Did the lives of Women improve as a result of the New Deal?

  • Created by: Eli
  • Created on: 10-11-13 16:45

Did the lives of Women improve as a result of the New Deal?


  • 1933 - FDR appointed the first woman to the cabinet - Frances Perkins, Secretary for Labor
  • 1935 - Women's and Professional Division was created in the WPA - helping women get more professional jobs like librarians and teachers
  • Eleanor Roosevelt also set up a conference at the White House on the Emergency Needs of Women to give publicity to the position of women
  • The congress of industrial organisation (CIO) a national trade union organisation encouraged its unions to set up women's groups
  • By 1940, 800,000 women had joined trade unions
  • Heavily involved in textile and clothing industries - the Textile Workers Union increased its membership from 20,000 in 1936 to 120,000 in 1943
  • The Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America had increased from 60,000 in 1932 to 300,000 in 1942
  • These organisations helped improve pay and working conditions
  • Some women achieved prominent positions
  • Mary McLeod headed the NYA


  • Large numbers of women worked in domestic services which were not covered by trade unions
  • Even in jobs covered by the NRA, women were paid from 15% to 30% less than men
  • Most New Deal programs were aimed at men. Only about 8,000 women were involved in the CCC
  • Local governments tried to avoid paying out social security payments to women by introducing special qualifications and conditions
  • Frances Perkins was viciously attacked by the press as a Jew and a Soviet Spy. Even her cabinet colleagues tended to ignore her at social gatherings


There were many more opportunities available to women, but they still faced much discrimination in the work place.


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