Women In The Great Depression Essay

1675 words - 7 pages

The Great Depression can be a tough subject for most people, but still inspiring to others. The Great Depression was a very difficult time for America as well as women. The women of the Great Depression struggled through many trials, as did many others in the United States, but they were able to get through it all. The women of the Great Depression worked their hardest to stay true to themselves, and their family, as well as, to keep a job, a stable household, and for some, a strong marriage.
Women primarily worked as teachers, nurses, and telephone workers, but when the Great Depression hit, women began to be fired from their jobs. Plus many men disagreed with women working during the Depression, especially if they were married to working spouse. Women who still had a job were often criticized for taking all the jobs away from the men who didn’t have a job; when in all actuality these women were working as nurses, salon managers, dental hygienists, and occupational therapists. Many states in the U.S. fired women who had a spouse working for the government, but as for many females who didn't have a spouse working in the government, were left with nothing. As a result an estimate of 140,000 women soon became homeless and 4 million were unemployed. Some homeless women in New York had the opportunity to live in a women's shelter as stated in an article written by Elaine S. Abelson saying, "...the number of "female beds" occupied in the women's division of the Municipal Lodging House in New York City between 1920 and 1932, the dramatic increase in the numbers of women given shelter is evident. Recording 3,039 female beds in 1920, 5,814 in 1929, 23,380 in 1931, and 56,808 in 1932..." (Ableson). The lack of jobs for women, caused many of them to live in this shelter making it the best and only way to give themselves a place to feel safe. Although, desperate women without a lot to live off of soon became prostitutes. The lack of money and no house, caused these women to just sell themselves to earn some type of money to keep themselves going on a day to day basis.
As for some women, they were lucky to be in the state they were in, with the money they had on hand. The fortunate middle class Americans unexpectedly, during the Great Depression, didn’t even look twice at the luxuries of the world. Just as any American during that time, they had their focus on the necessities of life such as food and shelter. Many worried about losing their home because they could barely keep up with the paying bills. As a result, the Homeowners Loan Corporation (HOLC) helped refinance home loans supporting Americans and allowing them to stay within their homes. Many middle class and upper class women began writing their own personal budgeting accounts to help them pay bills as well as food. They also taught other women how to properly budget their own small sum of money. They budgeted to help them keep control of the money they had and make sure that they had the right...

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