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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 University Press Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529206296.001.0001

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date: 08 December 2021

‘Regrettably Up-to-Date’, 1975–81

‘Regrettably Up-to-Date’, 1975–81

Chapter:
(p.103) 3 ‘Regrettably Up-to-Date’, 1975–81
Source:
Women's Activism Behind the Screens
Author(s):

Frances C. Galt

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781529206296.003.0004

This chapter investigates Gillian Skirrow’s assertion that the Patterns report remained ‘regrettably up-to-date’ by 1981, six years after its publication (1981: 94). It argues that the relationship between women and the ACTT was characterised by inertia between 1975 and 1981. This chapter identifies the reasons for slow progress around the implementation of the recommendations of the Patterns report and considers its impact on women’s activity. Firstly, it argues that the ACTT’s gendered union structure operated to inhibit the implementation of the report’s recommendations, demonstrated by limited engagement with the report among rank-and-file members and the reluctance of male union officials to negotiate around its recommendations. Secondly, this chapter argues that the Committee on Equality was detached from the formal union structure, limiting its power to influence policy and restricting women’s activity. This chapter then traces women’s growing frustration with the ACTT’s inactivity from 1980 onwards, culminating in the demand for a women’s conference. In doing so, it illustrates the influence of external feminist campaigns in the late 1970s. Finally, this chapter outlines the demands of the ACTT’s first Women’s Conference in 1981, which called for the formalisation of women’s representation within the union structure.

Keywords:   Patterns report, ‘Regrettably up-to-date’, Inertia, Slow progress, Committee on Equality, Women’s Conference, Formalisation, Women’s representation

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