So excited to kick off day two of @WHN_WM conference with Deborah Thom’s keynote on Mary Macarthur, who is my Favourite Ever woman from history #voicesofwomen
Thom shows a watercolour image of a woman chainmaker in the Black Country, collected by Sylvia Pankhurst at the start of #WW1 #voicesofwomen
Women chainmakers on strike just before WW1, all dressed in their best clothes
Thom: one of the problems for women in unions pre-WW1 is having no place to meet. Men can organise e.g. in pubs but women had no such space. Macarthur’s key skill is her ability to speak and organise in the street or other public places
Thom: during #WW1 Macarthur organised women striking or better working conditions, for equal pay and for pension rights #voicesofwomen
Women and men working in a Dublin shell factory producing munitions in #WW1
Thom makes the point that about two thirds of women war workers during #WW1 were doing the same or similar work as pre-war, hence “no need” for equal pay.
No perceived need, that is.
Part of Mary Macarthur’s 1918 election manifesto. So much of “the woman whose work never ends” is relevant today #voicesofwomen

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