‘Scotland was a Patriarchacal Society’, to what extent is this view of Scottish Society during the Inter-war period valid?
‘Scotland was a Patriarchal Society during the Interwar period!’ Examining the significant changing roles of women during the Twentieth Century, this statements validity will be discussed. During the 1900’s women’s main purpose was to get married and look after her husband and children, they were treated as second class citizens with few rights. Women were burdened with heavy duty unpaid domestic work within the home. Life for women then consisted of backbreaking housework, without electricity and household aids. Young girls were expected to help with household chores even when they were in full time employment, whilst young boys were exempt from such chores. In the early 1900’s women’s required domestic role greatly hindered access to education. Scotland’s traditional and chauvinist ideals prevented women gaining an equal chance to access and progress in education. It was not until 1889 until women could legally attend university, however Scotland’s smaller middle class meant this was a privilege for very few. By 1925 women occupied 1/3 of university places (mainly arts and teaching) and by 1986 51% of places (still mainly arts and social sciences). Discrimination within education meant that women were educated for their role in the domestic sphere, teaching girls mainly ‘domestic skills’ and boys ‘technical skills’. Parents saw educating girls a waste of time and money as their place was in the home, and it would be better spent on educating boys, as they were to be the ‘breadwinners’. Early 1900’s it was socially unacceptable for women to work, it was viewed as a ‘shame’ if they did, as it was the husbands’ duty to provide. Woman’s strenuous domestic and constant childbearing prevented access to formal employment. There were however regional differences within Scotland. Dundee had the jute industry, which employed mainly women...
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