Women faced a variety experiences during the Great Depression, depending mainly on their socioeconomic status and race. However, the typical woman in the 1930s, if she was married, was married to a man who had lost his job or taken a pay cut. Thus, typically, women during the Great Depression faced a decrease in income. In this context, women took on important roles as economic planners in their families. Women were often the "budget gate-keepers" in their families, keeping tight budgets, giving up former luxuries like going to the movies or shopping, and even making their own clothing and other household items.
Thus, unlike many men who were emasculated or ashamed when they lost their roles as breadwinners ad supporters of their families, many women actually found themselves taking on more important roles and responsibilities. Housewives did not lose their jobs during the Depression; indeed, they often found their jobs as housewives and mothers were even more important and valued.
This is not to say that women did not suffer during the Depression. For the few jobs that were available, men were favored over women, and minority women were almost always least likely to secure employment. Immigrant American women also faced deportation if they could not secure jobs. Finally, women who lived on farms faced additional difficulties as the Dust Bowl ravaged the West and Mid West. Women also typically did not benefit from the reforms of the New Deal, such as the Wagner Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act, because these laws did not apply equally to women.