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Women's Work
February 2020 to February 2022

It's the 1970s. It's official. Women are equal. Even in Accrington. Or are they?

Women's Work explores the experiences of working women in Accrington and the Hyndburn district from the 1950s to 70s.

Women were starting to take action on the national stage of women's rights - in 1968 women machinists at Ford's Dagenham plant went on strike for equal pay leading to the 1970 Equal Pay Act. The next decade saw 
the rise of the Women’s Liberation Movement, the introduction of maternity pay, women being allowed onto the stock exchange floor for the first time and the Sex Discrimination Act. These were huge milestones. 

Click on the image to hear and read all the women's stories

Meanwhile in the real world of Accrington, women fought daily to be treated fairly.

Can you imagine being refused a mortgage because you were single, prevented from working (better paid) night shifts or needing your husband’s permission to open your own bank account?

These were just some of the stories we uncovered. Whether it was being asked to do a pregnancy test at a job interview, fending off the advances of male colleagues or standing up against men who thought women shouldn’t be in business, our interviewees all shared a sense of humour and a determination to stand their ground. 

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