Employment and Trade Unions
Employment and Trade Unions
• 1851 3 million women employed - 42% of
• 80% of women workers in domestic service,
clothing trades and textile industry
• They ‘lived in’, worked long hours for poor
• Earned half a mans salary for doing the
same job
• http://www.ourwardfamily.com/victorian_servants.htm
Employment and Trade Unions
Technology led to
97% of women in
office work
 Women however
had to give up their
job when they were
Telegraph Exchange
Employment and Trade Unions
• Women worked
through the TU’s to
improve their
• Although numbers did
not increase until
after 1870s due to
opposition from men
• Men believed they
were entitled to the
higher wage as they
were the ‘bread
Employment and Trade Unions
• Increase membership
from 21,085 in 1877 to
437,000 in 1914
• Why?
• Strong membership in
Lancashire cotton
unions but excluded
from general TU’s until
mid century
• 1875 attended the
Trade Unions
• 1893 first women factory inspector
• Although TUs failed to make an
impact on domestic service were 1.5
million were working
• However by outbreak of war women
had achieved improvements but still
lagged behind
• Describe the main
cause, the events and
the outcome of the
Match Girls’ strike in
• In what ways could the
strike and its outcome
be described as ‘a
landmark victory for
women’s rights?
Lack of education
• Little chance of
education for
working class
• Role was either in
the factory or at
• They were to be
content and behave
Middle class
• Most were educated by a governess who
taught them how to read, knit, sew play the
piano and paint
• The girls were educated to be good wives
and mothers
• male educationalists believed that the
stress of education could damage the
health of a young girl instead they needed
Change in education
• 1848 Queens
college in London
was founded as a
training college for
women teachers,
• set new standards
of education in
girls schools
Taunton Commission in 1868
• Set up to enquire into the education of
boys, included girls schools at last minute
due to Emily Davis
• Found a deficiency in girls education, solely
on domestic duties and ‘accomplishments’
• Some good schools e.g. academic schools
such as Cheltenham Ladies college founded
by early feminist pioneers.
• However in the minority
Debate over the nature of reform
• 1st school of thought:
make education for
girls as good as but
different from boys
• 2nd school of thought:
girl’s education should
be identical to boys
• All agreed an increase
in number of good
schools for girls
Emily Davis
• Campaigned to gain
women the right to
• Opened a school
for women in 1869
later known as
Girton college
• Followed by
Newnham Hall by
Jemima Clough
• Oxford University and 4 in Scotland
enrolled women in 1879
• By turn of century more middle class
women going into higher education and into
• By end of Victorian era there is no doubt
that the causes of women’s rights had
made significant progress but they still
had no voting rights
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