Contextualising women’s workplace activism in post-war England
in Women, workplace protest and political identity in England, 1968-85
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This chapter provides an overview of how women’s growing presence in the workforce was understood by contemporaries. It demonstrates that female workers, trade unions, social scientists and WLM activists were increasingly drawing public attention to the poor conditions and inequalities that working-class women were likely to experience in the workplace. At the same time, there was a growing commitment from policy makers and the main political parties to understanding and addressing gender inequality as a political issue. This chapter argues that the growing politicisation of gender inequality in the workplace was part of a broader transition in public understandings of gender roles taking place in post-war Britain. It concludes that women’s workplace activism should be understood within this context.

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