Second Wave Feminism
‘In February 1970, the first Women’s Liberation Movement conference took place at Ruskin College, Oxford. It unexpectedly attracted 600 delegates and was the first time Women’s Liberation groups from across Britain had met in a single place to discuss their demands and the challenges they faced. It was chaotic, exciting, optimistic (Ms Understood exhibition label, The Women's Library, 2010)

Four key demands were identified at the conference

  • Equal pay for equal work

  • Equal educational and job opportunities

  • Free contraception and abortion on demand

  • Free 24 hour nurseries under community control

Feminism was not a homogeneous mass of women fighting for the same unifying cause. By the end of the 70s it was possible to identify as many as 13 distinct type of British feminist. Tensions in the Women’s Liberation movement caused the movement to fracture in at the last conference in 1978 due to a split between radical and socialist feminists. (source:MS Understood, The Women's Library, 2010)


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The Mandela Centre, 179 Pear Tree Rd, Derby, DE23 8NQ T: 01332 347066

Deeds Not Words Towards Liberation has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to record, preserve and raise awareness about women's social and political activism in Derbyshire. Shoulder to Shoulder events are funded by the Celebrating Votes for Women Fund

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