Change of Attitudes Toward the Role and Status of Women During the 1920's and 1930's

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Change of Attitudes Toward the Role and Status of Women During the 1920's and 1930's

At the beginning of the 1920's all women over 30 and all women property owners over the age of 21 had been enfranchised by the Representation of the Peoples Act that was passed by the government in 1918. This act paved the way for the major change in the role and status of women that occurred during the nineteen twenties and thirties.

Political change came first for British Women with new legislations being introduced that began to develop the idea that women should be treated on the same grounds as men. In 1928 it was finally decided that all women over the age of twenty-one should be able to exercise their
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In 1931 only 67 women stood as candidates in the General election. This meant that men still dominated parliament and political life, which lead to very little advancement in power or status for women, even though, on paper, they had gained what they had been campaigning for for over half a century.

After the First World War women were expected to return to looking after their families or to traditional women's work such as domestic service or dressmaking. However a development was made with the 1919 Sex Disqualification Removal Act, which allowed women to hold office, enter university and become lawyers, doctors and magistrates, and theoretically stopped women from being barred from any job because of gender alone. However this act had little effect on the careers of the majority of women who found that equal pay was not the reward for equal work and as many work unions did not accept female members there was no way in which the women could bargain for improved working conditions and pay. Another problem was the attitudes of employers. If a company did not want to employ women it was easy for them to concoct reasons other than sex as to why they should employ men. Further problems with this act included the fact that it only applied to single women, free of the ties of matrimony; once a woman married she was still expected to leave her job. This meant that the economic change only
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