• The YSI

Women's History Month: Mary Barbour

Mary Barbour is a woman and activist who is often forgotten about when we look back at history. During the First World War, Barbour was the lead of a number of rent strikes held in protest to the landlords who tried to take advantage of the lone women who stayed at home.


The landlords thought the women were too weak to protest the rent increases they imposed without their husbands, but Mary Barbour and her “army” had other plans to ensure that the women of Glasgow were not going to be used to benefit rich and entitled men.


As a result of her numerous strikes and protests that included hundreds of men and women, the government finally took action and the Rent Restriction Act was put in place in order to keep rents at their pre-war rates, saving many vulnerable women from being exploited during what was probably one of the toughest times of their lives.