Social Context / Legislation
• First gay/lesbian Pride march in London.
• Immigration Act 1971: makes it harder for immigrant women to keep their children in the UK, or to send for them once settled. (Full Act as PDF).
~ NATIONAL WOMEN’S LIBERATION MOVEMENT CONFERENCE, Skegness.
The first four demands of the WLM are passed (See Appendix 1 for full list):
1. Equal Pay
2. Equal Educational and Job Opportunities
3. Free Contraception and Abortion on Demand
4. Free 24 hour Nurseries.
The WNCC is voted out of existence, in favour of local and regional conferences and organisation.
“The WNCC was abolished because it had signally failed to keep in touch with the politics of the developing movement, and prepared a conference, the terms of which the majority at the conference rejected.” (Delmar 1973: 8-9)
“To start off with, we were sitting in a tiered, lecture theatre type of place and on the platform there were the Union of Women for Liberation with their banner with a fist […] and they were reading out prepared papers which were dreary beyond belief […] about half the conference got up and walked out [ … ] And then the Union for Women’s Liberation carried on as if nothing had happened … they refused to leave so women snatched the microphone. Finally they were routed.” (Garthwaite, OHP Interview No. 7)
Organisations / Campaigns
• BOLTON WOMEN’S LIBERATION GROUP begins.
• NIGHTCLEANERS’ CAMPAIGN (WLW), London. A documentary, Nightcleaners Part 1, was made by members of the Berwick Street Collective (Marc Karlin, Mary Kelly, James Scott and Humphry Trevelyan).
• UNION OF WOMEN FOR LIBERATION, from the Maoist Women’s Liberation Front, which grew out of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), Hempstead
• CHISWICK WOMEN’S AID (now Refuge):
“Women escaping from violence stayed in the centre even though their lease forbade it and the ‘premises were inadequate.’ “(Hanmer 1976).
• INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAYdemonstration, London
“The March, organised by the WNCC, was the largest International Women’s Day event since the Suffragette era, and made a big media splash. Quite different from the macho male left demonstrations of the time, it highlighted contemporary feminists’ major concerns: contraception and abortion; our treatment as sex objects; our invisible oppression as housewives. Women carried washing lines holding bras, bodices and corsets, while the Women’s Street Theatre Group acted out The First Period, featuring a massive sanitary towel. I was part of the cosmetics and slimming routine troupe who brought up the end of the march. directed by the late Buzz Goodbody of the Royal Shakespeare Company, we danced along a wind up gramophone playing the 1950s hit “Keep Young and Beautiful/ It’s Your Duty to be Beautiful … If you Want to be Loved.” (Garthwaite, OHP Interview No. 7)
• Protests against the discriminatory practices practised in Wimpy Bars, London.
• Scarlet Women, York
• Libertarian Women’s Network Newsletter, Leeds
• Women’s Struggle Notes, Newcastle
External sites cited on this page:
Additional external sites of interest:
~ Bolton Women’s Liberation Group
~ History of Gay Pridefrom Lesbian Life at About.com
~ International Women’s Day – Global register of yearly events
~ Johnston, Claire (1975) – The Nightcleaners (Part One): Rethinking Political Cinema. (Review) Jump Cut, no. 12/13, 1976, pp. 55-56 (reprinted from Spare Rib, No. 40, Oct. 1975)
~ O’Sullivan, Sue* (1982) Passionate Beginnings: Ideological Politics 1969-72, Feminist Review, No. 11, Sexuality (Summer, 1982), pp. 70-86
~ The Nightcleaners, Part One listing from Lux
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