Women who were widowed or divorced, or whose husbands had l left them, struggled to keep their families alive; single women had to fend for themselves. These women were truly on the margins, practically invisible. “We did not go hungry, but we lived lean.” That sums up the experience of many families during the 1930’s.
The typical woman in the 1930s had a husband who was still employed, although he had probably taken a pay cut to keep his job; if the man lost his job, the family often had enough resources to survive without going on relief or losing all its possessions. Women “made do” by substituting their own labor for something that previously had been bought with cash or by practicing petty economies like buying day-old bread or warming several dishes in the oven to save gas.
Mexican women worked 70 hours a week for as little as 30 cents a day picking nut meat from shells by hand. Eleanor Roosevelt noted, “Practically every woman, whether she is rich or poor, is facing today a reduction of income.” women had no choice but to work, providing the sole source of support for themselves or their families.
People may have thought that women were not as important as men but they were. The country could not have survived without the contribution of women. What would the men have done if they didn’t have any women to cook, clean and take care of their children. They would have had to learn to do all of that themselves. They also wouldn’t have had women to do all the little jobs like picking the meat from shells by hand. The men would have had to do that all by themselves too they would all have had to fight to get the more important jobs and be powerful men.