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Histories of equal pay struggles: historical perspectives on persistent wage inequality

04 juni 2019 @ 13:00 - 17:00


The demand for equal remuneration for men and women entered international agreements for the first time in the Treaty of Versaille and the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation in 1919. After World War II the demand for equal remuneration for men and women became a major agenda item of international organizations such as the United Nations (1948), The International Labour Organisation (1951) and the European Economic Community (1957) and resulted in resolutions conventions and treaties.Affisch seminiarum 4 juni

Since the UN international women’s decade (1976-1985) several agreements concerning human rights and international labour standards. Today ILO convention C100 on equal remuneration for men and women for work of equal value is one of the most successful conventions in terms of numbers of ratifications and the fact that it has changed national legislation but on a worldwide scale, women earn less than 50 per cent than men on average.

This means the idea of equal remuneration has been accepted on a theoretical basis, but implementation has not been very effective. This seminar will highlight four cases of equal pay struggles during the 20th century and illustrate some of the successful mechanisms in these struggles and discuss why wage inequality is persistent.


Welcome and introduction


Ragnheiður Kristjánsdóttir (University of Iceland), Actors and strategies leading up to the ratification of ILO Convention 100 and the equal pay law of 1961 in Iceland.


Eloisa Betti (University of Bologna), Women and equal pay struggles in post-war II Italy: a trans-local perspective    

14.45 Coffee


Silke Neunsinger (Arbetarrörelsens arkiv och Bibliotek), Equal pay struggles in the South African textile industry during the last phase of Apartheid – a translocal history


Astrid Elkjær Sørensen (Aarhus University), The female dominated professions’ struggle for equal pay 1985-2010

16.30 Concluding discussion

Location:  LO Ljusgården, Banhusgatan

To register for this seminar

Send an email to: silke.neunsinger[a]

Registration closes on Monday 3 May 12.00

For more information contact Silke Neunsinger at silke.neunsinger[at]  or 070-264 72 85



04 juni 2019
13:00 - 17:00
Evenemang Taggar:


Landsorganisationen i Sverige
Barnhusgatan 18
Stockholm, 111 23 Sverige
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