Listen to the voices of feminists who were at the forefront of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1970s and 80s. In addition to the interviews, explore the themes to discover the background to the movement and download our teaching resources for use in the classroom.

Due to the nature of the campaigns that were and are important to women’s equality, some of the audio clips on this site deal with challenging subjects and may not be appropriate for some younger students.

Featured content

  • Caitlin Moran

    Introduction to Sisterhood and After

    Feminist, writer and broadcaster Caitlin Moran introduces the Sisterhood and After website and explains why feminism is as important today as it was for the activists of the Women's Liberation Movement.

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    What is a feminist?

    Feminism is simply the quest for the equality of the sexes, yet it provokes strong reactions. Discover the history of the term and find out how the WLM developed and tackled some of the most fundamental feminist questions, such as what it means to be a woman.

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    Campaigns, protests and the Women's Liberation Movement

    Campaigns and protests of the Women's Liberation Movement

    From legal and illegal action, to quiet subversion and huge spectacle, feminists of the Women’s Liberation Movement employed various methods in order to make their point and demand social and legislative change. Find out more about at some of the WLM's central campaigns.

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    Equal pay, equality legislation and the Women's Liberation Movement

    Equal pay and equality legislation

    From actions such as the Ford machinists’ strike in Dagenham and the Grunwick Film-Processing Laboratories strike, to campaigns such The Night Cleaners, find out how the 1970 the Equal Pay Act came into effect.

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  • Women's liberation – a national movement

    Women’s liberation: a national movement

    The Women’s Liberation Movement organised eight national conferences, starting in Oxford in 1970, where the first demands were made. Read the complete list of seven demands and learn how they helped shape the movement.

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    Marriage and civil partnership

    Until the 1960s a married woman took her husband’s name, promised to ‘obey’ him and often became economically and financially dependent on him. Find out how the WLM campaigned to change the ‘laws, assumptions and institutions’ about marriage.

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    Religion, religious institutions and the Women’s Liberation Movement

    Equality in religion and religious institutions

    Although women make up a large part of the congregation in many religious institutions, they rarely hold positions of institutional power. Discover how some feminists campaigned for equality in religious institutions or even explored alternative spiritualities.

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    Teaching and the Women's Liberation Movement

    Girls in formal education

    The Women’s Liberation Movement has to be seen in the context of the educational system in which its members grew up. Learn more about the tripartite system, the 11+ exam and its mixed consequences - a divisive, class-based system, but one that gave opportunities for some girls to access grammar schools.

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  • Health, reproduction and the Women's Liberation Movement

    Health and reproduction

    In the 1960s and 70s the medical profession was still dominated by men and consequently women had little or no say in the medical treatment of their own bodies. Explore the WLM’s relationship to subjects like fertility, contraception, abortion, sexual desire and relationships.

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    Men's reponses to women's liberation

    How did men respond to women’s liberation? Find out more about the men’s groups, who campaigned alongside women for an end to inequality between the sexes.

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    Myths and controversies surrounding feminism

    Myths and controversies surrounding feminism

    Why is feminism often controversial? Read more about some of the most common objections to feminism and discover five amazing feminist ideas that might change your world.

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    Sexual pleasure, sexual rights and the Women's Liberation Movement

    Sexual pleasure, sexual rights

    The 1960s and 70s brought greater sexual freedom and choice for many women. Find out how the Women’s Liberation Movement allowed women to talk openly about sex in consciousness-raising groups and how gay politics overlapped with feminist politics.

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Featured themes

Should boys and girls be educated together or separately? Does gender influence career choice? Should women be paid to do housework? Are masculinity and femininity opposites? What do women from different races and classes have in common? How do they differ?

The women you will meet on this site took on these and other questions in an extraordinary period of British history. They strove for political and social equality, and struggled for changes that would grant both women and men new freedoms. Using the themes below, you can learn about what they fought for, what they achieved and how they achieved it.

Who we were, who we are

What is a feminist, why is feminism often controversial and how have men responded to Women’s Liberation?

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Family and children

Family and children

Discover how the Women’s Liberation Movement challenged attitudes towards childcare, marriage, partnership and domestic work.

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Activism

Activism

Learn about the many forms of activism used by the Women’s Liberation Movement, from consciousness-raising to campaigns and protests.

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Education

Education

How were girls taught and brought up before women’s liberation? Find out how activism by teachers, students, writers and publishers led to changes in teaching, sex education and academia.

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Equality and work

Equality and work

Find out how the Women’s Liberation Movement fought for equal pay, access to training, equality in religious institutions, and recognition of work carried out by women.

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Politics and legislation

Politics and legislation

How did WLM campaigns lead to more equal political representation and legislation changes that have fundamentally altered women’s lives?

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Featured interviews

The themes of this site are illustrated by 145 clips of oral history recordings and films that capture the voices of women who were at the forefront of the Women’s Liberation Movement.

Featured feminists

The Women’s Liberation Movement prided itself upon its lack of stars and a variety of views but the Sisterhood and After project interviewed many of the key participants. Listen to 66 of the many voices of the movement on this website.

The full-length interviews from the project can be accessed at the British Library.