How can the history of women’s work in film and TV help address inequality today? In Women’s Activism Behind the Screens: Trade Unions and Gender Inequality in the British Film and Television Industries (University of Bristol Press, 2020), Frances Galt, a Teaching Associate in history at Newcastle University, looks at the history of women’s struggles for equality within unions in the screen industry, to show the lessons of how gender equality has progressed and receded since the 1930s. The book draws on a rich blend of archival, oral history, and policy document research, presenting the context for key moments in the fight to support the status of women in the film and television industries. A fascinating history, with crucial lessons for contemporary activism, the book is essential reading across the humanities and social sciences.
Dave O'Brien is Chancellor's Fellow, Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Edinburgh's College of Art.