During the 1970s in Britain, feminist, community and research groups were becoming aware of homework as a low-paid and often dangerous form of women 's work. The 1980s saw thef ormation of organisations which have used several methods to publicise and organise homeworkers.
By the late 1980s these had started networking internationally, not only in Europe where the Common Market makes homework a policy matter but also in the Third World. SEWA's approach (see Chapter 5) has been an important influence upon them. Information is now being gathered through international organisatlons like the ILO which help to make visible this hidden form of labour.
Homework, however, takes many forms as Jane Tate shows in this study of one region, West Yorkshire. Her account assesses the varying strategies used by the West Yorkshire Homeworking Group and also outlines current international debates on homework policies.
The West Yorkshire Homeworking Group is part of a network of groups around the country which has grown up since homework was revived as an issue in the 1970s. Their concern is not only to document homework but also to bring about change, in particular legal measures to protect homeworkers. A comparison with the agitation early in the twentieth century shows both continuity and change. The most important parallel is the part played by the women's movement and feminist ideas in general, in terms of both research and organising. The two periods have seen an alliance of forces, with women's organisations co-operating with trade unions, researchers, sections of the church and others. But there are also important differences arising from the specific historical context. First, there has been a change of emphasis in the groups working on homeworking, from acting on behalf of homeworkers to working with them. Second, the position of black and Asian women in Britain today, and their role in the homework campaigns, are of crucial importance. The third main difference is the international outlook of the