Disputes and direct action

From protests for equitable labour rights in the Grunwick dispute to disability activism in the Women’s Liberation Movement, uncover some of the unique events that have impacted the broader landscape of women’s rights in the UK.

Cropped image from illustrated poster in support of the Grunwick Dispute 1977. It shows a line of women holding placards demanding union access

Remembering the Grunwick dispute

Article by:
Sundari Anitha, Ruth Pearson

The Grunwick dispute marked a critical moment in labour history in the UK, especially for women and migrant workers. Sundari Anitha and Ruth Pearson look at the events leading up to the dispute and the key figure of Jayaben Desai, and examine its significance today.

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Banner for disability activism article showing person surrounded by placards

Disabled women organising: Feminism and disability rights activism

Article by:
Beckie Rutherford

Disabled women have long been a force in feminist and disability activism. Beckie Rutherford looks at the people and groups fighting for equal access within the Women’s Liberation Movement.

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Black women activists in Britain

Article by:
Kelly Foster, A S Francis

The history of Black women’s activism in Britain is a long, rich and deeply inspiring one, yet the narratives of Black women activists have often been erased or minimised. Kelly Foster and A S Francis explore some of the individuals and organisations involved in activism, and their movements and campaigns since the late 19th century.

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Photograph taken of activists at the occupation of the Church at Kings Cross.

The English Collective of Prostitutes: Occupation of Holy Cross Church

Article by:
Frankie Miren

For 12 days in late 1982 the English Collective of Prostitutes occupied a church in King’s Cross to protest police brutality. Frankie Miren interviews women who were at the centre of the dispute, and explores explores the legacy of their action today.

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Further themes

Changing attitudes

Explore how societal and political attitudes towards issues relating to women’s rights, gender, race, and class have developed and evolved.

Disputes and direct action

From protests for equitable labour rights in the Grunwick dispute to disability activism in the Women’s Liberation Movement, uncover some of the unique events that have impacted the broader landscape of women’s rights in the UK.

Education and work

The fight for women to hold equal financial, property and educational rights to men have been hard won. Discover the legal and social developments in women’s education and work since the 19th century.

Expressions

Women’s voices in spheres of music, literature, publishing, and fashion have been integral in bringing richness to the cultural life of the UK. Uncover the ways that women have used their artistic expression to progress feminist and human rights.

A map of women's resistance in the UK

Explore stories of women’s lives, rights and activism using our digital map and accompanying activities for secondary schools and young people.