Activism

From protest marches to strikes, smashing windows of pornography shops, flour-bombing beauty pageants, letter-writing campaigns and ‘die-ins’ in Downing Street, campaigns about issues central to women’s lives have taken many forms. But WLM activism was not only about protests and demonstrations. National conferences helped define the feminist agenda and consciousness-raising groups allowed women to discuss their feelings, needs and desires.

Activism and the Women's Liberation Movement

Activism and the Women’s Liberation Movement

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

The Women’s Liberation Movement was formed of young women living in a period of rapid social and cultural change. Many were also active in civil rights, peace and new left movements and had the skills to spread their message in powerful and varied ways. Read this introductory article to discover the campaigning methods used by the WLM and the differences in approach, method and political starting point.

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Women's liberation – a national movement

Women’s liberation: a national movement

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

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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Consciousness-raising and the Women's Liberation Movement

Consciousness-raising

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

Many women in the early days of the Women’s Liberation Movement felt bewildered about what it meant to be a woman, what they were doing with their lives and why. Discover how consciousness-raising groups helped participants to discuss their feelings, needs and desires.

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Campaigns, protests and the Women's Liberation Movement

Campaigns and protests of the Women's Liberation Movement

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

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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Further themes

Family and children

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

Bodies, minds and spirits

Explore the ways in which the Women’s Liberation Movement sought to change attitudes towards women’s bodies and minds.

Sex, love and friendship

No justice without love. No love without justice. How did sex, sexuality, love and justice relate to the Women’s Liberation Movement?

Race, place and nation

How did the feminism of the Women’s Liberation Movement overlap with campaigns against racism, militarism and nuclear weapons?

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.

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.

Activism

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

Politics and legislation

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

Changing cultures and the arts

How were literature, art, photography, performance, animation, music, theatre, film and sport changed by feminism?

Who we were, who we are

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