Politics and legislation

Feminists campaigned to change the laws governing equal pay, welfare, education, birth control, maternal health, abortion, marriage and divorce. Legislative changes in these areas have fundamentally altered women’s experiences, both politically and personally. Find out more about the political representation of women, feminist critiques of political culture and the impact of legislation on women’s lives.

Politics, legislation and the Women’s Liberation Movement

Politics, legislation and the Women’s Liberation Movement

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

Earlier in the 20th century, generations of women had fought for the right to participate actively in formal politics. In the 1970s the Women’s Liberation Movement continued to campaign for the greater political representation of women and legislative changes that improved women’s lives.

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Political representation and the Women’s Liberation Movement

The political representation of women

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

In 1970 there were only 26 female MPs out of a total of 650. Why did such a gap exist, and despite improvements, why does it continue to do so? Discover the women who campaigned for equal political representation.

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Feminist critiques of political culture

Feminist critiques of political culture

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

Feminists have long been critical of the political processes in the UK. Explore the struggle to get women’s opinions and interests represented in political parties, trade unions and other political organisations.

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The impact of legislation on women's lives

The impact of legislation on women’s lives

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

The Women’s Liberation Movement were successful in getting a number of laws passed that provide concrete services required by women. Learn about the women who became active in the formal institutions that make and enforce laws and govern the country.

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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?