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Women in World War One

Protests, strikes and equality Jane James and Jim Horton, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales)  World War One resulted in the horrific slaughter of millions of workers who were initially encouraged and then conscripted into the bloody horrors of trench warfare. Women too were cajoled to do their bit for ’the war to end all wars’ by replacing the men sent to the front in factories and workplaces across Britain. But in this anniversary year there is likely to be scant attention given to the militant struggles of working class women during those four …

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History: “We want bread, but we want roses too!”

By Diana O’Dwyer The 1912 strike in the textile mills in Lawrence, Massachusetts, known as the Bread and Roses strike, was one of the most important industrial struggles of the 20th century. Conditions in the huge industrial sweatshops and surrounding tenements were so horrific that one in three workers died of malnutrition or disease before the age of 25. Child labour was also a normal part of the capitalist labour process, with children toiling alongside their mothers in workplaces largely made up of young female migrants from more than fifty countries. Yet amidst all this …

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30 Years On: How the miners’ strike changed women’s lives

  Tens of thousands of women were part of a huge support network, fundraising and picketing during the Miner’s Strike 1984-85 Sarah Wrack spoke to Mary Jackson, who was involved in the strike in Yorkshire. Why did women get involved in the strike? Because it was our livelihoods…It was our kids’ future, it was our future. Personally I got involved when they sent the horses and the troops onto my street… There was absolutely no option but to get together to feed the kids and support the miners – women in their traditional role of feeding …

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No more the ‘slaves of slaves’ – Women in the Lockout

The very forefront of the fight Without the sacrifice and fighting spirit of thousands of working class women, the struggle against the Lockout could not have been sustained. Their role was critical in the movement. Their contribution and this proud legacy deserve special mention. In Ireland, in the early decades of the 2oth century, women were fighting to improve their situation on several fronts. Women workers began to organise to take on their employers, and sometimes male workers and trade unionists, in their attempt to lift themselves from the bottom of the social morass that …

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