Goldfields: Women & Children

by Elenor

Introduction

In 1851 there were women digging for gold with their husbands. In 1854 there were 12,660 and 4023 women digging for gold. Only 5% of single ladies were on the goldfields. These women sung and danced for the men in return for small gold nuggets.
Children moved schools frequently because their parents moved location in search for gold.
Moving to new locations also meant that schools were not established. Children had to wait for an education because most parents couldn't educate their own children when they had no education of their own. Many children did not speak english and could not read or write.

Roles And Responsibility of Women

1.Cooking

2.Singing and dancers for diggers.

3.Some women were diggers.

4.Shopkeepers.

5.Caring for chidren.

6.Make bread, butter and jam

Health

Conditions were poor on the goldfields. Many children died because of the foul muddy waters they had to drink.

People died from whooping cough, measles and other diseases because there were no hospitals. Cemetries were set up to bury dead.

Women helped other women give birth because nurses and medicines were limited. Often a male would play the role of 4 or 5 proffesionals. It was common that a doctor was also the communities barber and dentist.

Women and Children on the goldfields

On the goldfields many babies died from illnesses. When the mothers were about to give birth other mothers had to help, because there were no hostpitals around there. Many mothers died while giving birth.