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Additionally, it was the first time that equal pay had appeared in a party manifesto as a political commitment, as well as other provisions to support women’s participation in work, including improved childcare facilities. Pre-, during and post-war, pay inequality had been largely accepted as the norm, but women’s roles in the war effort consolidated a growing national and international realisation that this was unjust and unacceptable. The Labour Party had announced some 10 years earlier, in January 1954, that it would implement equal pay for equal work immediately in the event the party came to power[2].

Labour then took power in October 1964, and would go on to drive forward historical changes for women in employment.

[1] Thackeray, David, and Richard Toye, ‘An end to promises? 1964–1979’, Age of Promises: Electoral Pledges in Twentieth Century Britain (Oxford, 2021; online edn, Oxford Academic, 22 Apr. 2021), https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198843030.003.0005, accessed 12 Dec. 2022.

[2] Smith, H. L. (1992) “The politics of Conservative reform: the equal pay for equal work issue, 1945–1955,” The Historical Journal. Cambridge University Press, 35(2), pp. 401–415. doi: 10.1017/S0018246X00025863.