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Women And New Deal Programs Essay

1304 words - 5 pages

“Black Tuesday” is cited to be the day that the Stock Market Crashed on October 19, 1929, and it is believed to have been the beginning of the Great Depression (Schultz). This led to many catastrophes in the United States economic system that lasted ten years, from 1929-1939 (Schultz). During this time period consumer spending declined, unemployment increased, and a severe drought throughout the U.S led to a reduction in agricultural labor, which resulted in even more unemployment (Schultz). Nevertheless, out of this crisis President Roosevelt created programs, throughout his presidency, in hopes of bettering the United States economy. These programs would eventually be called the New Deal and Second New Deal programs. These programs were elaborated to help the U.S working male population. Women were always considered less efficient than men; this led to a difference in the amount of payment that women obtain from their job (Goldin 82). However, with the help of President Roosevelt’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, working women were eventually included in certain New Deal programs that increased their economic stability; directly and indirectly (“New Deal Achievements”). Programs such as FERA, WPA, FHA, among others ("New Deal Achievements"), helped women with employment opportunities, increased leadership roles in government, and increased housing opportunities.
Women throughout history have been considered to have an active role in the family life as the caretakers, while the men are considered the “breadwinners” of the family. However, a few women still have had to provide for their families throughout the years and as a result have sought employment in industries that “were highly segregated by sex” (Goldin 87). Women employment opportunities were so scarce that when the Great Depression hit the first to loose their jobs were women (Brinkley 453). Nevertheless, with the help of Eleanor Roosevelt, women benefited with the increasing of employment opportunities that were create with the New Deal and Second New Deal policies. Women were employed on FERA, “Federal Emergency Relief Administration” projects, which were run by state funds (Woolner). One of the agencies of this administration that was created through the New Deal programs and directly assisted women was the Work Progress Administration. The WPA was created in 1935 and hired single women, widows, or women with disabled or absent husbands (Kennedy 625). While the WAP employed men in unskilled manual labor job, women were assigned sewing projects. They were in charge of making clothing, blankets, and other necessities that were given to charities and hospitals (Ware 43). Women were also hired in the school lunch programs created by the WPA and in its Federal Art project, which gave 162 women a job painting murals and creating statues for the newly built post office buildings and court houses (Ware 47). The New Deal policies, while their main target was employing and benefitting the...

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