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Education, Work, and Reform

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Urban women and “working girls” were among the growing visibility of changing gender norms. Throughout the 1930s, many women worked as domestic servants than any other job at that time, applying that the tradition was not overturned and women still engaged in conventional “house work”. Although the labor movement thrived in the early twentieth century, by 1920 a small fraction of women in the workforce had union jobs, and rarely did the movement take up issues of concern to working women or allow them to take a part in leadership roles. Wage labor immensely shaped women’s identities during a period of urbanization, industrialization, and commercialization.

With a bare minimum of power in the work field, working-class women felt nonetheless empowered by earning an income. This gave women the ability to be more independent.

Few in numbers, many women succeeded to make inroads into careers and education that had previously excluded to women. Women’s Christian Temperance Union began attending some of the more progressive colleges, but only in the twentieth-century women’s college enrollment became equal with men. Women became helpful in teaching, social-work, and nursing professions.

“The image of the new woman was usually single, but even married women help play a significant part in transforming gender roles. Such organizations as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs consolidated into national organizations and achieved greater prominence for women, especially married, middle-class women, in public activities. Women’s clubs, volunteer work, and women’s suffrage activism were not new in the early twentieth- century, but they were more visible to the public and more widespread. Reformers, educated women, and working girls together as individuals and groups forged new ground for women.(Clash of Cultures, Work and Education.)”


Written by A New Generation of Women

April 28, 2011 at 2:38 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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