Globally, in the 1980s women continued to make strides in the political arena. Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister of India although her second term of office brought to an abrupt end in 1984 with her assassination. In 1986, Corazon Aquino became the eleventh President of the Philippines. In 1989, former German Chancellor, Angela Merkel entered politics
The 1980s saw the start of many female led businesses. Anita Roddick formed The Body Shop and Martha Stewart was becoming a global force. In Pakistan, Nosheen Rahman and her husband started the very successful GENERATION Woman company; in Europe, Miuci Prada designed and introduced Prada’s first ready to wear collection. In Australia, Lesley Gillespie started Bakers Delight.
On the fashion scene, inspired by television soap opers such has Dallas and Dynasty, ‘power dressing’ became popular with tailored suits and large shoulder pads. Puffed sleeves, ra ra skirts and fashion clothes inspired by fitness outfits were also popular. In China the popularity of uni-sex Zhongshan suit declined and Japanese fashion designers started a new school of fashion during the late 1980s called “Japanese Avant-Garde Fashion”, which combined Asian cultural inspiration with mainstream European fashion.
Within the Club, the 1980s saw advertisers for the first time being able to pay for ads in newsletter. A mimeograph machine was purchased to help print the newsletter! Members put together an international cookbook and Roald Dahl donated a recipe. In 1983 the Club was renamed American Woman’s Club of Gerrards Cross. As membership numbers increased to 250, General Meetings were moved to National Society for Epilepsy (renamed Epilepsy Society in 2011). In 1987 Beaconsfield and Gerrards Cross Clubs dissolved and the CAWC formed. The first Christmas Charity Bazaar was held at the Epilepsy Centre. At the end of the 1980s, the first by-law changes created Associate Memberships for non-Americans and the Club membership reached 300.