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Employment of Women in Late 1800's
Transcript of Employment of Women in Late 1800's
-With the industrial revolution, women were needed for jobs especially in textile business
-their small hands, pre-knowledge of textiles, and willingness to work for significantly lower wages were coveted
-work considered extensions of their traditional work at home
-Women were able to join workforce and make money
Example of average factory work:
processed and packaged paper
-of the women working in factories, workers were usually young (began working as early from the ages of 8 to 12), unmarried women
-By 1850, more than 200,000 women worked in factories in the United States, making everything from clothing to cigars.
- work was tedious
-the average work week consisted of 12 hour work days, 6 days a week
- women enjoyed the new freedom
-1 in 8 girls over the age of 8 worked outside the home
-Lower class women were servants, factory workers, and prostitutes
-Middle/upper class women, in rare cases, controlled family businesses but generally culture and economy dictated that women work at home
(in this presentation we will be discussing women working from home, and women teachers and factory workers in the late 1800s)
-Careers and marriage were not allowed to mix
-Average age to start working 8-12 years old
-constantly controlled by men (no matter class)
Women were substantially paid less
for example: 1838 Connecticut paid $14.50 to the average male teacher and $5.75 to a woman teacher
Working from Home
-As early as the 1800's, women were considered the moral backbone and conscience of society. Their main jobs were to raise their kids morally. Important part of shaping the future, however, not often credited
-Stereotypes: delicate women vs. aggressive and healthy men
-The women are more suited for the quiet life at home
Employment of Women in Late 1800's
-By 1870, the 200,000 primary and secondary school teachers in America, more than half were women
-More importance put on education
-Shift in gender of occupation due to rapidly evolving and growing America
-teachers were need and it was realized that this demand could not be solely filled through the shoes of men (impractical)
-well suited for occupation as social and historically trained to deal with children and educate
"God seems to have made woman peculiarly suited to guide and develop the infant mind, and it seems...very poor policy to pay a man 20 or 22 dollars a month, for teaching children the ABCs, when a female could do the work more successfully at one third of the price." -- Littleton School Committee, Littleton, Massachusetts, 1869
Differences in Wages
-95% of married women stayed at home during the late 1800s
-new phrase of the time: "cult of domesticity",
in a changing world (industrialization of America), their role was consider one of certainty, in contrast with others
-Before the late 1800's, women were in charge of making home goods, but during the industrial revolution, technology and roles shifted to a more consumerism based market
" A really good housekeeper is almost always unhappy. While she does so much for the comfort of others, she nearly ruins her own health and life. It is because she cannot be easy and comfortable when there is the least disorder or dirt to be seen." The Household, January 1884
Perspective to the Modern World
-Before the early 19th century, there was no requirements in order to teach (other than being of male gender). Therefore, more educated men took jobs in higher ranked occupations involving law and church
-Therefore, more incompetent schoolmasters were hired (often many without any type of credentials )
-With the industrial revolution women were deemed adequate with the ability to teach.
-shortage of teachers
-With the new job opportunity, women proved their legitimacy to work outside the home
-women teachers showed not just society but women themselves what they were truly capable of
-In accordance with the occupation, requirements for teachers were created and women were thus required to be educated in order to be fit to teach
Group of teachers trainees attending training school for teaching in the 1880s in Massachusetts
As shown by the above pie chart and bar graph, there has been a precedent growth in female employment from the late 19th century to the present. However, women still have a lower employment rate than men (the number of males that have full-time employment is almost double that of full-time employment of women in 2012).