Women Empowerment

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The Industrial Revolution in Britain, which lasted from the middle of the 18th century to the late 19th century, was an era which greatly empowered the status of lower and middle class women. Women from both classes suffered from the stereotypes and inequality between men and women. Lower class women working in factories were abused and paid considerably less than their male counterparts. Middle class women were expected to be idle, ignorant and unaffiliated with her husband’s work. This prejudice caused women to become increasingly aware of their inferior status in society and brought forth frequent feminist movements. The Industrial Revolution helped catalyze feminist movements that vied for political suffrages, education rights, and economic protection, and the right to private property.

The Industrial Revolution helped bring forth inventions such as the steam engine and textile mills. These inventions caused a gradual shift of work from rural to centralized work in urban areas. This urbanization opened opportunities for many lower class women whose families were often impoverished to work in factories which were relatively consistent in pay. However, in these factories women were often abused and earned substantially less than their male counterparts. This was mainly because of the stereotype that England, a patriarchal society had upon its women that “females were naïve, fragile, and emotionally weak creatures who could not exist independently of a husband or a father’s wise guidance.” The value of the products that women produced was devalued because they themselves were devalued in society’s eyes. Emma Paterson, an England feminist once said, “Not only are women frequently paid half or less than half for doing work ...

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Ibid.

Lynn Hunt, “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, 26 August 1789,” chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/d/295/ (1996).

Joao Jose Reis and Arthur Brakel, Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia (MA: The John Hopkins University Press, 1993), 33.

Rainer Sousa, “Revolucao Pernambucana,” www.brasilescoba.com/historiab/revolucao-pernambucana.htm (2010).

Silva Carla Persira de Brito Fonseca, “The Idea of Republic in the Brazilian Empire,” www.brasil.gov.br/sobre/history/republic/the-idea-of-republic-in-the-brazilian-empire/ (2005).

Rainer Sousa, “Revolucao Pernambucana,” www.brasilescoba.com/historiab/revolucao-pernambucana.htm (2010).

Joao Jose Reis and Arthur Brakel, Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia (MA: The John Hopkins University Press, 1993), 122-123.

Ibid.

Ibid.
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