In the wake of International Women’s Day and as the TUC’s Women’s Conference meets, Trade Union Futures is proud to publish an invaluable new resource. This new brilliant essay by labour historian Mary Davis shines a light on the history of women and their relationship with the trade union movement. In this short essay, Davis examines how an often conservative trade union movement has been pushed to represent women by the interaction of capitalist development and the recomposition of the working class with the class consciousness provided by socialists. She exposes how the cause of women has risen and fallen along with the ebbs and flows of socialist class consciousness and reminds us that the trade union movement has too often retreated into cosy defensiveness that embeds and reproduces structures of oppression as well as failing to challenge class exploitation. The price of progress, she warns us, is eternal vigilance. This essay deserves to be widely read and studies within our unions.