Social Context / Legislation
• Domestic Violence and Matrimonial Proceedings Act passed. This act makes injunctions possible without a divorce or separation proceedings. It becomes possible for a court to order a man out of the matrimonial home, whether or not he owns it or the tenancy is in his name. Problems arise in that these protections do not apply to unmarried women.
• Equal pay strike at Trico-Folberth factory, Middlesex. The strike goes on for 21 weeks before the women win their demand for the same pay rates as men.
~ National Women’s Liberation Movement Conference, Newcastle
Issues raised include debates around the sixth demand, class and lesbianism. A resolution is passed in support of NWAF.
There are discussions on a potential seventh demand, “calling on men to share housework and child care equally.” (Hanmer 1976).
“There are very real splits in the Women’s Movement; between gay and straight women, working class and middle class women, intellectual and non-intellectual women, socialists and non-socialists, radical feminists and others, monogamous and non-monogamous etc.” (Bradford Women’s Group 1976: 15).
“A workshop was convened by some sisters on Tyneside on ‘the socialist current within the WLM.’ [… S]uggestions that a socialist feminist conference should be organised were rejected — the memory of London 1975 was still too vivid. What was agreed was that a newsletter should be started with the aim of providing a communication network. The areas of difference remain the same. (Scarlet Women Collective 1977: 7).
~ Scottish National Women’s Liberation Conference, St. Andrews (1)
~ Scottish National Women’s Liberation Conference, Glasgow (2)
~ London Women’s Conference
~ Midlands Regional Women’s Liberation Conference, Birmingham
~ North East Regional Women’s Liberation Conference, Leeds
~ South West Regional Women’s Liberation Conference, Bristol
~ Socialist Feminist Regional Conference, Cambridge
~ Socialist Feminist Regional Conference, Sunderland
~ Women and Socialism Conference, Bristol
Radical / Revolutionary Feminist
~ Radical Feminism Conference, Leeds
Sexuality / Sexual Politics
~ Committee for Lesbian Action Now (CLAN) Conference, Oxford
~ International Lesbian Conference, Paris
~ National Lesbian Conference, Bristol
Issues: coming out, bisexuality, lesbians and the Working Women’s Charter Campaign (WWCC) and Wages Due Lesbians (Bristol was a centre for Wages For Housework).
During the conference there is an assault on a number of women at a planned disco:
“In the early hours of Sunday 29th [Feb.] during an incident at the Moulin Rouge club, a number of women were assaulted by some men. The disco at the club had been organised as part of the weekend conference activities. The conference organisers had booked the Moulin Rouge […] exclusively for the use of women.[…] The conference was a time trip, back a few years, a vision of Bristol as a closet.” (Shulman 1976: 5)
This clarifies the need to address violence against lesbians as an issue, and leads to the formation of CLAN. Concurrently at issue are questions around the extent to which lesbians should organise independently from the larger WLM and the extent to which they should organise with gay men.
~ National WWCC Conference, London
~ Women and the Cuts (WWCC), London
~ Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRA) /A Women’s Right to Choose Conference, London
~ Patriarchy Conference, London, 15-16 May. The first WLM conference in Britain to focus on theory rather than campaigns and strategy. Papers presented at the conference were collected and published by Women’s Publishing Collective later that year. The Archive holds 2 copies.
~ Federation of Alternative Bookstores’ National Women’s Conference, Birmingham
~ Future Directions for the Women’s Movement in Leeds
~ International Feminist Solidarity Conference, Manchester
~ New Laws for Women’s Rights, London
~ One Year On From The Sex Discrimination Act, London
~ Planning Conference for the National Conference, Oct., Newcastle on Tyne
~ Scottish Women and Media Conference, Edinburgh
~ Women in Eastern Europe, Birmingham
~ Women Help Yourself, London
~ Women and Media, Manchester (1)
~ Women and Media, London (2)
~ Women and Spirituality (student Christian movement), Wick
~ Women Under Apartheid, London
* Athens or similar subscription may be required to view content in peer-reviewed journals
Feminist Archive North accepts no responsibility for content on external sites