Critical Thinking

While in favour of the standard of equal

equal pay has a rather short legislative history, the conception that women
should collect equal pay for work of value equal to the work of the opposite
sex has much earlier roots. One example is the ‘match girls’ of Bryant and May who
insisted equal pay for equal value for work back in 1888, initiating an early instance
of strike action by female labour in the UK. Additional female employees at the
Bryant and May factory had countered to the dismissing of their co-workers by
refusing to work under terms of employment that stated inferior pay than their
male colleagues. While this industrial action was successful, and headed to the
creation of the Trades Unions Congress, passing a resolution in favour of the standard
of equal pay for women, legislation in the UK that would inhibit such discriminatory
practices wouldn’t materialise until an entire century later. 


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