The status of women in the Victorian era is often seen as an illustration of the striking discrepancy between the United Kingdom's national power and wealth and what many, then and now, consider its appalling social conditions. During the era symbolized by the reign of British monarch Queen Victoria, women did not have suffrage rights, the right to sue, or the right to own property. At the same time, women participated in the paid workforce in increasing numbers following the Industrial Revolution. Feminist ideas spread among the educated female middle classes, discriminatory laws were repealed, and the women's suffrage movement gained momentum in the last years of the Victorian Era.
[hide] 1 Marriage and the home 1.1 "The Angel in the House" 1.2 "The Household General"
1.3 Working-class domestic life
2 Divorce and legal discrimination 2.1 Domestic violence and abuse 2.2 Divorce
3 Sexuality and birth control 3.1 Cultural taboos surrounding the female body 3.2 Victorian morality and sexuality 3.2.1 Contagious Diseases Prevention Acts
3.3 Pregnancy and childbirth
5 Women in the workforce 5.1 Working-class employment
5.2 Middle-class employment
6 Women's organizations
7 Women's leisure activities 7.1 Victorian women's fashion 7.1.1 Evolution of Victorian women's fashion
8 Women subjects of the British Empire 8.1 Canada
10 See also
 Marriage and the home
 "The Angel in the House"
By the Victorian era, the concept of "pater familias", meaning the husband as head of the household and moral leader of his family, was firmly entrenched in British culture. A wife's proper role was to love, honour and obey her husband, as her marriage vows stated. A wife's place in the family hierarchy was secondary to her husband, but far from being considered unimportant, a wife's duties to tend to her husband and properly raise her children were considered crucial...
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