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The Coal War: Women’s Struggle during the Miners’ Strike

Chapter
Part of the Women in Society book series (WOSO)

Abstract

Britain has no female mineworkers, yet women became the driving force behind the miners’ strike of 1984–85. The media portrayed these women as the supportive wives and daughters of miners, dutifully performing a domestic role that enabled their men to maintain the strike. Women were shown mainly carrying out activities associated with the soup kitchen and, at times, standing ‘behind their men’ on the picket line. In this chapter, I challenge this view of women acting only in a supportive capacity to their men. It is true that some women limited their participation to the practical and domestic sphere, but others became more actively involved in the political scene than some of the men. Furthermore, as the strike progressed, women developed new insights: they came to regard the strike as their own struggle, rather than one they backed solely out of loyalty to their menfolk. I examine here this awakening of women’s awareness to wider issues and its implications for the future.

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References

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Copyright information

© Moiram Ali 1986

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