The Weimar Republic, with it fourteen years of turbulent political, economic, social and cultural change, has attracted significant attention from historians primarily because they are seeking to explain the Nazis' accession to power in 1933. This book explores the opportunities and possibilities that the Weimar Republic offered women and presents a comprehensive survey of women in the economy, politics and society of the Weimar Republic. The Republic was a post-war society, and hence, the book offers an understanding of the significant impact that the First World War had on women and their roles in the Weimar Republic. The book also explores to what extent the Weimar Republic was 'an open space of multiple developmental opportunities' for women and considers the changes in women's roles, status and behavior during the Republic. It discusses women's participation in Weimar politics, as voters, elected representatives, members of political parties and targets of their propaganda, and as political activists outside the parliamentary arena. The book investigates the impact, if any, on women's employment of the two major economic crises of the Republic, the hyperinflation of 1922-23 and the Depression in the early 1930s. It describes the woman's role within the family, primarily as wife and mother, the impact of the changes in family and population policy and attitudes towards female sexuality. The Weimar Republic also witnessed significant changes in women's lives outside the home as they accessed the public realm to pursue a variety of interests.
This chapter explores women's participation in the world of work during the Weimar Republic to ascertain the opportunities available to women and assess the extent of their economic liberation. It investigates the impact, if any, on women's employment of the two major economic crises of the Republic, the hyperinflation of 1922-23 and the Depression in the early 1930s. The chapter also investigates the post-war demobilisation, the stabilisation of the German economy and the rationalisation of German industry from 1924. Following a decrease in female membership after the demobilisation and during the hyperinflation, women's share of white-collar union membership increased from 1925, in contrast to the decrease in women's membership of the Free Trade Unions. While office and sales work did not afford many women the chance to pursue a career, the professions and civil service did.
In the coming General Election, John Burns had the misfortune to be the only minister defending a central London seat. Both the Pankhursts’ WSPU and the Women's Freedom League (WFL) homed in on his Battersea fiefdom. Indeed, as this was Charlotte Despard's own backyard and Burns appeared to want to prohibit married women's employment, it was little surprise that the WFL produced a special leaflet: ‘Turn Mr Burns out!’ On polling day, Burns was hissed by women in the gallery ~ but was re-elected, as was Lloyd George. Asquith's Liberal government was returned to power, but without its earlier huge majority. Suffrage organizations however remained cautiously optimistic. Brailsford and Nevinson consulted Mrs Fawcett's NUWSS over what compromise suffrage measure might now be possible. It had to be a sufficiently narrow property-based franchise to retain Conservative support, yet broad enough to appease Liberal and Labour. A cross-party Conciliation Committee of MPs was formed and, after much behind-the-scenes lobbying, a Conciliation Bill eventually emerged. It was narrow and would only enfranchise one million women with property. But it would at least establish the principle of equal voting rights for men and women. This was their hope.
This chapter follows Roberts's assertion in Women's Work 1840–1940 that it is ‘probably over-ambitious to try and cover such an enormous topic in such a small space and the best that can be hoped for is that questions will be raised and problems aired’ (Roberts 1995 : 1).
The relationships between gender and work in the nineteenth century are too complex a topic for any attempt at a survey here. Rather, a broad view of scholarship describing the exigencies of women's employment
all industries and occupations, apart from managerial occupations where the proportion was much the same. This suggests that for womenemployment is evidently only one form of work. ‘Traditionally we 9 have thought in terms of people being employed or unemployed. The position is, however, more complex; choices are made between work, non-market work and leisure: households make joint decisions with respect to the hours of work of husband and wife.’ 10 How households make these decisions is, of course, not so obviously apparent: in practice, it appears that very few
Women, the public service and marriage bar policy, 1900–46
medical staff from the marriage bar.
14 LCC/Estab/1/1, Memo from officials in Public Health department decrying apparent
staff petition, 24 June 1914.
15 LMA, LCC Minutes, 7 April 1914, pp.901–902. Interestingly, one of the Council members
voting against was Kingsley Wood, who would be appointed Postmaster General in 1931.
16 POST 33/329, ‘Married Women: Employment in Post Office, Part 1’, File XX.
17 LCC Staff Gazette, March 1915, p.39.
18 LCC/CL/Estab/1/1, Employment of Married Women: Establishment Committee:
Report by Clerk of the Council summarising reports by
widely available in Poland and socially accepted. Moreover, it was socially expected that children would attend public childcare, one reason for this being that these institutions were considered important for cultural adaption to the socialist society (Żółtek and Rozbarska 2004 ). In addition, kindergartens made it possible for women to contribute to the labour force. However, women's employment did not reduce their domestic labour because the role of women in the family was understood in a very traditional way (Andrejuk 2016 ).
significant effect on her mental well-being and an understanding spouse could make all the difference.
A husband's attitude was also revealed as pertinent in another study carried out by Judith Hubback among 1,500 women graduate and non-graduate wives in the 1950s. Hubback was a sociologist interested in married women's employment who carried out a self-funded postal survey of women graduates, initially published as a pamphlet by the Political and Economic Planning think-tank, but later expanded into a book. 30 She identified the issue of
A feminist media house reports from the hinterland
ensure rural employment within villages,
opened up employment opportunities for rural women – employment rates under MGREGA
are 51 per cent compared to the overall rate for rural women at 27 per cent (Pande et al.,
2016 ). The Right to Education Act of 2010 has incrementally
increased the numbers of girls coming into the school system. However, in the still feudal
context of rural north India, there is no notion of women having equal status to men in the public domain or having the freedom to explore occupations of their