How Did Women's Life Change 1850-1901?

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To what extent did women’s lives change 1850-1901? Women’s lives may not have changed a great deal between the years 1850 and 1901 but the changes that did occur did have an impact on women’s lives. Though there may have been some much bigger changes that came after this time period, it was the changes that happened in these years that kick started the change for women politically and socially. In 1850 women’s roles within society were extremely restricted and they had very limited opportunities. Women were expected to marry, have children and financially they were expected to be fully dependent on their husbands. Women rarely had careers and most professions refused entry to women. However, between the years 1850 and 1901 women’s role in society began to be challenged. There were a number of reasons for this,…show more content…
This very much complicated the assumption that women should marry. A series of female educational pioneers had also emerged and their efforts formed part of a much wider movement of campaigners who sought to bring women equal rights to study, work, own property and vote. This resulted in a great number of changes in the lives of women2. Women had started to gain a voice in politics. This was a big change as, before this period, women hadn’t been able to put forth ideas to even challenge legislation let alone contribute to the making of new laws. The custody of children act 1839 played a big part in this change. This act came about when a woman - Caroline Norton - wrote a pamphlet which she named ‘The natural claim of a mother to the custody of her children as affected by the common law rights of the father’. Within this pamphlet Norton talked about the unfairness of the current laws which allowed the father to have absolute rights to the custody of his children no matter what, yet a mother, even if not proven guilty of adultery or any other
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