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Term 4 starts on Tuesday 20th February. Monday 19th February is a TD Day.

Women, wages and rights

Women’s employment rates increased during WWI, from 23.6% of the working age population in 1914 to between 37.7% and 46.7%). It is difficult to get exact estimates because domestic workers were excluded from these figures and many women moved from domestic service into the jobs created due to the war effort.

But because women were paid less than men, there was a worry that employers would continue to employ women in these jobs even when the men returned from the war. This did not happen; either the women were sacked to make way for the returning soldiers or women remained working alongside men but at lower wage rates. But even before the end of the war, many women refused to accept lower pay for what in most cases was the same work as had been done previously by men.

The women workers went on London buses and trams went on strike in 1918 to demand the same increase in pay (war bonus) as men. The strike spread to other towns in the South East and to the London Underground. This was the first equal pay strike in the UK which was initiated, led and ultimately won by women.

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