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Between 1914 and 1927 certain benefits - first war pensions and then unemployment benefits - were provided for the benefit of cohabiting women. Exploring this apparent anomaly reveals the lack of any coherent policy towards cohabitants and the importance of terminology in securing reform - after all, the deserving 'housekeeper' caring for children remained entitled to benefits. The legacy of this can still be seen in today's patchwork of legal rights.
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