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Feminism in Post-War Newport

Date joined: 27/10/20


'The Impact of Feminism in Post-War Newport' is an exciting project run by the Reality Theatre and Entertainment Company. The project explores the impact of second wave feminism upon the lives of post-war women in the industrial working-class town of Newport during the 1960s-1980s in a personal, social, and political context. We have documented the stories, histories, and experiences of a range of women in the 65+ age group, to establish their awareness, understanding and/or support of the women's liberation movement and any impact that feminism had upon their lives.The participants interviewed include a range of women in Newport, including some who were socially or politically active during 1960-1980s, in order to show the diversity in attitudes and roles and the wide-ranging impact of the feminist movement. The voice of ‘ordinary’ women is often neglected, in particular in the community of post-war working-class women in industrial towns such as Newport. This can possibly be as these women are seen to have no social or political significance, with the exception of the women in the Welsh valleys who engaged in political activities such as the Miners' Strike. It is the heritage of these 'ordinary' women that we explore: their culture and memories during what was an exciting time nationally in terms of gender and politics, such as female factory workers striking in Dagenham and Leeds, Barbara Castle becoming first female Secretary of State, the Welsh National Women's Liberation Conference, 1975 Sex Discrimination Act, 1975 Employment Protection Act, and so on. The impact of second wave feminism upon traditional, working class women and their attitudes towards the women's liberation movement is a complex issue, with many women inadvertently paving the way for their daughters and granddaughters without viewing themselves as feminists. The 'hidden' heritage of these ordinary, working class women is presented and portrayed in a creative and visual way, with a digitalised exhibition and a short film dramatizing their stories and experiences.
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