Match Girls Newspaper Article


New Woman Commentary:

         I have never had a rush of excitement fill my breast and soul so quickly! I received one of the many newspapers I receive throughout the week, Reynold’s Newspaper which is my favorite, and gave the most riveting news. There recently was a strike at the match-making factory the other day over the mistreatment of the girls along with their working conditions. It even grabbed the attention of The Social Democratic Federal Association! A political party, of all things, taking interest. Can one imagine?! The power us women have if we simply use the fire in our hearts. They could make a law to truly change things!  I never felt so inspired and hopeful. With all the recent strikes and protests occurring what seems every other day, the world will have no other choice but to change for the better. I have even begun to organize a protest myself. The thought alone of one of my protests helping us come one step closer to the equality we deserve warms my heart. I absolutely cannot wait. I have so much I must do; I have to start sending out the flyers, I need to “gossip” as the men say to the other girls at lunch about it, and I absolutely must put an advertisement in the newpaper-oh! I surely must need to ask the bakery for a few pastries or so in case we get famished. After all, we do not necessarily know how long it may need of us all to be out there. I think it would be quite humorous of us women, sitting around eating pastries and sipping tea, all the while burning men’s foundational control.

Editorial Commentary:

               The Reynold’s Newspaper supported the centre-left co-operative party and was in support of equal rights for women in the work force (British Newspaper).  In their section titled ‘Strike of Bryant and May’s Match Girls’ that was published on July 8, 1888 covering the events of a strike of 1,500 women sparked by the firing of one of their coworkers when refusing to fill the boxes in a certain way in which, “extract more work out of them”. It also mentions how the firm, “attributes it to outside influence” which would reference the many other protests and strikes occurring during the time. This “influence” would also be the mentality of the “New Woman” which focused on women pursuing education, equality between gender roles, and women pursuing careers especially rights of women workers. Women’s rights was not simply focused on there being inequality in the house and gender roles but was also in other areas of life for women such as work. Women were taken advantage of, abused, and seen as unequal in all aspects especially the work force. (Barrett) Even though women had been making head way in joining the workforce such as within factories within positions as mill workers, these conditions were usually inhumane to work in and they were paid less than their male counterparts. (Barrett) Some of these conditions forced women to work long hours with a below the minimum wage, would be injured along with even their own children who worked beside them, and endured their husbands/families taking their money from them. (Barrett)


Archive, The British Newspaper. “Reynolds's Newspaper.” Reynolds's Newspaper in British Newspaper Archive, An Unknown Publisher, 2 May 2013,

Barrett, Kara L., "Victorian Women and Their Working Roles" (2013). English Theses. Paper 9.


“Strike of Bryant and May's Match Girls.” Reynolds's Newspaper, 8 July 1888,

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