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Women's Rights and Roles in the U.S. in the 1930's

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Autumn Vallance

on 7 November 2012

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Transcript of Women's Rights and Roles in the U.S. in the 1930's

by Shannan Spain, Tristan Henderson-Strell,
and Autumn Vallance Women's Rights and Roles
in the 1930's Men and women were treated very different in
the 1930's. The societal expectations for each could
not be any more opposite. Men were supposed to
work and provide for the family, while the women
stayed home. They would cook, clean, and take care
of the kids. Equality The 1930's was the era of the Great Depression.
During this time, women were not allowed to work,
and those who did were slandered for it. They were
seen as stealing jobs from the men, who had trouble
finding work anyways because of the lack of jobs. Women and the Great Depression Eleanor Roosevelt Eleanor Roosevelt was a very influential women's rights activist. Throughout her career, she did a lot to give women more rights, such as working with the International Congress of Working Women, and the Women's International League of Peace and Freedom. She also worked with the League of Women Voters, the Woman's Trade Union League, and the Women's Division of the New York Democratic Party. Political Status and Impact In 1920, the 19th amendment was passed, giving women the right to vote, but women’s political involvement didn't occur instantaneously. Although many suffragists were happy about the ratification the 19th amendment, it was hardly the start of women’s acceptance into politics, as it is often misconstrued. There were barely any changes after the amendment’s passage, and changes continues to decrease as the depression worsened. Continued... Women tried to gain support for feminist issues like equal rights in the work place and political equality, but the general population was more concerned with the nation's economic problems. One reason women were overlooked with political matters of this time was because even ten years after the 19th amendment was passed, the majority of women were politically uninformed and left voting to the men. It was also difficult for women to make a significant political impact because different women supported different issues. Continued..... Some were very feminist orientated and focused on gender equality while others were more involved with the peace movement so it was difficult to form a unified force. Women slowly began being recognized politically in the 1930’s but no drastic changes were made and many gave up trying to achieve any sort of political status during such difficult economic times. Working Women During the Great Depression When the stock market crashed, companies and banks had to close. As a result, Americans lost their jobs and most of their money. People looked for work so they could earn money to survive. During the Great Depression, the well-off weren’t nearly as greatly affected as the working class. Married women who didn’t look for work stayed at home to take care of their families. 26 states didn’t allow married women to work. Continued... Some women stayed in their houses living as quietly as possible on their own, and surviving off of very little food; staying away from breadlines and public places. These women didn’t want to ask for help or employment, they were at risk of being accused by some people of taking away money and jobs from men. Women received lower pay for their jobs than men, and could only have jobs that were considered “women’s work”. For white women, this generally included teaching, nursing, being a beautician, saleswoman, or a secretary. There was also factory work. For black women, it was doing peoples’ laundry, cooking, or being a maid. Fin
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