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The labor movement is a primary source of social change in the United States. In striving to improve workers’ rights, unions have fostered social change for women by promoting gender equality in the workplace. Often, the most significant advances in the workforce have been the inadvertent results of overall social and industrial change in the United States. Although the goals of the labor movement and the women’s movement have seemingly diverged over time, there are still many areas of common ground between the two.

Industrial Revolution

Women played an essential role in labor movements, starting from the Industrial Revolution. From the late 1700s into the early 1800s, textile mills became a central point of industrial advancement. Mills during this era employed a primarily female workforce (about 75% ...

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