- By women, for women: The rise of women-only labor unions in Japan
- Gendered division of work and labour conflicts in the Lyon silk and Barcelona cotton trades in the 19th century
- THE STATE MUST BE THE ROLE MODEL. Issues and struggles of women workers in PTT services in the first half of the 20th century
- Women on strike! Participation of women in mass strike movements in Austria and Switzerland at the end of First World War
- Demanding Equality: Puerto Rican Women Workers and the Fight for Social Security in the US Territories
- Peripheral to industrial work? Gendered bodies and sexualities in post-1945 labor’s discourses, Turkey and Romania compared
- Paving the way for women workers at the workplace and within unions: Nigerian women trade union officials and their labor activism during the 1960s
Working women, who often labored under precarious conditions and without adequate compensation as day laborers, unpaid, occasional or unskilled “mass workers,” belong to those strata of workers whom the new global labor history has identified as the majority of the global workforce. When engaging in social and political struggle, and working to stabilize and improve their place in the factory, home, or other workplaces, these women faced political marginalization even amongst potential allies. They encountered male-dominated trade unions and social milieus when collaborating with the workers’ movement. They faced containment of working women’s class- and labor-related interests and activism when cooperating with women’s groups and women’s organizations. This Specialized Theme explores the agency and sometimes radicalism of working women as they struggled to secure the well-being of themselves and their communities. Their ideas and practices both accommodated and chal¬lenged the logic of modern economic life at the point of production and reproduction. The session explores continuity and change over place and time. It brings together research on women from various activist traditions and different backgrounds, and examines collaboration and conflict amongst working women locally and across borders. Taken together, the contributions stimulate comparative thinking on women’s activism in multiple workplaces, and regions of the world as well as in divergent political systems. Working women struggled to address the gender of class within systems that claimed to tame or overcome class difference – with ambiguous consequences. Elsewhere, working class men and women forged solidarity against class oppression – without resolving gender struggle within working class activism.