Cleveland woman post

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She was an exception. Women helped tame the wilderness but seldom held title to it. Nor did many women own the homes, stores, and factories that marked the urban landscape in the years that followed. But women nourished and nurtured farmers, laborers, and property owners within the privacy of their homes, and they created their own organizations and institutions to provide individual betterment, social services, and cultural activities.

Women—wives, mothers, and daughters—helped plant and harvest, prepared, cooked, and preserved the food. They combed, spun, wove, and sewed the flax grown. Older daughters taught younger children during the frequent absence of schoolmasters. Female family members nursed the sick—often malaria-ridden—when they themselves did not suffer from "fits and agues.

For Americans caught up in the religious fervor that emphasized individual salvation, the push from personal perfection to social reformation was a short one. Societal amelioration underlay many of the benevolent societies and reform organizations that were founded during the antebellum period. They founded an orphan asylum and established a branch of the Female Moral Reform Society to rehabilitate prostitutes and assist unmarried pregnant women.

Rouse and her friends visited the sick and distributed food and charity.

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By mid-century, local women took part in activities on behalf of poor relief; 1, belonged to temperance societies. Only when financial needs outstripped the women's resources did they turn over their benevolent social services to male relatives, beginning a persistent pattern. The property rights of married women were beginning to be questioned and changed at mid-century.

Under existing common law, all property and earnings of women belonged to their husbands. New York made ificant changes in those practices inand Ohio amended all property and contract laws by Under these slowly changing legal circumstances, women, sensitive to community needs, devised ingenious and successful fundraising methods, such as bazaars, collections, and sale of handmade products.

After the war, the women founded a Free Claims Agency and an employment bureau. Transforming benevolence into organized relief, women learned leadership skills while contributing to the war effort. After the conflict, attention turned to matters at home.

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In Oct. Like the antebellum voluntary societies, the initial motivation was benevolent and religious; it focused on young single female women coming to the city in search of gainful employment. The association clearly stated its desire to promote "the spiritual welfare of women, especially the young. The dependent women who engaged the attention and concern of the Women's Christian Assn. In search of work, they were more successful while the men were away at war.

After the war, their economic opportunities narrowed. Cleveland's working women were predominantly young and single but of varying ethnicity. Light industrial employment usually was seasonal, and workers experienced periods when no jobs were available. The wages of working daughters were crucial to the family economy, no matter how meager and sporadic. Income was often handed over to working-class mothers, who managed the family finances and who contributed by performing many of the rudimentary services that had characterized pioneer women a century earlier.

Immigrant neighborhoods became the sites of new social-service institutions by the turn of the century. Settlement houses originated in Chicago in and spread rapidly to other cities. Usually founded by well-educated, religious, and middle-class men and women, they became most closely identified with women.

Programs focused on clubs and classes for women and children. Their collective tribute was ready for Cleveland's centennial celebration, when the event's special women's department observed its own day. This flourishing social feminist activity and sense of femaleness also led to increased attention to political rights.

While Cleveland had hosted women's rights and women's suffrage conventions during the 19th century, concerted efforts to improve women's legal and political status were few.

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The city hosted a meeting in at which leading activists Lucy Stone and Antoinette Brown spoke. The founding convention of the American Women's Suffrage Assn. No local organizations formed after national figures left the scene. Improvements in property rights, divorce and child-custody procedures, and related issues had occurred during the century, but primarily in response to pressures exerted from other sections of Ohio.

By the last limitations on women's property rights contracts were removed.

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In the Ohio legislature granted women suffrage in schoolboard elections. However, organized efforts on behalf of votes for women did not begin in earnest in Cleveland until Like the national movement for state-by-state enfranchisement, the Cleveland Suffrage League focused on gaining the vote in Ohio. Leaders and a constantly growing membership organized meetings, trained speakers, distributed publicity, presented ants, and marched in street demonstrations.

They attempted to amend the state constitution and failed; they placed the issue on statewide ballots, but it was defeated; and a bill granting presidential suffrage was recalled in a legally questionable referendum. In spite of great effort, Cleveland suffragists were not enfranchised untilwhen the 19th Amendment was passed and ratified.

But the 2 leagues, and other women's associations, did not achieve the successes after the mids that had marked their earlier efforts. For Cleveland's working women, female experiences after World War I were varied. For immigrant women the s meant the separation of families because of restrictive legislation. However, the reasonably prosperous decade saw some of their daughters native-born women in the growing areas of white-collar service jobs.

Black women replaced immigrants at the bottom of the ladder. Few groups escaped the hardships of the s. Unemployed steel and auto workers meant extra pressure on work-age daughters to seek increasingly limited employment and forced wives and mothers to find innovative methods of homebound "making do. Women also expanded health services, sometimes in controversial directions, founding, for example, the Maternal Health Assn. Working-class women took actions independent of social reformers.

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The s brought ificant industrial changes. Conversion to war production and the drafting of men meant that tanks rolled off Cleveland's assembly lines and women became a new component of the Cleveland labor force. During World War II, the Consumers League was hard-pressed to maintain working and safety standards for women workers in the face of legislation that undermined work standards. Still, given the massive efforts of women at home, at work, and in the community, it is ificant that no outstanding leadership or organizational bases arose comparable to the Soldiers' Aid Society of the Civil War era or even the short-lived Cleveland Women's Committee of the Council of National Defense of and Government agencies began to fill the roles formerly played by women's voluntary associations and expert advisors.

During the postwar period, women's collective activities reflected their family-oriented concerns. Parent-teacher associations flourished. LWV chapters were founded in new suburban communities. The young mothers of Greater Cleveland communities were the best-educated in history, and in spite of the pervasive ideology celebrating maternity and domesticity, many women looked for voluntary associations that offered intellectual challenge and social companionship.

The LWV, emphasizing research and discussion of local and international issues, filled this vital need for some. Domestic workers rode public transportation each day to the SUBURBS so that their employers had the leisure to drive to new shopping centers, PTA functions, and voluntary association meetings. The Cleveland woman post and aging membership of other organizations also turned to new issues. The Consumers League focused on the plights of migrant workers and on the country's health needs, advocating national health insurance.

Other female activists, often older veterans of the vibrant women's movement of the earlier decades of the century, turned their attention to reducing Cold War tensions and controlling the growing terrors of nuclear warfare. The post-World War II peace movement never approached the size and female involvement of the one that had flourished in the s and s, but it did engage a of local women prior to the antiwar protests and the revived women's movement of the s.

Congress at a time when women's political visibility was low. The rebirth of feminism in Greater Cleveland, like the movement nationally, had its roots in civil-rights activism. Unlike in the South, issues involved not Jim Crow laws but rather the de facto segregation that was deeply embedded in housing patterns and neighborhoods.

Seemingly overnight, female images and voices were prominent in many areas. Women successfully assaulted the protective state laws that female reformers had long sought but which, in the light of feminist values and goals, restricted economic opportunity for women. For 3 days in November, women's organizations, individual women, and national figures mounted displays, workshops, lectures, and performances celebrating women's activities and bringing to light pertinent issues and problems.

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Cleveland women such as Nancy C. Females moved into nontraditional professional schools, into the labor market, out to more distant suburbs, and out of the area altogether. The women who remained tackled the area's problems from professional and political as well as volunteer positions, including clergy, therapists, legal experts, state legislators, county commissioners, and suburban mayors.

Local women continued to plan unique and successful fundraisers, such as the female sporting event, Run, Jane, Run, for the West Side Women's Center s. Abbott, Virginia Clark. Scharf, Lois. David D. Van Tassel and John Grabowski Wickham, Gertrude Van Renssalaer, ed. Memorial to the Pioneer Women of the Western Reserve Go to case. Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Ingham, Mary A. Women of Cleveland and Their Work Morton, Marian.

Women in Cleveland: An Illustrated History See also specific women and women's organizations. Article .

Cleveland woman post

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