Role of Women in the Europen Workforce since 1750

Topics: Reform movement, Middle class, Victorian era Pages: 4 (1350 words) Published: October 28, 2010
Ever since the world’s first civilization of Mesopotamia, women have always played major and significant roles in society and the workforce. The role that women had, and still do have, went through major ups and downs, especially so during the mid-eighteenth century to the present. In analyzing and separating the roles of women in society and the workforce from 1750 to the present in Europe, one can see that changes and continuities in these roles included businesses and economy (change in jobs women had, continuity in their position), families and domestic life (change in the part women played, continuity in participation), and social reform (change in type of reform, continuity in presence).

One of the roles of women in society and the workforce from 1750 to the present was that they were a part of businesses and the economy. One of the major changes in women’s role in the economy of Europe were the jobs that they had or if they even participated in the workforce at all. Before the start of the Industrial Revolution, around the year 1760, wives of middle-class merchants often assisted the family business and sometimes even managed businesses of their own, but later, “cults of domesticity” were formed as a justification of removing middle-class women from affecting the business world. These “cults” were formed as a result of industrialization and a transformation in the way the jobs of middle-class workers were. In the mid-1800s, the middle point of this timeframe, young middle-class women only worked until they were married, and most professional careers were closed to women. However, the first profession open to women was teaching, and in fact, by 1911, 73 percent of all teachers in England were women. This was a direct result of laws calling for compulsory education for both genders, and the belief that a woman was better suited to teaching because it was essentially an extension of the duties of a Victorian mother. As the present approached, women began...
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