Goldfields: Women & Children

By: Livar

Introduction

In 1851 there were 10 women working on the goldfields. In 1854 there were 4000 women and 200 getting paid for working. 95% of women were married and 5% of women were not married on the goldfields.

In 1854 there were approximately 4000 women on the goldfield in Ballarat compared to about 12500 men.

Children move school frequently because their parents moved locations in search for gold. Moving to new locations also meant that school were not established their own children had to wait for education because most parents could not educate their own children when the had no educationof their own. Many children could 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 perfoming duties such as cleaning and looking after horses.

Roles and Responsibilities of Women

Many single women danced and sung for the men to give them gold nuggets, some women looked after there children. Many women helped their husbands dig for gold in the goldfield. Some women cooked and made clothes for people.

Example of Roles

1.Cooking

2.Singing and dancing for diggers

3.Some women were diggers

4.Shopkeekers

5.Caring for children

6.Make bread, butter and jams

Women and children's health on the goldfield

Womens health on the goldfield was very bad, because there were no doctors and no hospitals.

When a woman gave birth to a baby, she was assisted by other women.

Many women died after having a baby, because the goldfield was not a good place to have babies. Women helped other women give birth because nurses and medicines were limited.


Many children died because they were sick with diseases.

More then 200 children died on the goldfield because of the bugs and dysentery.