Goldfields: Women & Children

by Agacy

Introduction

Gold was discovered in Victoria 1851.Some women independently as diggers.By 1854 there were 4,023 on Ballarat Goldfields,(compered to 12,660 men),and 208 women were in paid employment.The majority of women were domestic servants 8% were storekeepers and nedlewomen,dressmarkers,miliners and shoe builders

Education

Children moved schools frequently because their parents moved locations 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 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 recieved 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

Women cooked and washed for men. Some women danced or sang for the miners. Mostly men dug. Most women brought their children to the goldfields and stayed with their husbands. Some women gave birth but there were few doctors so other women were their assistance. Most children died with illnesses.

Women and Children's Health

When the gold rush was on many women were sick. Even children were sick. Most were sick from cholera, measles and many others. Most children got measles and there were few doctors, therefore most of them died. Conditions were poor on the goldfields. Many children died because of the foul muddy waters they had to drink. People died of whooping cough, measles and other diseases.