Public policy : equality of employment opportunities for women in Britain and America
This thesis is about the origins and implementation of the Equal Pay Act and Sex Discrimination Act in Britain. For historical and methodological reasons the subject is treated comparatively with similar American policies. British policy makers looked to the United States as an exemplar in this field. The thesis discusses one theory about innovation which predicts such a process. Accounts of policy formation and implementation are used as a method of comparing the general political processes of the two countries. The first chapter introduces ideas about the study of policy and the pattern and timing of policy innovations. It also refers to early moves in the emancipation of women in Britain and America. Part I is about the origins of laws promoting equality of opportunity for working women. It deals with the problems the legislation was supposed to solve, the growth of interest in economic as well as political emancipation and with the actual provisions of the new laws. The emphasis is on Britain to which three chapters are devoted. Similar trends and events in America are dealt with more briefly in a single chapter. Part II discusses implementation in both countries, stressing the essentially political aspects of this process. That is to say, Chapters VI and VII consider the activities of the principle administrative agencies and departments and the courts. The concluding chapter compares the different approaches of American and British institutions promoting equality in the light of variations in more general aspects of politics. Thus it attempts to contribute to the discipline of comparative politics.