The industrial revolution would have never gone the way it did had it not been for women, and though they were treated poorly women played an important role in society. Women before the 18th century were the backbone of the household and without them the family would have never survived, then during the industrial revolution women began working outside the home to bring home more money and to provide for the family. Without women there would have been more widespread poverty.
With respect to positive impact of women in the industrial revolution, industrial revolution referred to profound advances in manufacturing, production and other sectors. Fields like engineering took place between eighteenth and mid-ninetieth century. The industrial sector was a male-dominated area where else the women were the minority and were not allowed to take part (Ward, Bernie, and John Strongman., 2011). But as industrial revolved, women became more liberated in the communities and begun to participate in campaigns to fight for women’s rights in and out of the household. Industrialization no longer posed women as inferior to men but instead as their competitors. Women, however, were paid less compared to the men since they were cheaper, this posed a threat to men as both were in the same field for same positions. Women involvement during the industrial revolution impacted the lives of children in the 19th century (Tietjen, 2017). This paper will show the positive impact on the role played by women in all aspects despite women revolution being recognized as having a negative resolution to economy and production system.
Women introduction at workplace led to many political changes and considerations to accommodate both genders. Females began to contest for their roles in the community which led to the formation of movement groups, which in return led to political stimulation and eventually change (Khera, 2016). Bessie Rayner Parks was one of the first women to pledge for females movement in England in 1848. She spearheaded demands for reforms to laws like marriage laws which were termed harsh especially regarding the property. Bessie Parks with other women created a newspaper called English Journal which was used as a platform for raising concerns regarding women’s rights and was also used as a communication channel (Tietjen, 2017). Not all movements succeeded but at least they managed to spread the word to societies and local authorities about changes.
By 1871, women in England were united to ensure the expansion of their rights and opportunities at workplaces and at home. At this time, three significant movements had a great impact to the nation thus enhancing National Union for the Education of Girls, promoting women employment and formation of a committee for obtaining the Admission of Women to University Examinations (Ward, Bernie, and John Strongman., 2011). The movements propelled towards girl child education to prepare and protect them from real life situations in employment at factories. Members of the women movements believed that inequality at the workplace would always see women being subjected to men; thus they attempted to educate girl child about the business and trade hoping in future that they would participate. The girls were required to attend lectures and lessons where they were taught wood-carving, china-painting, plan-tracing, art-engraving in forms of apprenticeships (Bellais, 2014). Eventually many women were taken by local political authorities to form part of the administrative agenda. Many political reforms had been made by the end of 18th century.
Many children who were old enough to work joined the workforce with their mothers yet they became another source of revenue thus offering their community families with more economic benefits. Furthermore, women entering the work force during industrial revolution led to maturity of children from the age of thirteen could earn their income thus considered independent thus they would generate their income and spend as they wished (Bellais, 2014). Many youths developed a social life and used to gather at small shopping centers thus leading to stimulation of the economy through the spending of the young people’s incomes. Because of industrialization, many of the women had to leave their homes and began to live on their own (Bellais, 2014). This idea was not welcomed by many, but in another hand it allowed the women to become more lively part of community development and labor movements that eventually changed the working conditions which seemed dangerous. Industrial revolution permitted females to generate more income which in result led to self-dependent, and they could support their families. Some significant impacts of the industrial revolution were effects it had on female’s lives. Long before industrialization women were tasked with more of traditional jobs like cloth repairing and were mostly involved in managing farm affairs alongside raising children (Khera, 2016). After industrial revolution impacts on the enclosure movement and agricultural revolution required many small-scale farmers off their lands. This led to the migration of people from the rural area to urban areas to search for work thus increasing labor force.
During the industrial revolution, early feminist organization fought particularly for a right to vote. Women were denied the right of voting thus leading to them forming a movement to enhance equality to balloting referred as suffrage movement, while the members fighting for equal voting rights were called suffragettes (Khera, 2016). Also, the industrial revolution revolutionized many if not all women in supporting their husbands and families thus leading to women playing a large part of the factory and manufacturing industries as a result of industry introduction. Although this marked as a stepping stone for women independence in many places, the women began a plethora of societal changes which in hand affected many more members of the society (Ward, Bernie, and John Strongman., 2011). The introduction of women at workforce led by men was challenged as the women became their competitors thus forcing men to form unions to protect them from the influx of women laborers. The impact of women in the revolution led to the challenge of many old norms and caused demanding structural changes to the community (Khera, 2016). It can be said the women revolutionized workforce which is still present up to date since from the effects during the 1800s.
With the creations of the loom, gin, cotton and sewing machines, all these led to an increase of production rate in the textile industry. A century of international commerce, the engines at the factories produce more products since the women could provide cheap labor compared to the men (Bellais, 2014). Other necessities became essential as a result of increased production. Some examples of domino effect include the need for labor, the factory system, communication, transportation and financial system. The United States got to the next level due to all this industrial revolution.
The evolution of factories was brought by the need for workers. This growth in industry and factories, in turn, enhanced the development of societies. The option provided to women was an optional way of earning income and as a result life standards were improved. These options directed the women to wealth and power. Also, women involvement led to the multiplication of factories which was as a result of increased competition between the women and men” the general spirit of enterprise” as labeled by Gorge S. white established that the employees were the real power to growth regarding an organization. He also said the community members have the right to complain and if corrective action is taken, it will benefit the women in the society (Khera, 2016). As production yielded more benefits, the consumers required a channel of communication whereby they would receive the products. The demand for products to reach the consumers led to the improvement of the transport system. This led to the construction of steamboats and railroads and as a result the price of goods decreased thus making products available to the community (Tietjen, 2017).
The developments that helped people to spread news faster and more efficiently was another positive impact of women in industrial revolution. There was much more creativity during this time which led to a huge impact on the lives of the societies. However with the arrival of industrial revolutions more women became an active stakeholder in the work field and were then undertaking many of the tasks just like the men (Ward, Bernie, and John Strongman., 2011). Both genders were faced with joint hardships regarding their salaries due to the nature of competition in the factories. Women were more hired because of their cheap labor thus endangering the men in the same workforce. In Valenze’s, the ratio of women to men was eight to one as said by the first industrial woman. She also added that due to high levels of women workforce, that situation led to underpayment. By 1800s, one-third of the workforce was built by women, and their presence in manufacturing factories caused changes in recruitment form and machinery selection.
After the passage of trade Act in 1824, the Free trade Act led to increased women to men competition. Silk manufacturing propelled the introduction machinery that in hand led to more cheap production cost and were user-friendly to the women. Also, women became more prone to be hired by firm owners since they could offer quality work at a reduced wage rate. The female gender became more reliable by factories owners hence through industrialization women gained their independence (Ward, Bernie, and John Strongman., 2011). Not only did the women gained autonomy but also this reliability increased their status in the society. The most efficient way of enhancing industrial revolution could have developed and improved through the exploitation of children. Parents and their children could discuss the responsibilities and wages allocated to each other, and by that doing it would lead to helping one another in the most possible ways.
The industrial revolution had a profound positive effect on the lives of the women. This saw the women’s role in communities and societies histrionically shift, and many of the women involved themselves with a workforce in order to promote themselves and their families. Today the women movement continues to fight for women’s rights for equality in payment, voting rights and maternity rights.
Bellais, R. (2014). The Evolving Boundaries of Deffence. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing.
Khera, P. (2016). Macroeconomic Impacts of Gender Inequality and informality in india. Washington D.C: International Monetary Fund.
Tietjen, J. S. (2017). Engineering women. Switzerland: springer.
Ward, Bernie, and John Strongman. (2011). improving the impact of women in poverty and their families. Washington D.C: World Bank.