Goldfeilds: Women & Children

by leon

Introduction

There were 4023 women compared to 12,660 men living on the diggings. 208 women were it paid employment.Only 5% of the women were single and there were between 3,000 and 4,000 children.
Children moved frequently because their parents moved locations in search for gold. Moving to new locations also ment that schools were not established. Children had to wait for an education because most parents could not educate their own children when they had no education of their own. Many children did not speak english and could not read or write.Some children received no education, these children had to work on the goldfields panning for gold or performing duties such as cleaning and looking after horses.

Roles and Responsibilities of Women

Some women cared for their children and some women went to the goldfields to help their husbands dig for gold. However they did not always help their husbands dig for gold they did many more things. They cook the food for the diggers and also danced to entertain the diggers. Most of the women did not help the diggers look for gold but some did help them.

Women and childrens health on the goldfeilds

Health on the goldfields was very poor in the 1850s. The women and children had many diseases on the goldfeilds. Many of the women and childrens had diseases from cholera and typhoid. That caused many people to have diarrohea and women did not want to be there. Diptheria, whopping cough, measles, typhoid and scarlet fever swept through the goldfeilds. Many people died from these diseases. When a women gave birth she was normaly assisted by other women as there were few doctors.