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Experiences of work.docx

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University of Waterloo
Women's Studies
WS 102
Tina Davidson

WS 102 CHANGE AND CONTINUITY IN WOMEN’S EXPERIENCES OF WORK JAN 14 WOMEN IN FARMS  Often equal marriage in terms of labor and profit  Women didn’t have voice in saying where money went  Hard life: lived life of repetition, struggling to survive, isolation from others  Worked to maintain house/family/farm  Worked as entrepreneurs selling surplus eggs, jams, wool, bread  Worked as field hands on own farms or for pay on neighboring farms  Daughters contributed labor to farm and worked off farm as domestic servants INDUSTRALIZATION  Started in Europe, experienced as traumatic event, caused upheaval in working/living/surviving  Entire family produced just what they needed to survive  Families moved into paid labor on large farms and in city factories  Men got factory jobs before women, male labor was most valuable  Most women stayed in home, but some worked beside men in factory or did “piece work” ex. Sewing on buttons (taking pieces of work from factory to work on at home)  Women tended to stay in home to manage family’s limited income WORKING FAMILIES IN INDUSTRALIZED CANADA  1$/day common wage for 6 days (barely enough for a man and wife food)  Unpaid labor of women at home was essential, balancing expenses  4 living expenses 1. Food  Small family ate 70% of income  Food consumption decreased based on age/sex  No fruits/veg  Husbands ate most, then working sons, non-working sons, mothers, daughters  Pregnant women couldn’t increase share of food 2. Rent  20% of income 3. Fuel  10% of income 4. School  Significance difference in free and paid education  Mostly education for boys because Boys expected to earn greater wages 1.65$ over the average wage  Budge doesn’t include appliances, utensils, furniture, clothing, or tobacco/alcohol (staple in working men’s lives)  Women who sacrificed not eating when no money  Desperate way of surviving ex. Buying expired meat  Most women didn’t work after giving birth (required by law), so children worked when able to get married  Young girls assumed huge domestic work/childcare. Contributions essential to family survivable, factory wages less than half of males  Daughters valued differently when married: losing one source of income, or having one less person to feed WS 102 CHANGE AND CONTINUITY IN WOMEN’S EXPERIENCES OF WORK JAN 14  Housework was labor intensive (shopping for groceries, protecting laundry from theft, food prep, stove maintenance) guarding food from theft & death  Women did everything they could to earn extra money  Woman’s largest income: If food/house big enough and had time, could offer bed/food to a male “boarders” WOMEN AND WORK IN THE DEPRESSION  Caused by stock market crash in 1929 combined by draught  Caused widespread male unemployment “crisis for masculinity” maleness like supporting families, earning wages not available for men  Social aid payments given to men, covered 65% of family’s need, women monitored by social services to use payments properly  Survived by “boarders”, eating less, cutting off electricity, moved to cheaper accommodations, buying expired food  Difference between industrialization: numbers. Made 20$/week instead of 6$  Women making the money but no change in gender role/perspective WORLD WAR II  Completed changed women’s experience of work: government forced women to work  Young mothers working, vast employment of women in male dominated jobs (ex. Mining, factory jobs)  Led to encouragement of women to work, government created daycare, income tax breaks for working wives, creation of part time work  At end of war, most women left workforce because of social pressure, government forced them out, left for desire. But became increasingly acceptable for all women to work in longterm  Women worked as Canadian economy expanded and women needed to work for income DOUBLE DAY  Created because of married women and mothers working  Women do most of domestic work AND work for wages which interfere with each other  Women become 70% of part time workforce because can’t handle  Women more likely to lose job because of domestic responsibilities  Unpaid work: biggest contributions that women make to economy. Est. worth 319$ billion 1970s: THE RCSW  Late 1960s, feminism and number of women in paid workforce increased  Government found
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