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Working for half the wages of a man

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In the late 19th century, women typed their way into employment. Demand was intense, so capable female typists found quick employment, but not on equal terms. “It seems to be the general opinion that simply because you are a woman you must work for about half the wages of a man,” wrote one critic of the system in 1882. The author suggested that women revolt by refusing to work for less pay.

Some women followed this course, asserting their right for equal pay, but typing paid more than other positions, and many women accepted less in order to gain entry into the workforce. This hindered and advanced the cause: despite that pay was unequal, it was more, and it gave many women an opportunity for independence.

The following article describes how some women fought this bitter reality.

From Brown & Holland Shorthand News, May 1882 –

© 2020, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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