What Was the Role of Women in the 1930s?

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The role of women in the 1930s was primarily to become the glue that holds the family together through economic strife, according to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Though men were still primarily the bread winners, women were tasked with feeding and caring for the family on increasingly tiny budgets.

In the face of the Depression, women took on the role of keeping their home running on very little money. When men lost their jobs and found themselves without their identity, they floundered and wandered, not knowing what to do. Women remained at work even when men lost their jobs. They had to attempt to make what little income they might have stretch to points that were unheard of. They never lost their jobs in the home but instead took on more responsibility in helping their family to maintain their health and keep them together through the difficult times that they faced. During the years of 1935 and 1936, the average median income for a family in the United States was $1,160, according to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. This meant that a housewife had approximately $20 a week to pay for all essentials including the food for their family and their shelter.