An Analysis of Changing Welsh Women’s Lives from 1960s to 1980s

  • Phoebe Hall

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Throughout this oral history study on women in South Wales mining villages in the 1960s-1980s, there will be an analysis of their education, careers and culture. It is a small-scale oral history study of 7 women who lived in the South Wales valleys and spent their formative years during the 1960s-1980s. Welsh women’s involvement in the movement has limited research on it which therefore means that it is an important piece of history to cover as it is often forgotten when writing about the movement in Britain. This thesis will look at how the participants viewed their education as women and whether the feminist movement helped create more chances for them such as equality in the classroom. Alongside the feminist movement, there were also movements such as the nationalist movement and the Miners’ Strike of 1984/85 which they were arguably more involved in. Class is also an important factor as the Welsh identity and Welshness is linked to the working class. By using the oral history interviews, it gives an insight into what women in South Wales villages’ perceptions of the feminist movement were as well as the direct impact on access to education and careers. Moreover, it allows the women to speak about their own experiences of the time without manipulating or changing their words. The purpose of this study was to find out whether these women believed they were impacted or influenced by the British second-wave feminism movement. The findings of this study demonstrate the isolated politics within the South Wales Valleys. The women from these communities are detached from a perceived anglicised feminism movements to a degree due to underrepresentation however the women in this study benefitted from the impact of the movement. From education, to work to politics changes throughout the 1950s-1980s were felt as more opportunities arose for these women. Class and nationality politics also played a part in the liberation of these women out and inside the homes. The Miners’ Strike was a monumental moment in Welsh history as it affected everyone’s roles in society. Women were no longer expected to be in the house but were often the ones working and bringing in an income.
Date of Award30 Oct 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorRebecca Gill (Main Supervisor)

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