports.

It's for males and females — those who suffered the indignities and fought to change the world and those for whom the ERA is only a baseball stat. Meryl Streep narrates the film, which should be required in any course about 20th-century America. Additional information is available at

The program features the accounts of famous leaders of the women's movement such as Gloria Steinem and Marlo Thomas as well as interviews with the first woman on the Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and lesser-known women including Barbara Burns, one of the first female coal miners.

This film, eight years in the making, reminds us how many strides have been made in the past 50 years when popular culture reinforced that women existed to serve men. Women were expected to use their education — until they married.

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