Women & Children on the Goldfields
By Kalyiah 5N
In 1854 ,on the Ballarat goldfields there were about 4000 women compared to 12,500 men.
Approximately 5% of women were single on the goldfields. As the years went by more women joined their husbands on the goldfields.
Many children went to the goldfields with their parents and some childrens were born on the goldfields. There were about 12000 children living on the Victorian diggings on, December 1852.
On the goldfields health was very bad and poor.Alot of children had diseases,measles and typhoid that came from drinking dirty water.Children suffered through basic conditions and difficult weather on the goldfields.
Women also suffered by losing their babies by giving birth on the goldfields and died while they were giving birth because they had no hospitals in the goldfields or helpful nurses to help the poor women who suffered on the goldfileds while giving birth.Other women tried their best to help each other during childbirth.
Roles and responsibilities
Some women stayed home while their husbands were on the goldfields.The goldfields weren't a good place for a respectable women. So the women washed,cooked and even made jam, butter and clothes for the family.Women also stayed home to look after their children. Some women didnt stay home and worked on the goldfields or as shopkeepers.
On the goldfields there wasn't good education available for kids and for people when they were young because there weren't many schools back then and they didn't have trained teachers.
Alot of children changed schools pretty often because their parents moved around a lot while seeking their fortune. Some kids find school fun but it was very hard for them to read, write and to do arithmetic. Kids who didn't go to school would help their parents with chores, household tasks or other things that need to be done .
Many parents couldn't teach their kids because they didn't have a splendid education when they were young. When women were at school they would finish at the age of 12 years old and they would become real women.