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Women at Work
Ontario 1850-1930

Acton, Janice; Goldsmith, Penny; Shepard, Bonnie
Publisher:  Canadian Women's Educational Press, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1974  
Pages:  405pp   Price:  $6  
Dewey:  331.4
Resource Type:  Book

Wmen at Work attempts to explore the realities of Canadian women's experiences, and proposes a framework which begins to answer why the double exploitation of women as mothers and workers has persisted to the present day.

Abstract:  The nine articles here recount in detail the lives of women in the workforce when Toronto was becoming industrialised. Included with the articles are detailed charts, drawings and photographs. Examples are varied: working in "massage" parlours; seamstresses; teachers; student nurses and domestics. The articles detail many aspects of working life. Included are the role and exploitation of women in the workforce in the 19th and early 20th centuries; descriptions of the workday, the woefully inadequate pay and why women were essentially a transient workforce. They also tackle two intertwined subjects: the concept of femininity and its impact on the fight for rights and politically the reasons for their lack of unionisation.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Linda Kealey
The Political Economy of Ontario Women in the Nineteenth Century, by Leo Johnson
The Wayward Worker: Toronto's Prostitute at the Turn of the Century, by Lori Rotenberg
Domestic Service in Canada, 1880-1920, by Genevieve Leslie
"I See and am Silent": A Short History of Nursing in Ontario, by Judi Coburn
Schoolmarms and Early Teaching in Ontario, by Elizabeth Graham
Besieged Innocence: The "Problem" and Problems of Working Women-Toronto, 1896-1914, by Alice Klein and Wayne Roberts
Women during the Grat War, by Ceta Ramkhalawansingh
Women in Production: The Toronto Dressmakers' Strike of 1931, by Catherine Macleod
Women's Organization: Learning from Yesterday, by Dorothy Kidd
Research Guide by Patricia Schulz
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