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Thinks that no men could endure the work enforced from the dress-makers. Imagine you are a member of the 'Women and Children's Employment Commission' - draw up a list of recommendations to improve the working conditions in these industries. Throughout most of this period women were paid less than their male counterpart working alongside them, which created great financial difficulties for working women.

From the s onwards, trade unions began to be established, first among better paid workers and they then expanded to represent a wider range of workers. However, women remained for the most part excluded from trade unions, and unequal pay was the norm. In many cases, women attempted to demand better rights and some were supported by social reformers.

These two tables show 'The wages paid to the workers at Courtauld textile mill in Halstead, Essex in '.

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Using the evidence about wages for different categories of workers write two statements discussing:. Most women of this class were expected just to get married and look after their children and home. Professional jobs like lawyers, vets, civil servants remained closed to women through much of the 19th century.

Using the blank timeline in the 'Women and Work' workbook, annotate and Illustrate the timeline with information taken from this activity box. You can also explore the links to external sites to gain further information which will strengthen your work and understanding. But the UK medical authorities refused to recognize her qualification. Prior to this, the dental schools refused women entry.

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19th and early 20th century

Lilian Murray qualified in Edinburgh, where they did allow women to study. It was nearly another 20 years before an English dental school admitted women to their course. One of the most famous strikes by women workers during the nineteenth century took place during the exceptionally cold July of at Byrant and May match factory in the East End of London.

The strike began when workers left work in protest when the factory owners sacked three workers who had spoken to a social reformer, Annie Besant, about their working conditions. Besant published an article in her halfpenny weekly paper "The Link" on 23 June , entitled "White Slavery in London". This article about the conditions at the Byrant and May factory highlighted fourteen-hour work days, poor pay of between shillings a week, excessive fines and the severe health complications from working with white phosphorus.

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The hour for commencing work is 6. Half-an-hour is allowed for breakfast and an hour for dinner. This long day of work is performed by young girls, who have to stand the whole of the time. A typical case is that of a girl of 16, a piece-worker; she earns 4s. Out of the earnings, 2s.

The splendid salary of 4s. The strike register shows that many of the workers had Irish names and lived in close proximity to each other.

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The workers organized themselves in the face of intimidation from the factory owners and took their campaign to parliament. They got some support from the London Trades Council and after three weeks on strike, Byrant and May met all their demands. Subsequently, the Union of Women Match Workers was formed by the workers. For more, see: Bryant and May matchworkers. Skip to main content.


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About Glossary References. Tabs Content Women and work in the 19th century Women's wages Women and work in the 19th century Most working class women in Victorian England had no choice but to work in order to help support their families. Examine Examine 20 mins. The occupation of females in Domestic 2, Misc. Look at this quote: "Women's work was often not included within statistics on waged work in official records, altering our perspective on the work women undertook" Find evidence within the table that supports and contradicts this statement. These women worked at the surface of the coal mines, cleaning coal, loading tubs, etc.

They wore short trousers, clogs and aprons as these clothes were safer near machinary. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Sign In or Create an Account.


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