Equal pay fight began 300 years before Dagenham Ford strike letters in

They include those written from 1693 – 1695 by Ann Wyatt, the only woman to have owned a ship building business in the whole of British history. The letters, which have been catalogued as part of a 20 year long project, are believed to be the earliest examples of British women demanding parity in the workplace. Records specialist Bruno Pappalardo said the letters reveal that women challenging a gender pay gap is “not such… The women of the Dagenham Ford factory strike have long been considered as the original pioneers of fighting for equal pay. But newly discovered letters in the National Archives reveal a series of formidable businesswomen were taking on the gender pay gap 300 years earlier.

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