The period from 1901 to 1945 saw Australian women endure many hardships. Due to events that occurred during the period such as the economic boom, the depression, world war one and world war two their were many advancements making the lives of women easier, some classes much more then others. These include the technology that became available, changes in fashions, and greater equality in the workforce and on the political scene. Through dividing the period up and looking at each part, I will establish that life was slightly better for Australian women at the end of the period as apposed to the beginning. At the time of federation women did not fare well at all. Women were forced to work long hours for little pay. In 1901 women made up 20.1% of the workforce, however, to them the basic wage did not apply. They received only around half of that given to men for the same task. For most, marriage was an economic necessity, however, when married, wives were dominated by their husbands and suffered loss of their economic independence. Women at home worked a 6-day week with no access to labour saving devices. Wives of rural workers lived particularly hard lives being frequently left on their own to look after the children. There were very few women who played major roles in society. Women dressed very formally and the beginning of the century wearing hats, long dresses and gloves when going out, along with corsets and petticoats. This made day to day life very difficult for many women. After the first ten years following federation, some progress towards equality was made. Women started to work in professions, despite the vast majority continuing to be employed in factories, as domestic servants or remaining at home. Women still dominated the lower paid jobs despite protective legislation and few achieved management positions. Australia was the second country in the world to give women the right to vote and stand in Fe…
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