"I was the only woman in the room at City Hall with lots of men who knew each other and who didn't bother introducing themselves. I didn’t understand the debates and began to ask questions. They put down their pens and crossed their arms."
This book follows the trajectories of female unionists and recounts the everyday difficulties they faced in daring to break into these male strongholds.
Although they have gained widespread access to the labour market since the 1970s, women’s union representation only began to become a reality from the beginning of the 21st century. The author’s study of unions in France and in the United Kingdom shows that women only managed to have their voices heard in these spheres thanks to union equality policies. The in-depth study of the major mobilisations for equal pay in the United Kingdom demonstrates that in order to defend their cause, they had to renounce traditional union tactics and pursue legal action in the courts.
These rich and moving narratives reveal a whole sphere of social reality on an often-neglected subject, that of women’s voices in unionism.