History GCSE / National 5: How women in Britain fought for equality in the workplace

Radio 1 DJ Gemma Cairney traces the history of the women’s movement in Britain and discovers how women fought for equality in the workplace.

Gemma meets a one hundred-year-old woman who describes how work opportunities have changed for women over her lifetime.

In World War One and World War Two women did men’s jobs.

Women were not paid the same as men. In 1968 women working in the Ford Dagenham car factory went on strike for equal pay and to be classed as skilled workers.

Gemma meets two women who took part in the Dagenham strike.

The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1970 and Gemma asks if women today are equal at work with men.

Teacher Notes

  • Give students a series photographs of women over the last seventy years (including suffragettes, CND protestors, Women's Lib activists and suited businesswomen) and ask what we can deduce about these women.
  • Students should then be divided into groups to research one the women in their photograph.
  • Places the information gathered on a timeline of change. Students should consider how far attitudes have changed towards these women in their research.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching History. This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC KS4/GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 in Scotland.

Women in politics and how suffragettes won women the vote,
How women fought for access to birth control in Britain
How women have campaigned for social and sexual equality