What Was the State of Women's Rights in the 1930s?

Despite the strides made during the 1920s with the passage of the 19th amendment, women's rights in the 1930s were almost nonexistent. In the early '30s, the country dealt with the Great Depression and women's rights were put on the back burner.

At the beginning of the decade, many women were faced with the task of helping their husbands make ends meet, so they traded their skills to earn small amounts of money or food for their families.

In 1935, Chicago housewives and the Detroit Housewives' League, protested high meat prices by burning down a packing house, effectively removing all meat from the city. However, small strides were not enough to help those women who were ridiculed and criticized for taking jobs away from men.

Women continued trying to find their place among men in the work force. Those women who found jobs eventually equaled the number of unemployed in the country, and although the women faced heavy opposition, they held cleaning, nursing or clerical positions that could not easily be filled by men at the time.

Although they worked to support their families and many women were the sole supporters during the 1930s, the type of work they did reinforced the notion of "women's work," something women would fight for decades to overcome.