The Role of Women in Australia 1900-1941 Essay Example

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YR 12 HISTORY- AUSTRALIA 1901-1941

Aim:
„« To describe the nature of the role, and lives, of women in Australia before, during, and after World War One
„« To identify, and describe the extent of, the international influences on the role, and lives, of women in Australia before, during and after World War One

Australian women prior to World War One lived a life that consisted of traditional female roles similar to those of their British and Irish relatives. Their value in society was based on their ability to bear and raise children and maintain a home and they were dependent on the financial support of their husbands. Families of 10 or 12 children were common in this era and daily home life was described as ¡§labour intensive.¡¨ The absence of electricity and basic technology meant that the majority of chores were done by hand including laundry that was hand wrung and food that had to be prepared daily due to the inexistence of refrigeration.

Women weren¡¦t expected to assume a social or political role and men were considered the face of a family. Women were only granted the right to vote in federal elections in 1902 after the implementation of the Commonwealth Franchise Act, an achievement of the women¡¦s suffrage movement that had begun campaigning for women¡¦s political rights prior to federation. However they did not have the right to vote in all state elections until 1910 when Victoria was the last state to decide to grant women voting rights and they were again the last to vote women the right to stand for parliament in 1923. The era prior to WW1 saw no women voted into parliament in either the House of Representatives or the Senate as women were seen as inferior and too emotional to see reason in regards to political issues. Politics being dominated by white males meant that women faced harsh criticism, particularly from newspapers such as the ¡§Bulletin¡¨ where they were portrayed as unfeminine, selfish, and bad mothers when taking an active

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