History Edexcel Women and Jobs

Opening up the world of work

For each one, i'm going to separate it into two topics.



Why was it significant?

Good luck everyone!

Sorry, there are only 4 also, if you go to the back of your edexcel women's textbooks on page 174-175 there is a checklist which is really helpful :)

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Opening up the world of work


1857- Sewing machine invented

Why is it significant?

This increased the volume of

work done in the 'sweated

factories' at home, making

women's jobs just that bit

easier. Although this cut

into family lives and the

role of the mother in the


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Opening up the world of work


1867- Agricultural Gangs Act

Why was it significant?

It banned the employment of young

girls. This meant that no child

under eight was to be employed by an

agricultural gang, no female was to

be employed in the same gang as

males  and that no female was to be

employed under a male gang-master

unless a female gang-master was also

present. It also required gang

masters to be licensed. These

licenses were to be granted by two

or more magistrates at petty sessions, on

evidence that the applicant was of

good character and a fit person to

be licensed. This increased the

safety and fairness in treatment of

women at work.

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Opening up the world of work


1874- Factory Act

Why was it significant?

This introduced a maximum 10 hour working day for factories outside the textiles industry for women and children. Prior to this women would work ridiculous hours, this obviously cut into the private sphere. They also reduced the working week to 56 1/2 hours. In the textiles industry the textile working hours were to be between 6am to 6pm. From this you can tell conditions and treatment of working class women and children were being taken more and more into account, gradually increasing the status women. But it was still very much a man's world.

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Opening up the world of work


Women make up more than 50% of all elementary school teachers

Why was this significant?

Women are gradually gaining more and more job opportunities, from teachers to seamstresses. Society is gradually beginning to realise the importance of women, so their status is still gradually increasing. Although, they are still not on equal terms with men as they do not have the vote, they are limited to such jobs, but still gradually the 'Angel in the house' role is dissolving.

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