Betty Lockwood

Born in Dewsbury in 1924 into a coalmining family, Betty was a prominent Labour Party and women’s rights activist.

Leaving school at 14, she continued her studies at night school. In 1946, at the age of 22, with the support of a Mary Macarthur scholarship for working women, she read Economics and Politics at Ruskin College in Oxford.

Betty became a member of the Labour Party as regional women’s organiser for Yorkshire, before moving to London as Women’s Officer. She was heavily involved in promoting equal opportunities for women and campaigned for equal pay, being instrumental in the creation of the Equal Pay Act of 1970.  

From 1975 to 1983 she served as the first Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission and, between 1982 and 1983 was also Chair of the European Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men.

On 27 February 1978 she was made a life peer, Baroness Lockwood of Dewsbury, and sat in the House of Lords until her retirement in 2017.

Baroness Lockwood passed away in April 2019, at the age of 95.

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