Gender Equality In The United Kingdom

715 Words 3 Pages
The United Kingdom grants an interesting case study for wage equality development because of the extensive history of legislation present in the nation. Even though the United Kingdom is currently undergoing major changes with Brexit, much of the nation’s policies are still rooted deeply within the European Union’s policy. In 1957, the Treaty of Rome created the basis for gender equality in the United Kingdom. According to Article 119, all member states must legally provide equal pay for work of equal value, and this was applied to the United Kingdom when the nation decided to join the EU in 1973. (European Commission 2017). Similar to the United State’s Constitution that dictates federal law has supremacy over state law, the European Court …show more content…
The lack of action stems from the trade union’s “problematic relationship with the law...and uneasy relationship with the concept of equality” (Conley 2014). Trade unions present in the United Kingdom have generally followed the ideology of voluntarism, which means that individuals have the freedom to decide what he or she wishes to fight for, but due to the decentralized structure of trade unions, many women are not accurately represented. Labourers would much rather depend on collective bargaining to achieve what they wished for, instead of relying on the law which could end up restricting them more than helping them (McIlroy 1995). Since the nature of trade unions relied heavily on collective bargaining, the women probably looked to the unions for support, but in reality the trade unions fell short on their fight for equality. Zafiris Tzannatos outlines in his journal that discrimination was heavily institutionalized within society. He reveals that the United Kingdom followed an ideology of “paying a man a wage adequate to support himself, his wife and children and paying a woman a wage adequate to support a single woman” (Tzannatos 1987). This ideology was accepted by not only employers, but by unions and the State too. The lacking nature of trade unions and institutionalized discrimination present the 1960s resulted in stagnation for women, so women had to turn to

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