The Women's Rights Campaign

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive consists of:

- minutes of the Women's Rights Campaign meetings

- notes for Sutton and Cheam election

- campaign literature

- publicity re General Election in Oct 1974

- press cuttings

- badge

- poster

Administrative / Biographical History

The Women's Rights Campaign (WRC) was established in Sep 1974 following meetings of the Feminist Legislation Action Group (FLAG), a sub-group of Women in Media. Its specific purpose was to persuade the Government to enact an anti-discrimination bill outlawing discrimination on grounds of sex. To this end, it put forward a candidate to stand on the non-party platform of women's rights in the Oct election. Dr Una Kroll, a GP, deaconess, mother of four and experienced campaigner for the ordination of women, agreed to stand as the Women's Rights Campaign candidate in the constituency of Sutton and Cheam. The campaign was not limited to women only. The Women's Rights Campaign was a nationwide group open to all women and men who supported the movement for a sex discrimination bill which would improve opportunities for women. Clearly forewarned, the Government announced the publication of its White Paper outlining its own proposals for anti-discrimination legislation just an hour before the Women's Rights Campaign's own press conference to announce Una's candidacy. This meant that the Government had committed itself but the White Paper was lacking in many ways. Una's election campaign in 1974 attracted massive publicity and the campaign precluded any possibility that the Government could back down on its promise. The extent of the nationwide support shown enabled the Women's Rights Campaign to convince Parliament to strengthen the original version of the Bill considerably. After the election, the core members of the Women's Rights Campaign and Women in Media's FLAG began an intensive period of lobbying the Select Committees. Several MPs were strongly sympathetic (particularly Jo Richardson, Maureen Colquhoun, Gywneth Dunwoody and Renee Short in the House of Commons and Joan Vickers and Nancy Seear in the House of Lords) and offered to present amendments. Tamar Karet and Mary McCurrie, plus other members of the Women's Rights Campaign / Women in Media, researched the precise wording of the necessary amendments and drafted back-up arguments which the MPs could use when presenting the amendments. Many of these amendments were incorporated in the final version of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Acquisition Information

This material was deposited as part of Women in Media Archives (6WIM). It was sorted as a separate archive at the request of the depositors.

Accession 1989/06 it is thought that Mary Scott collated these papers, they were deposited by the BBC; Accession 1990/NoAccNo2 Additional papers from the Fawcett Society; Accessions 1996/09 and 1999/33 Deposited by the group's archivist.

Acc 1996/09 came to the Library with 6WIM and 7HEF

Other Finding Aids

The Women's Library Catalogue

Related Material

The Women's Library also holds the Records of Women in Media (6WIM); the papers of Tamar Karet (7TAK).

Geographical Names