Compare the Lives of Urban and Rural Women in the Late Nineteenth Century

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Compare the Lives of Urban and Rural Women in the Late Nineteenth Century in Canada The women in Canada have experienced different lives over the past centuries due to the diverse nature of life ranging from their religious life to the working life. In the late nineteenth century, Canada was experiencing an emergence of industrial capitalization, which led to growth of urban centers. As a result, people began to move from the rural areas to the urban centers to engage in the production activities as those who were left in the rural areas faced tougher life. The lives of women living in the urban centers and the rural areas in Canada in the late nineteenth century was quite different considering the nature of the roles performed by the women living in quite distinct areas.
The rural life in Canada was very challenging for the women in the late nineteenth century because of the increasing growth of urban centers, which left the rural areas with limited resources. The rural families in Canada were exposed to poverty and poor health as the urban areas were perceived to be the centers of stable economies and good health care facilities. Despite the abundant supply of food in the rural areas as a result of increased agricultural activities, the people in the rural areas could not access foods with adequate nutritious value. The women in the rural areas relied on the foods from small gardens, which could not offer the required dietary improvements.
In the late nineteenth century, the women living in the rural areas of Canada were exposed to new venues for social interaction and education as the adults were enrolled for the adult education programs. These education programs offered opportunities for the rural residents to learn more about their culture, arts, and self-education skills which could help them improve their living standards. Despite the introduction of basic education programs for the women living in the rural areas, the major roles of women did not change significantly. The Canadian women in rural areas still maintained their major roles of serving as housewives, mothers and helpmates. They were responsible for the domestic chores such as making domestic goods like clothing and helping the men in processing farm products.
Acquiring education in the rural areas of Canada was quite challenging since the well-structured education programs were only available in the urban areas. The women living in the rural areas could hardly access adequate education because they were being prepared for domestic and farm chores only. Their children received very little formal education as they were required to learn most of the real life issues from their mothers as the formal education were not seen as important for them. The lack of formal education for the women living in rural areas was a great challenge in the effort of trying to improve the standards of living for the women to match that of their counterparts who had moved to the already established urban centers.
In contrast, the women living in the urban centers in Canada in the late nineteenth century were more enlightened compared to those living in rural areas. The enlightenment resulted from the push for access to formal education which could empower the women to fight for more roles in the society and gain substantial recognition in the community. The pressure for formal education for the women in Canada saw various women becoming professionals by the end of the nineteenth century. Significant women reformers such as Dr. Emily Stowe and Clara Brett Martin who lived in the late nineteenth century played important roles in inspiring women in Canada to embrace education. The young women elites in the urban centers of Canada were the limelight for the other women in the country as they motivated other women to follow suite and acquire formal education.
As a result of education for the women living in the urban areas, the role of women in the Canadian economy in the late nineteenth century changed drastically. The women were equipped to perform new roles that were previously performed by men in the society. Majority of the women in the urban centers were employed as servants, dressmakers, teachers, launderers and saleswomen as they had acquired basic education from the formal education programs that were available in the cities. Although the women were given very low pay or no pay at all for the services offered, the exposure to the economy enabled them to acquire more economic skills which helped them to better their lives.
The emergence of numerous women professionals in Canada in the late nineteenth century was a clear indicator of increase in education programs for the women. However, the education programs were mainly established in the urban centers while the rural areas were left neglected and only the informal education was available for women.
Through the acquisition of education among the women living in the urban centers, the women were able to gain governing and corporate business practices which influenced their living standards significantly. The urban women in Canada were able to secure professional jobs and earn wages which enabled them to afford specialized services such as education and health services for their children.
Despite the disparity in education provision for women living in rural areas and those living in urban centers, the women who had acquired formal education continued to champion for more formal education programs for the people living in rural areas.
The Canadian women living in rural areas have access to poor health care services compared to those living in urban centers.
The rural women were exposed to poor health care services due to lack of specialized health care facilities in the rural areas.
http://www.uniteforsight.org/global-health-university/urban-rural-health 63%
The rural women were exposed to poor health care services due to lack of specialized health care facilities in the rural areas.
Generally, the rural women lacked adequate access to health information and access to health care services due to the existence of poorly managed health care facilities available in the rural areas.
The few available health care facilities in the rural areas were difficult to reach as the women were required to travel for long distances to get the services. Very few women in the rural areas could access these services due to the cost implication considering the high levels of poverty experienced in the rural areas.
The people living in the rural areas experienced high levels of mortality rates especially during health crisis such as outbreak of diseases because they could hardly access quality health care services.
The access to timely health care services by women living in rural areas was also a big challenge considering the numerous commitments borne by women in the society. The women were responsible for scheduling the domestic activities, maintaining their homes and monitoring all the activities in the homes hence they could hardly get adequate time to seek to medical services.
The lack of rural female health practitioners or health care personnel trained in cross cultural issues was a big challenge for the women living in rural areas in the late nineteenth century.
This created a big gap between the locals and the health care practitioners as they felt very in secure in the hands of the male health care providers who did not understand the cultural issues of the local women living in the rural areas.
As a result, the women living in the rural areas of Canada in the late nineteenth century were very reluctant to seek medical attention and they were only compelled to seek care when they fell very sick.
In contrast, the urban women had the ability to access more specialized health care services compared to those living in rural areas. This resulted from the easier reach for the health care facilities by urban women since most of the facilities were located in the cities. The economic power of the women living in the urban centers could enable them to access quality health care services as most of them used to work thus earning significant amount of money in form of wages. The poor working conditions experienced by women in the urban centers forced them to seek medical attention frequently in order to keep them fit for their routine roles in their workplaces (Anderson 2001).
The lives of the women living in the urban centers of Canada in the late nineteenth century were better compared to those of women living in the rural areas. The health care policies in Canada promoted reforms for health care facilities in the urban centers.
This is because most of the elite people in the society and the British and French colonies who had established Empires in Canada lived in the cities. The social status of the people living in the urban centers made the health care facilities to be more efficient and to offer quality services.
The women living in these urban centers were able to access these health care facilities thus preventing them from curable diseases which were killing their counterparts in rural areas. Therefore, the lives of the women living in urban centers of Canada in the late nineteenth century were better compared to those of women living in rural areas.
The women living in the rural areas of Canada in the late nineteenth century experienced pathetic living conditions as compared to those living in rural areas. The poverty levels in the rural areas were very high because the women were involved in domestic activities, which yielded no income.
The women living in the rural areas were in charge of their homes and they only depended on the incomes of the men which were not enough to give their families quality life.
They were purely dependent citizens because they were not allowed to own any property and they could not even claim custody for their children despite of being married. They faced a lot of oppression from men in form of gender based violence as the men felt they were more superior to the women.
These women were deprived off their rights and were viewed as housekeepers who were not allowed to participate in public life. The women living in the urban areas of Canada in the late nineteenth century were not much oppressed like those living in rural areas.
The urban women were working and did not purely depend on their men for survival. Despite being paid low wages for the services offered, they had some financial freedom from the manipulation of the men who felt to be more superior.
The women’s rights advocacy was very intense in the urban areas as the few elite women in that society enlightened other women and made them fully aware of their rights. The women were allowed to own property and they had equal claim custody of their children just like the men.
The fight for equal rights in the society among the women living in the urban centers of Canada changed their lifestyle drastically. This can be attributed to the increased participation of women in the labor market as they were able to secure paying jobs just like the men in the society.
In the late nineteenth century, the rural life and urban life was quite different for women in Canada. In the rural areas, the kitchen was the primary tool for women’s self-expression in the society as women were known to save enough time and money for purposes of preparing meals for their families.
The women in the rural areas were prepared by the society to become better wives to their husbands and good homemakers for their families. The daily chores performed by the women in the rural areas as well as their low social status allowed them only to be homemakers.
Since they used the traditional methods, such as wood stoves for the cooking activities, they spent most of their time in kitchen preparing meals for the family thus lacking enough time to undertake other economic activities.
The only economic activities performed by rural women were seasonal farm works which involved planting the fields, caring for the plants, and harvesting the crops for exclusively family use. On the other hand, the city life was quite different because the women required a lot of time in work to get enough money to sustain their families.
The women in the urban centers were not able to grow a garden because there were no idle lands in the cities. As a result, the women organized their lives in different ways in order to get food for their families as they bought the households from the public markets.
The availability of food in the urban centers was very minimal compared to the rural areas hence the women living in the cities were forced to be very resourceful when preparing meals.
Most homes for women living in the cities were managed by servants as they went to work thus making their lives very different from that of rural women. Due to improvement in technology which was felt in the urban centers, the women in the cities could save a lot of time by using the improved appliances, which were not available in rural areas.
Despite the many differences between the lives of urban and rural women in the late nineteenth century in Canada, some similarities exist. Both women were subjected to stereotypes, violence and other social injustices. Although the indigenous women living in the rural areas were more vulnerable to these injustices, the urban women were also subject to domestic violence and mistreatment by men. Both the rural and urban women were discriminated in the workplaces and they often worked without getting any pay. This deprived them off their economic freedom thus forcing them to depend heavily on their men for provision of household goods. As the rural women were engaged in domestic activities which had no significant income, the urban women were exposed to similar circumstances as they worked for little or no pay in the cities.
The urban and rural women in Canada in the late nineteenth century had similar concerns irrespective of their place of living and their social status. The women were facing social, economic, and political marginalization in their living places which prevented them from enjoying equal rights as the men in the society. Both the urban and rural women were also faced with racial stereotyping, discrimination and loss of culture due to the invasion by the British and French colonies. As a result, the women were forced to force charitable and religious groups both in the local and national levels which were meant to fight for the rights of women. The establishment of numerous interdenominational and reform groups in the nineteenth century such as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, the Young Women’s Christian Association and the National Council of Women supported reforms in Canada.
The rural and urban women in Canada shared similarities such as lack of education, employment, skills, opportunities and income equity in their workplaces. These challenges hindered the bargaining power of women in a society where men were perceived to be more superior to women in all aspects.
The women merged to fight against all these inequalities irrespective of their places of residence or their social status. The few elite women who had successfully acquired formal education and become professional in health, education, law and other sectors played a major role in the reforms.
They championed for equality in provision of healthcare services, education facilities as well as respect for the rights of women both in the rural and urban areas. These similarities in the lives of the rural and urban women tried to bridge the social gap that seemed to exist between the rural and urban women in Canada in the late nineteenth century.
To conclude, there existed a social gap between the lives of urban and rural women in the late nineteenth century in Canada. The major differences existed in the access to education and health care services whereby the women living in urban areas could access better education and health care services compared to the rural women.
The other differences arose from the nature of the domestic activities performed by these distinct women in the society. The rural women were exclusively involved in household chores, such as cooking for the family, taking care of the children, and performing farm works while the urban women were involved in industrial jobs as the household chores were left for the servants.
However, there existed some similarities, such as the common concerns faced by the women such as lack of education, employment, skills, opportunities and income equity in their workplaces. Both the urban and rural women were also exposed to racial stereotyping, discrimination and loss of culture which affected their lives significantly.