Goldfields: Women & Children

By: Justin In USA

Introduction

For many women the hardest thing to bear was loneliness.Majority of the women were at home doing chores.95% of the women stayed at home.It was thought by many that respectable women would not be able to endure the goldfields lifestyle and that the goldfields were "no place for the womens". 1850-1854 there were4023 women in the goldfields in Ballarat.(compared to the men 12 660).Ballarat goldfields had grown to 12726 men,9135 women and 7838 children- the women to men was growing and the ratio was getting the same to the men.

Education

Parents were unable to teach their children because they didn't educate themselves and they don't know how because they came from different countries.People had to move schools very often so that that are next to goldfields.Parents will try to educate their child if they were educated themselves.Their parents wanted to get gold an that is why they keep on moving and trying to be rich.Children went to the goldfields with their parents to help the men and by the end of December there were 12000 victorians digging for gold.

Women "s Health

there were illnesses in the goldfields such as diptheria,whooping cough, measles,tyhoid and scarlet fever spreaded goldfields and many men,women and children died.If getting to the diggings was difficult, staying healthy while working there was even more of a challenge. When Ellen Clacy was at the Victorian diggings in 1852 and 1853, the main illnesses were "weakness of sight, from the hot winds and sandy soil, and dysentery, which is often caused by badly cooked food, bad water, and want of vegetables." There were few doctors on the goldfields, and those that were there charged a lot of money for a consultation.

Roes and Responsibilities of women in the Goldfields

In the goldfields mostly men were digging, some women were digging.They were cooking and washing and ironing.Children came home to help there mum.Parents sometimes bring their child to their husbands if the conditions improved.Some of the women sang and danced for the diggers.
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Health

In the 1800s, an Australian woman wishing to become a doctor had a tough struggle ahead of her.Children had many diseases and died.Their were typoid,whooping ,scarlet fever, cough,ditherpia,measles ,and some even had diherria.Their werea 'Children's Cemetary" where children were buried sinced they died.The conditions were very harsh.Children died because they drank foul and muddy water.200 children were buried.Women died because of birth and medical assistance could not help.Many children,men and women died in the goldfields because there wasn't many doctors.