Women, the Driving Force Behind Progressive Reforms

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Although when the reform of the Progressive Era is brought up it is usually focused on male figures like Theodore Roosevelt, for example. In many ways women were the driving force behind progressive reforms. At the end of the nineteenth century women were considered to be the protectors of the home. Throughout the Progressive Era woman used this theory to propel them to become more involved in the reforms of the Progressive Era by claiming that in order to protect the home they should move into the public field where they could exert their thoughts over issues such as education and public sanitation for instance. Which in turn helped to shape the progressive reform. Women argued that issues such as those sequentially affected the home as well. Thus resulting in large quantities of women joining volunteer organizations, usually starting at the local level and eventually expanding to the state and national levels. A variety of groups of women each had their own focus points. For example, middle-class clubwomen and settlement workers addressed issues such as education and healthcare. Working women pushed to raise wages, as well as to improve harsh working conditions. While African American women worked to fight against racism. The status of woman began to change expoditiously in the Progressive Era. However, women workers were primarily young and single, or widows, divorcees, poor married woman, or colored women. The majority of women continued to work in factories, agriculture, and as domestic servants. Nonetheless, new jobs were beginning to open up for some women as well. Numerous women began to find work in department stores. Middle-class women began to find job as typists, clerks, and telephone operators among others. All of this in turn finally helped more middle and upper class women graduate from college, and find higher up more succesful jobs. Although, at the

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