Issues concerning women
in Understanding British and European political issues

This chapter focuses on the issues concerning women in Britain and Europe. It also focuses on the development of the women's movement. Between 1928 and the 1960s, the women's movement retreated into the background of British politics. By 1970 there had developed a crescendo of women's protests against unequal treatment of women in the workplace. There were significant differences in the pay of women compared with men. The Equal Pay Act of 1970 attempted to correct this situation. The new Labour government which came to power in 1974 was determined to complete the radical reforms concerning equal opportunities which had been started in the 1960s. It therefore passed the landmark Sex Discrimination Act 1975 as a priority. Until the 1970s the existence of widespread violence by men against their female partners was scarcely recognised. The chapter provides detailed descriptions of the legislation passed to improve the status of women.

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