The Great Depression made women quite vulnerable more so regarding employment opportunities. During the Depression, professional opportunities for women changed a great deal. Jobs were very scarce, and there was a lot of pressure and scramble for one job opportunity amongst many women. Women quit working in farms and moved to major towns to seek employment. The few jobs that were available paid far much less compared to a decade prior. Some women did prolonged scrubbing jobs which were also rarely available.
Employment was scarce which made them jobless to the point of sitting long hours at the free employment bureau (Meridel Le Sueur, 1932, p. 1). Women were also forced to go hungry for lack of enough income to cater for themselves or their families (Meridel Le Sueur, 1932, p. 1). In some families, women were left alone to fend for their families for long spells and durations as their men drifted far and wide to seek employment to take care of their families equally. Women were forced to depend on charities for upkeep (Meridel Le Sueur, 1932, p. 1). On extreme circumstances, some women starved themselves of food in silence when they reached a point of despair as jobs were not coming through for them (Meridel Le Sueur, 1932, p. 2). Women faced jobs segregation based on their level of beauty as the more attractive ones got jobs easily than, the less attractive at the stores. Women were forced to loan from strangers so as to meet their personal needs (Meridel Le Sueur, 1932, p. 2). They were also forced to seek shelter and lodging from strangers on various occasions when they had no shelter. B Some women opted not to marry or even have children duet to the hard economic times (Meridel Le Sueur, 1932, p. 2). In conclusion, women seemed to be more vulnerable as they were more desperate to do anything so as to survive. They starved in silence, sought lodging from strangers, looked after their families solely in the absence of their husbands, were desperate in seeking scarce employment opportunities and so on.
The writings to Roosevelt shown despair as was the case of the woman who was about to lose her forty-six-year-old home as she was unable to service the payments any longer (Americans write to their Leaders, p. 1). Despair was also shown by the 12-year-old boy who was writing on behalf of his father who had lost hope in life as the dad was not able to service the family bills. A sense of hope was shown by the voting pattern of the workers of the anonymous writer who believed that the Democratic leadership was in a position of solving their problems (Americans write to their Leaders, p. 2). Hope was also displayed by the writer who still had hope in wanting to practice his rights and the other who wanted to notify the administration that prompt action taken could salvage the country before it was too late (Americans write to their Leaders, p. 3)
In terms of collective action, The New Deal came into play which involved the implementation of liberal programs that would socially uplift the lives of Americans. Congress passed laws and presidential executive orders to that effect. The great deal touched on creating more jobs for the unemployed and poor citizens, implementing economic recovery paths and policies and also carrying out financial reforms within the economy so as to avoid a future repeat of the same kind of depression. Individual actions was exhibited by the thousands of letters written to the American Leadership on the impact of the depression on their life, how they were coping up with the little resources that they had on their disposal and also how the people in leadership ought to help them in the current situation that they find themselves in which was caused by the depression.
Americans write to their Leaders (1934)
Meridel Le Sueur (1934). I was Marching, 3-6
Meridel Le Sueur (1932). Women and the Breadlines, 1-2
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