Goldfields:Women & Children

By Raja

Introduction

Education

While the gold rush was on in the 1850's children didn't dig for gold so they were sent to a standard school and actually not alll children were lucky enough. Very little kids were home schooled because in order to be home schooled the children's parents had to be well educated. Because of the condition in the goldfields familys had to often move from house to house and that caused kids to not concentrate on one subject since every time they move schools they will start a different subject. Many parents couldn't teach their children because they didn't speak much english because they came from the other side of the world. Some people were freelance writers or journalists and those people were their teachers and they usually taught under tents which soon started leaking or under shady trees. Then as the years went by religious groups of people would start to teach small groups of children.

Health

The health level at the goldfields was very low because no one was qualified as a doctor, nurse or anything like that because there wasn't good education therefore there were barely any jobs that would benefit a family.When women gave birth to children they got assistance from other women because there was no medical help so they made use of that however it was dangerous because lots of women got disease and medical issues. Such as Diptheria, whooping cough, measles, typhoid and scarlet fever and because of this many people died and also men and children died of disease too. A lot of women in fact almost all women were staying home to prevent their chance of catching the diseases. This meant there was very little women to wash, iron, clean, cook and take care for the men. However a small population of women built tents and huts for kiosks and there they would sell things like food and other needs. This unfortunately didn't give those women much money because no one else had any money.

Roles and Responsibilities of Women in the Goldfields

In goldfields there were very few women because some of them were diggers some were shopkeepers but for the most time they were at home looking after their children with very little money to live on. At the goldfields however some women got the very special role of being a shopkeeper. For that women sold soups and coffee with some other things. Then after years of digging, it was time for the men to leave the golfields for a short rest. The women and children would pack their things and head off with other families for safety reasons. The men leave massages on trees to guide the women and children to their tent in order for them to be picked up. Also some women set up tents were they washed clothes, ironed clothes and cooked food for the men that were digging for gold. They also made butter, jams, bread etc. there was very few space for women because the place was crowded and back then women were known to be elegant and feminine. Also it is because digging for gold was a dirty job.