The late 1960s and early 1970s saw the expansion of the women’s rights movement at the University of Kansas. For years women on campus had been working towards a more equal standing on campus.
Spurred by a lack of action on the Unversity's part to establish an Affirmative Action Program, a group of women calling themselves the February Sisters organized the occupation of the East Asian Studies building on campus to bring attention to the problems women faced on campus. Twenty women and four of their children occupied the building at 1332 Louisiana on February 4th, 1972. The February Sisters fought to bring about an Affirmative Action program planned and directed by women, a campus daycare center financed by the University, the hiring of more women in upper level administrative and faculty positions, an end to unfair employment practices (including the large wage discrepancies between women and male employees), a Women’s Studies department, and a women’s health program.
After achieving some success in a meeting with University Senate Executive Committee the night of the occupation, the following years on campus saw the majority of the February Sisters’ demands realized. The peacefully and successfully protested gender inequality on KU campus. The protest united generations and feminist groups, bringing students and staff together to force institutional change at KU.
In this exhibit can be found original documents, photographs, and memorabilia that tell the story of the women’s right movement at the University.
This is an online exhibit from Spring 2022. The exhibit was created by Molly Herring, Associate Archivist, University Archives, Kenneth Spencer Research Library.