The Role and Rights of Women in Western Europe and Eastern Asia from 1750 to 1914

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During the long nineteenth century, political revolutions, industrialization, and European imperialism resulted in dramatic changes in the role of women in Western Europe and Eastern Asia. As industrialization spread in Western Europe, women were no longer able to fulfill their dual role as a mother and a worker. After the introduction of industrialization, laborious tasks were moved from the household to factories and women were forced to choose either the life of a mother or the life of a worker. Women who chose to leave their households were subjected to harsh conditions, low wages, and long hours. The majority of married and middle-class women were confined to the home, and deprived of an education and civil rights. Unlike the…show more content…
As industrialization spread in Western Europe, the production of products and goods moved from the household to factories which drastically changed family life. Married women were unable to work unless they left their children and home in someone else’s care. Moreover, middle-class women generally did not leave their homes in order to work. In contrast, the women of Eastern Asia rapidly joined the work force after the introduction of industrialization and made up a gigantic portion of the labor force. This difference is probably due to the fact that the rural women of Eastern Asia were always laborers, and they make up the majority of the female population. Additionally, European women generally preferred domestic labor to laborious tasks. Rural women were offered independence by leaving their homes in order to perform domestic work; they generally sent their earnings to their families or saved it for themselves. Moreover, the European women that participated in the work force were forced to travel long distances and were separated from their families from long hours. Additionally, their wages were significantly lower than that of their male counterparts. Furthermore, women worked under poor conditions and were constantly susceptible to disease. Similarly, the poor women of Eastern Asia sought employment in the cotton and silk industry.

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