In the 1500s the abolishment of tenure for landed

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In the 1500s, the abolishment of tenure for landed peasants and the sale of land as a commodity were two factors that spearheaded the shift to an economy based on paid labour outside the household. With the middle class yet to be formed, only women of the nobility did not engage in labour, although some were in charge of running their husband’s estates (Wiesner, 1987). According to Cynthia Cockburn (1992), Women engaged extensively in economic life in the towns, but mainly in sex-specific areas that had by long tradition been female. They were domestic servants, washerwomen, bakers, brewers and inn- keepers” ( p. 198). It was during the Victorian era, when industrialization was in full swing, that the ideology of “separate spheres” was firmly established— men as breadwinners in the public sphere, and women as homemakers in the private sphere. It goes without saying that this ideology centered on the middle classes; working-class women continued to labour both in traditional areas as well as in textile factories, where they were paid far less than male workers and excluded from the labour unions (Cockburn, 1992). It was not until the early 20th century that larger numbers of women began to work in offices after the invention of the typewriter (Srole, 1987). Today, not surprisingly, women who only work in the home are in the minority. Amber Gazso (2017) provides an overview of the issues facing different groups of women in relation to paid and unpaid labour, with a focus on those who have children. Martha Friendly’s (2015) short article focuses specifically on the lack of a national day care program, first recommended by the RCSW and the continued advocacy to get one. Required Reading “Chapter 10: Mothers’ Maintenance of Families Through Market and Family Care Relations ,” by Amber Gazso ( Feminist Issues , pp. 256 283)