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The Employment Opportunities Of Women In Britain In 1914

3541 words - 14 pages

The Employment Opportunities of Women in Britain in 1914

Woman in Britain in 1914 had several job opportunities and from this
period onwards the number of employed women began to rise
significantly. This coursework will cover the following points; the
kind of work women did, the payment they received and the working
conditions under which they worked and chances of progress for women
workers. One of the main reasons for these conditions was that most of
the governmental departments were dominated by men whilst women were
society’s stereotypes. The other main factors include the lack of
female education on a further degree and Victorian attitudes at that
time.

The main job in which women were employed was domestic service.
Domestic servants worked under deplorable conditions and could not
complain as Trade Unions did not exist. These domestic employees often
worked long hours and were only granted a half a day break per week,
or even a month, off. The payment that they received was not
commensurate with the amount of work undertaken. Approximately one
million and a half women were hired for an average pay of five to ten
pounds per annum. Domestic service attracted so many young girls
because the school leaving age was twelve and many went straight in
service, hence pay was very low. This profession did not require a
high level of education as most of the work undertaken was manual.

Textile firms provided women with employment as was the case in the
past, starting from the Industrial Revolution. Woman could supervise
sinning and weaving machines as effectively and methodically as men,
but because of man’s dominance in the society most of the posts of
overseers were filled by men themselves. Thus, remuneration for woman
was much lower than their counterparts. Working in factories was
extremely difficult because the work was very monotonous. More or less
nine hundred thousand women worked in the textile Industry.

The Sweated trade also engaged large numbers of women, the figure
almost climbing to a million. Most employers were unbearable in their
attitudes towards these working class women and therefore paid very
low salaries. The worst fields of the Sweated trades were the clothing
and the dressmaking industries. Many worked at home and received piece
rates. They made jewellery, painted led soldiers or addressed
envelopes.

Only the downtrodden and deprived women in the society who in reality
were the pillar of their own family had to work under these awful
conditions. Women felt like secondary-class citizens and were treated
as such. Employers took advantage of women as the women’s main concern
was to survive low salaries and diabolic working conditions;
advancement in career had no significance for them as their limited
poor educational background lessened their...

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