Goldfields : Women & Children

By : Mikaylah belarma

Introduction

Life in th goldfields was very hard. Most men went to search for the gold while the other few were women accompaning their husbands. 95% of these of these women were married as for the other 5% were single. More than 160,000 women were among 600,000 who arrived in Victoria between 1851 and 1860. However as the years passed by, in 1854 they had found 4023 women were compared to 12660 men at the goldfields. Then children came along making it easier for the women at home doing the chores.

Women and Children's Health

Health in the golfields for people was very harsh. Whenever a woman gave birth to a baby, it was usually when other women insisted them to do it. There was only a little help through medical assistance during childbirth, though many, many women died through the process.Since that they had illnesses such as diptheria, whooping cough, measles, typhoid, and scarlet fever. All these illnesses made all women in the goldfields get sick and pass on to men and the children to prevent them to die since that it was too contagious. Hygeine also was important for men, women and children but although since there was not that much of clean water, people died of this, especially the children. when children had died in the goldfields, they were placed and buried in a place called ' Pennyweight Flats Cemetary' though many people muttered and thought it was called ' Pennyweight Flats Children Cemetary' because more children died than the adults. About 200 children died there. Mainly children died because of the diesases the had caught e.g dysentery, cholera and the sanitation.

Education

Many parents weren't able to educate their children since that they didn't have a good education themselves or their country was a non- english country. Some children were not learning that much due that parents move to richer goldfields. However there were some educated people including jornalists and writers. They would have classes in return to their payment in tuittion. Fees were bought down in 1880, and it made it complusary to make children go to school for 140 days. Sooner or later, there was schools all over the whole town.

Roles and Responsibilities for Women in the Goldfields

Many women had plenty of roles and responsibilites in the gold fields. About 90% of the women there do the chores and jobs such as cleaning, cooking. washing, looking after the kids, panning, drying and many other things that were important to them.Even some women got jobs as diggers and shopkeepers for some money to help them to survive. As for other women and thier children they all stayed home. Women cared and repaired the shops that their husbands and fathers left at home to help them raise enough fortune for their living needs.