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Unemployed Women

TV news trims / rushes about the employment of women in the 1970s

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Scottish Television news rushes / trims for a news piece on employment for women in the 1970s.
Although women made up a third of the workforce in Britain in 1972, the Department of Employment found that many women were unable to return to work for various reasons such as the lack of childcare facilities. Consequently, a number of mobile offices were set up throughout Glasgow to disseminate information on possible opportunities in order to tempt women back to work. Sheila Duffy presents a report on these mobile offices and their attempts to find women work. These unedited rough rushes / trims document several takes for a news piece highlighting not only the subject matter but how a news piece is filmed. Shots of a woman talking with administrative worker in the mobile office. Reporter, Sheila Duffy speaks to camera in front of a department of employment mobile office on the department's scheme to help women return to work and the woman's role in the workplace. A mistake is made with Sheila commenting that women are "slaving over a hot kitchen sink". Shots of women outside the mobile office. A second take with Sheila Duffy to camera in front of the mobile office. Pan of queue of women outside the mobile office. Woman talking with administrative worker in the mobile office whilst a voice-over describes what kinds of job the department of employment claims it can find for women. Interview with Mr O'Donnell of the department on the response so far to this scheme.

Questions & Activities


  • The report mentions trying to find jobs for women. What kinds of jobs do they mean and would they still be considered jobs for women?
  • What barriers do women in the film face and how much if anything do you think has changed to the present day?
  • What types of shop can you see in the background. All the shops are occupied. What would you be likely to see today - why do you think this is the case?
  • What is a mixed metaphor can you spot any in these rushes?


Media Studies / Moving Image Education: This clip is made up of rushes / trims. Re-edit these rushes to provide a comprehensive news report on unemployed women.

Drama / English: The film clearly shows that presenting is a difficult job. Write a short report and try it for yourselves in class. Review each others' performance.

Gender / English / Social Studies: The news insert claims that the children of working mothers are better adjusted. What do they mean by this? Discuss why this might be the case and whether there is any evidence that this is true?

Social Studies: Should fully funded nursery provision be made available on the State as it is in many other European countries? If so, from what age? Discuss.

Politics / History: In 1972, a third of the workforce are women and 56% are married. Investigate what proportion of the workforce today are women and are married.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-004-199-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of Scottish Television
Project Ref T196B
Date 1972
Genre TV News Insert
School Subject Politics, Social History, Gender Studies, English
Subject Matter Citizenship, Literacy
Who Scottish Television (production company), Sheila Duffy (reporter)
Where Glasgow
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 4:45
Film Length 04:45