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Towards Equality and Renewal: Women's Groups, Diversity and Democracy in British Unions

Jane Parker 
Economic and Industrial Democracy, 27, 3, 425-462


Discussion of union equality and democracy usually locates women’s group (WG) organizing as a special representative form within unions. This study focuses on the extent to which WGs themselves address the interests of diverse constituent groups. Data from a national survey of Trades Union Congress affiliates were used to map WGs across unions and analyse the attention they give to group diversity relative to gender in pursuit of equality and better interest representation. It emerged that most members belong to unions where WGs tackle diversity to some extent. Implications for WG and union renewal strategy, research and theory are examined.