Systerskap som politisk handling : Kvinnors organisering i Sverige 1968 till 1982

Sammanfattning: The second-wave women's movement emerged in Sweden with Group 8 in 1968, at the height of the anti-war struggle against the US war in Vietnam. A new generation of women took to the streets to demand free abortion, and free childcare, and to campaign against women's low pay and sexual exploitation. This thesis focuses on a number of women's groups? collective action and organising during a political period of different movements. With this thesis I have tried to show what characterised the new women's movement in Sweden from 1968 to the beginning of the 1980's and what happens when women decide to go out and fight against injustices from a gender and class perspective. Secondly, I hope this thesis will provide a better understanding of the social forces for a change in gender relations that existed in Sweden during the 1970's during a period of parallel gender equality work. It was a movement that shook the foundations of women's role in society. Both the women's group activists and the women employed by ASAB and Algots contributed to this. I argue that the collective actions of the women collectives and their experiences of organising cannot be marginalised. I also hope that this study will provide a broader perspective on studies of social movements and collective actions. The social landscape during the 1960's and beginning of the 1970's facilitated the emergence of the new women's movement. For a radicalisation to deepen it also requires political opportunities and openings. For Group 8 it was the international context ? both the anti-war movement and the Women's liberation movement in the US. Another opening was the class politics of the social democrats, where Group 8 saw an opportunity to make visible the situation for especially low salaried women in capitalist society. Group 8 politics were directed against capitalism and the government, the patriarchal relations were exposed on all levels of society. The possibility to free themselves from the expected role of first and foremost being a wife and mother became the trigger for many women to join the movement. The overall focus in my thesis is women's collective actions and social protests. By doing empirical research on some women's groups in different places in Sweden and some women's struggles at work, I focus on the collective strategies that the movement used to challenge women's situation in production as well as reproduction. The women's movement as an important political force was due to the women's creative and active commitment and their ability to mobilise. It was the possibility to create a collective identity in the small women's groups that led to a feeling of power that in turn inspired to political action. The principle was an anti-hierarchical and anti-authoritative organisation and that the small group should be independent. This organisational structure facilitated the creation of a women's solidarity but also deepened the women's consciousness. The Swedish women's movement was a political force active outside the parliamentary institutions and should be assessed in that context. Women activists pushed for a politics that lay in the interests and needs of the majority of women. I believe the new women's movement will be remembered by its extensive collective actions in the form of demonstrations and meetings combined with the sale of newspapers and petitions to municipal councils. The collective actions were characterised by making women aware of oppression and discrimination. This was done with sensational slogans and catchwords at demonstrations. I believe it was these extrovert activities by women activists in different places around Sweden that led to the reception of the ideas and demands of the women's movement reaching far beyond the members themselves and sympathisers.

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