This film is part of Free

Working Women

A very rare chance to see working class women, in a Women's Charter group, having an opportunity to air their strong views about gender inequality and what needs to be done to end it.

Open access programme 1975 14 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


A rare chance to see how the rise of feminism in the 1970s related to working class women, who formed local groups to campaign for the Working Women's Charter in 1974-75. This authentic film gives a voice to women in Newcastle to state their demands for equality across the board, and what that requires in resources, such as nurseries, changes to the law and changing the attitudes of male trade unionists, here confronted by some forceful women.

This is the filmed element of an edition of the Tyne Tees Television programme 'Access', which would involve a discussion of the film. The Working Women's Charter was launched by the London Trades Council in March 1974, with local charter campaign groups established around the country. The Charter had ten points, relating to equal pay, conditions and opportunities, nursery provision, family planning, maternity leave and campaigning within trade unions. At its height it had 27 groups across the UK and was supported by 12 national unions, 55 trade union branches, 37 trade councils and 85 other organizations; although much of this was tokenistic. Its lack of a clear strategy and divisions led to its demise.