Trabajos industriales. Rialia. Industria museo. Museo de la Industria

They were there too

Women’s work in the industrial age tends to be invisible because it moves, in a way, at the limits of the system. We could say that, according to an economistic criterion, work is not considered ‘work’ if it is not subject to a stipulated schedule and remuneration. However, women’s work, whether paid or unpaid, visible or not, was fundamental to maintaining balance in society and contributing to the general welfare.

There is also a belief that women’s work in industries arose from the need to supplement men’s wages to support the family; in any case, many women worked in various industries. They worked like men, but with a certain refinement of cruelty because, except for that of puddling that was exclusive to men, they did jobs as painful as the men did, for a much lower salary.

Many women were employed in loading and unloading coal, cod and wood. In winter, the work of the washerwomen and the coal or ore washers was torture because they were in constant damp, almost freezing water.

Tobacco, dynamite, tinplate, biscuits, preserves, etc., were jobs mostly performed by women, as well the ore washers or txirteras, the loaders, the women who towed river boats to land or sirgueras, the fishing net weavers, the sardineras or sardine sellers, packers, the washerwomen, seamstresses, ironers, cooks, milkwomen, the fruit and vegetable produce sellers or vendejeras (women farmers took these to the market), water carriers, nurses, etc. trades to which must be added the jobs that could be carried out in the field of domestic care.

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