How did the Industrial Revolution transform the workplace for women?  

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Basically, the Industrial Revolution changed the workplace for women in much the same way that it changed it for men.  It made the workplace into a place where women worked as semiskilled or unskilled labor, as employees of someone else, and on a schedule that they did not make up.

Before the Industrial Revolution, women worked at home.  Much of what they did was somewhat skilled work-- they might spin fibers into thread (men were the cloth weavers), tend dairies and poultry, or make cloth into clothes, as examples, both for home use and as part of cottage industries that included producing goods for export.  They were their own bosses and worked at their own pace (not that they could take it easy, but they had flexible schedules to some extent).  This meant that they were much more in control of their own working lives than they would be after the Industrial Revolution changed the workplace and their role in it.

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