Tuesday 29 May 2018 Stories

Barbara Castle and the Equal Pay Act

The Equal Pay Act (1970) was close to the hearts of women all over the country. It was fought for passionately by one of Labour’s most phenomenal women – Barbara Castle.

Barbara was first elected to Parliament in 1945 as MP for Blackburn. Until her record was broken in 2007, she was the longest running female MP in British history – and at the time, she was one of only 24 women MPs. Because of her fierce commitment to equality, she inspired a new generation of women to get into work and politics.

Introducing the Equal Pay Act was not only a defining moment in Barbara’s political career but was – and still is – a watershed moment in the fight for gender equality in the history of British politics.

We are proud to have stood with women across the country in our commitment to equality. Together, we created the NHS, giving women access to free healthcare at the point of need. We introduced the Sex Discrimination Act, the Equality Act, the Minimum Wage, the Civil Partnerships Act and introduced Sure Start.

Thanks to the tireless work of Labour women fighting for fairness, we’ve achieved a lot together. But there’s still so much to do to achieve equality for all women in our society.

We pledge to continue Barbara’s pioneering work – we will close the gender pay gap by introducing equal pay audit requirements on large employers and by making the Minimum Wage a real Living Wage.

Will you take the next step with us?

The Next Step
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