Women & Children in the Goldfields

By Priyanka Prasad

Introduction

More than 160,00 women were among the 600,000 who arrived in Victoria between 1851 and 1860. It was not long however, when women travelled to the goldfields and as early as 1851, there were women digging for gold alongside their husband.

Womens health in the Goldfields

Life was hard on the Goldfields and keeping your health healthy was even harder. People mainly got sick by eating bad-cooked food or rotten food.

Roles and Responsibilities of Women in the Goldfields

Life was hard for women in the Goldfields. Women either cooked food or washed clothes and others normally sing and dance for the men who dig. Some women were diggers and others were shopkeepers for gold. They couldnt buy things so they had to make things from scratch. The women fed their children with jam nd bread. Fruits for them were very scarce and they were also very expensive. Children had to go to school and their school was a tent that could fit about 100 students

Health

Most women and children died or got sick from measles and they were not able to recover properly and they were really poor. Children had to drink water from mudy fields which made them more sick. Children also died because of weather conditions. There is a cemetery called " Pennyweight gravestone" where more than 200 children were buried.