Goldfields: Women &Children

By: Fatema


In 1854 there was 4023 women on the Ballarat goldfields, 5 percent of the people on the goldfields where single women. There was 3000 to 4000 children on the goldfield. 8 % of the women were shopkeppers. A lot of women had a lot of rolls and responsibilities. It was very hard for children to get an education because children were in tents trying to learn.
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 received 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 Responsibillties of Women

In the early years of the gold rush there were not a lot of women digging with there husbands. A few years later there were many more women and children on the gold fields. Women on the goldfields had a lot of roles and responslbilltles. Most of the women were shopkeepers. The roles and responsibilities were to cook, make bread, jam and butter and some women were panning. A lot of the women that were on the goldfield that were single used to dance and sing for men. When the women were singing and dancing, men use to throw small pieces of gold.

Women and children's health

While the gold rush was happening there was a lot of women and children on the gold field, unfortanitly there were a lot of them ill with dreadly disease.

When women gave birth to babys they were assisted by other women. Now a days women give birth in hospitals but in those day they gave birth on the floor or in a tent, often other women used to help the women that were giving birth. In those day they used to use tents for hospitals which was very hard .

Many childen died on the goldfields because of the lack of food and water, they did not just die from the food and water they died from the diseases on the goldfield. The diseases they suffered with was dysentery, cholera, poor sanitation measles. Children passed away by drinking dirty water from lakes that made them sick.

In the goldfields there were no hospitials.Many children and women died because there was no medicine for them.