The Impact of the Industrial Revolution on Women
"Women have always worked, constantly, continuously, always and everywhere, in every type of society in every part of the world since the beginning of human time."
Traditionally "a women's place was in the home"- the private sphere, while the man occupied the public sphere (office or factory). When the Industrial Revolution transformed the workplace in the 18th century, it also transformed the life of women as well. This paper will focus on how life for women changed drastically when, during the revolution, factories became the most common place to work.
With the transformation from an agricultural to an industrial society, women lost the flexibility and control of their work. Instead, they commanded low-grade, low-paying, exploited occupations. They had a double burden of having to go out into the workforce and take care of all domestic responsibilities, including the sole accountability of child rearing. Each of the changes in the Industrial Revolution proved to have a negative impact on women, in a devastating way that could have never have been predicted.
Thefirst of these changes was the move from home to factory. Women had maintained a partnership with their husbands, working beside them in the fields. With the Industrial Revolution the woman was denied an opportunity to share her husband's work. This primitive way of life, which had endured through so many thousands of years, was one of thefirst casualties of the revolution in labor.
Another change that had a negative impact on women was the loss of control they had as head of their households of production, along with the considerable sums of money they could generate. There was no concept ofa " principle male bread winner" prior to the revolution – all were productive and the women was doubly so. She would bake, weave, raise pigs, etc. and w