Inspiring Trade Union Women Make Herstory

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2024 National Women's Conference
13 October 2023

Conference notes with concern the continuing under-representation and muting of women’s voices, particularly working-class women’s voices, across many sections of society, from politics to the arts to the workplace. Conference believes that if we want the role of women in any campaign to be remembered, we need to be the ones that tell that story.

Women in the trade union movement have always played a significant role in social movements and social change. We can be proud of the role that Trade Union women played in achieving the Scottish Parliament and the 50/50 campaign amongst others. In the same way, the women of the Trade Union movement, played a major role in the Northern Ireland Peace Process and were directly involved in the Good Friday Agreement negotiations. Sadly, in the coverage of the recent anniversaries of both the Good Friday Agreement and the Scottish Parliament, there was little mention of the role of women in the creation of either of them let alone trade union women.

Conference notes and commends the work of the STUC Women’s committee in creating the Inspiring Women book to raise awareness of the many women who have played a significant role in Scottish Political life. Recent work of the STUC Women’s Committee focused on developing the ‘Herstory’ project which has given the skills and confidence to trade union women to convey rich stories of their activism, and which has begun the recording and sharing of these stories more widely.

Conference also applauds the campaign run in Northern Ireland to work with Women’s groups to rename streets after inspiring women activists which raises awareness of these women to the wider public.

Conference calls on the National Women’s Committee to:

1)work with regional women’s committees to collate examples of inspiring women from across the UK

2)consider submitting a bid to the campaign fund to create a repository of women trade union history which would be an online resource with the option of downloadable material.

3)identify new ways of sharing and promoting the stories collected, across the wider trade movement.