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Head and Master Law Panel Discussion (1979)

Louisiana Alive!



Genre: Panel

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1979-11-23

Duration: 00:28:14

Subjects: Filmed panel discussions | Head and Master Laws | Community property | Women's rights


  • Luke, Marti Host
  • Wolf, Thom Producer
  • Roberts, Sylvia Panelist
  • Martin, Selina Panelist
  • Hansen, Barbara Panelist


This episode of the series “Louisiana Alive!” from November 23, 1979, features Marti Luke leading a panel discussion on Louisiana’s Head and Master Law, which defines the husband as the head and master of a household and, therefore, in control of a couple’s property. Panelist Sylvia Roberts, the general counsel for the National Organization for Women (NOW) Legal Defense Fund, discusses: the head and master clause of the community property law; her concerns about the equal management law passed by the Louisiana Legislature; the importance of women being educated about the laws that impact their lives; and the next step in the fight for women’s rights in Louisiana. Panelists Selina Martin and Barbara Hansen share their stories of how the head and master law negatively impacted their lives.