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Women's Activism Behind the ScreensTrade Unions and Gender Inequality in the British Film and Television Industries$
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Frances Galt

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529206296

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529206296.001.0001

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Catalysts for Change, 1960–75

Catalysts for Change, 1960–75

(p.63) 2 Catalysts for Change, 1960–75
Women's Activism Behind the Screens

Frances C. Galt

Policy Press

This chapter analyses the relationship between women and the Association of Cinematograph, Television and Allied Technicians (ACTT) between 1960 and 1975 to identify the catalysts for the establishment of the Committee on Equality (COE) in 1973 and the demand for an investigation into gender discrimination in the film and television industries, which culminated in the publication of the Patterns of Discrimination Against Women in the Film and Television Industries report in 1975. Firstly, this chapter considers whether the ‘roots’ of women’s militancy evident in the labour movement during the 1960s (Boston, 2015) can be identified within the ACTT between 1960 and 1968. Secondly, this chapter argues that the emergence of the New Left and women’s liberation movement and industrial militancy in Britain between 1968 and 1973 encouraged women to challenge the gendered union structure of the ACTT. This section particularly highlights the significance of the London Women’s Film Group to women’s activity within the ACTT. Finally, this chapter investigates the activity of the COE between 1973 and 1975, considering: the demands advanced by women activists at the ACTT’s 1973 Annual Conference, the logistics of the investigation, the obstacles to women’s activity, and the function of women’s separate self-organisation.

Keywords:   Association of Cinematograph, Television and Allied Technicians, ACTT, Committee on Equality, Investigation, Gender Discrimination, Patterns of Discrimination Against Women in the Film and Television Industries, New Left, Women’s Liberation Movement, Industrial Militancy, London Women’s Film Group

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