Goldfield: Women & Children

By Semir

Introduction

The most people who visited the goldfieds were men but very few were women. Women didnt always have the same job. By the 1854 there were about 5000 women on the goldfields compared to the 12600 men.But beetween 1851 and 1860 more than 160.000 women came to victoria. These women usually were accompanying their husband. 90 % of women were married and the other 10 % of women were single. The women that were single were suposed to pann not mine. At the start of 1854 not alot of women were deporting to goldfields. But in 1856 women started to deport to the goldfields to help mine or do the clening in the house.

Education

During 1851 when the gold rush began, parents usually move around to differnt richer goldfields so the children had to change schools a lot. Most of the parents put there child into schools because they came from the other side of the world, so they didnt know any English. Schools took a long peroid to build so children didnt have education for a long peroid. Teachers were often young and untrained. parents would have to pay a small fee to enroll there children into the school. If no teachers were at the school the children had to wait for a teacher to turn up

Roles and Responsibilites of women in the goldfields

There was a small amount of women on the goldfields. Most women stayed at home and did the washing and cleaning. Small of amounts of women were digging with there husband.If a women gave birth they would usually die because of a illness called Diptheria.Many women were assisted while giving birth. Many of the women bought hens and goats with the small amount of gold that their husband found. Most of the women usually were dancers and singers. Depending on the day woman would have differnt job on the fields or in their own houses/tents/huts.

Womens and Childrens Health

Womens health was very harsh. Usually if a woman gave birth to a baby, she was assisted by other women. The medicine back than were limited. S o some women would die or would be very ill or have illnesses such as diptheria or a whooping cough which caused death. If a women died during birth the assistant would look after the baby as the father was digging or panning. It was very rare for a child to die in the stomach of the mother.


Women would mostly get sick or even die because they had no food or water to eat for weeks sometimes even months. But very few women would have alot of supply of food because most of them were not rich.


On the Goldfields many children died because of the foul muddy water they had to drink.Conditions were poor. Cemetries were set up to burry the dead. One of the cemetries that were set up is called Pennywieght Flats Childrens Cemetry in Castlemaine. When children were born they usually had either died or were very sick with a illness. Since there wasnt any medicine.

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