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Progress Towards Gender Democracy in UK Unions 1987–2012



This article provides a detailed chronological account of the extent of overall change in women's representation in UK unions' structures of democracy and in unions' adoption of gender equality (GE) strategies over a 25-year period (1987–2012). The findings reveal huge progress towards gender proportionality and towards getting women's concerns on the union agenda. The evidence strongly suggests that at least in part this progress can be attributed to the wide range of GE strategies increasingly adopted over the period. However, the article exposes persistent gaps and warns against regarding the union gender democracy project as finished business.