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Migrant Women Workers Project (1974 - 1975)

From
1974
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
To
1975

Summary

The Migrant Women Workers Project was, arguably, the first occasion when feminist concerns combined with ethnic rights multiculturalism to highlight the precarious position of women of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and the inadequacy of settlement services to assist them. The report produced by the project, 'But I wouldn't want my wife to work here…': a study of migrant women in Melbourne Industry, drew attention to the plight of migrant factory workers in a sustained fashion that had hitherto been unseen. It also served as a vehicle for further involovement from the union movement in the struggle for equity for migrant women workers.

Details

In 1974, the Fitzroy Ecumenical Centre supported preliminary research into the plight of migrant women worker in the clothing trade. The report of this project, A Preliminary Survey of Migrant Women in the Clothing Trade, came to the attention of Elizabeth Reid, who had been recently appointed to the position of adviser to the Prime Minister on women's issues. Reid was also involved with the National Advisory Committee that was assessing the ways the government could observe International Women's Year in 1975. She was greatly impressed by the research and pushed Des Storer, who produced the report, to come up with a proposal to develop it. Her support eventually led to the National Advisory Committee and the Secretariat for International Women's Year allocating funds to the Fitzroy Ecumenical Centre (soon to be renamed the Centre for Urban Research and Action) to conduct more extensive research.

Sources used to compile this entry: Lopez, Mark, The Origins of Multiculturalism in Australian Politics 1945-1975, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2000.

Related entries

Related Organisations

  • International Women's Year National Advisory Committee (1974 - 1976)

    In 1975, The International Women's Year National Advisory Committee provided important funding to the Fitzroy Ecumenical Centre to conducted research in the problems confronting migrant women factory workers. It was an occasion when liberal feminist concerns combined with ethnic rights multicultural concerns.

Related Women

  • Reid, Elizabeth Anne (1942 - )

    Elizabeth Reid supported the Fitzroy Ecumencial Centre's applications for funding to conduct research into the plight of women workers in 1975. Given her role as Prime Ministerial advisor on women's issues, the significance of her support cannot be under estimated

Nikki Henningham

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