Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History

Class, Gender and Cold War Politics: The Union of Australian Women and the Campaign for Equal Pay, 1950–66

Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History (2019), 117, (1), 159–180.

Abstract

The confluence of social and political forces during the Menzies era stalled the progress of wage justice for women workers until the end of the 1960s. Nevertheless, women’s organisations and the progressive trade union movement advocated equal pay for the sexes throughout this period. This article examines the contribution of the Union of Australian Women (UAW), which represented the interests of working-class women, to the campaign for equal pay from 1950 to 1966. It discusses the ways in which the mixture of women’s culturally accepted domestic roles and widespread anti-communism muted enthusiasm for the UAW’s message. The article argues, however, that the UAW made an effective contribution to keeping equal pay in the public consciousness, redressing the inattention to working-class women’s role in their economic emancipation.

Access Token
£25.00
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Keirs, Katherine