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Page 6 A. EARLY DAYS - THE TIMES OF VIDA GOLDSTEIN
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37. NURSING IN WAR
In World War 1, 2,030 Australian nurses served abroad (with reinforcements bringing the number up to 3,000) in Egypt, Palestine, the Persian Gulf, England, France, Italy, Burma, India, Vladivostok, Abyssinia, and on hospital ships and transports.
“Everything here is unutterably sad and awful; thousands coming in day and night. We are in the theatre from 7am till 8pm then work in the chapel attending to the new admissions till any hour in the morning.”
Patsy Adam-Smith Australian Women at War Penguin 1984 p.51
38. SALARIES CUT BETRAYAL
Salaries of Commonwealth Army nurses were cut during the war and when protest was made they were told “If women wanted frills and furbelows” they must provide for them.
Nurses responded by protesting “It is necessary for the Commonwealth to economize on its war cost, but it is not clear to women why nurses have been singled out ... The salaries of young unmarried medical officers have not been cut down, neither has it been suggested they spend their salaries frivolously.”
Mrs Angela James Booth, The Payment of Women's Work cited in For Love or Money a pictorial history of women and work in Australia Penguin 1981
39. THE COMMONWEALTH CLOTHING FACTORY BETRAYAL
For many people, especially women, the war years were ones of financial hardship. Real wages fell. Almost all the employees of the Commonwealth Clothing Factory were women and girls, and their wages were much lower than those of men and boys in comparable jobs.
The Commonwealth Employment Factory opened in 1911, its purpose being to provide clothing and uniforms for federal departments. During World War 1 it made uniforms for Australian troops. For the first few weeks of the war its employees worked from 8am to 10pm ... then from 8am to 5.30pm ... Later in the war employees worked on Saturday morning as well ...
A study of employment figures of this and other war-related factories supports the argument that women provided a reserve labour force that was exploited in times of necessity, such as war, and abandoned in others.
Double Time ed Marilyn Lake Farley Kelly Penguin 1985 p.269
Women's already low wages became even more impossible to live on as war-time price rises introduced Australians to the joys of inflation for the first time.
In Melbourne, Adela Pankhurst, Jeannie Baines, Alice Suter and other Socialist women demonstrated to protest the rising prices; the three were arrested and sentenced to nine months imprisonment for their pains, though they later appealed their sentences and won.
Suzanne Fabian and Morag Loh The Changemakers Jacarandah Press 1983 p.66
40. 1917 'WE WANT WORK ADJOURN THE HOUSE'
The Argus 3 August 1917 p.8:
Raid on Parliament by Unemployed Women – Extraordinary scenes were witnessed at Federal Parliament House yesterday, when a number of women, headed by Miss Adela Pankhurst, attempted to storm the House and demand work ... about one hundred women rushed into the House shouting “We want work. Adjourn the House”.
Police cleared them out. It is understood that a number of the women present had been dismissed from the ammunition works recently.
Double Time Women in Victoria - 150 years Marilyn Lake Farley Kelly Penguin 1985 p.270
41. MORE ANTI FEMINIST BETRAYAL
The Australian Women’s National League (AWNL) annual conference resolved that the "ringleader", Adela Pankhurst, should be deported along with all who had sympathised with her and helped bring the streets of the city "under mob rule".
Double Time Women in Victoria - 150 years 1985 Marilyn Lake Farley Kelly Penguin 1985 p.270 p.186
Women and the Law: Admission to the Bar Refused - The Bar Council has defeated by an overwhelming majority a resolution proposing the admission of women to practice at the Bar. The Attorney General (Sir F E Smith) and others argued that it was unfair to consider the question while 1,800 barristers were on active service.
Argus Jan 20 1917
In 1918 separate wage claims for female and male telephonists were presented for the first time, and the Government decided to refuse women any entry into the clerical division at all. The problem was to be solved in the fashion long since discovered in industry: the increasing differentiation of jobs into male and female, with different rates of pay.
For Love or Money a pictorial history of women and work in Australia Penguin 1981
42. PEACE HAS COME BETRAYAL
Reflections - Peace has come. Let those who can still deceive themselves celebrate it. It is unspeakable, what there is of it.
We have saved the world from the Germans. Heaven send something to save the world from us. A wonderful people we are ... was there ever our like before? We consign to starvation a million people - women, little children and old men - firmly refusing to end our war with them, even when the war with their men has ceased.
Meanwhile our parsons bang their pulpit cushions and rant against "those nations that make war on women and children".
We bomb defenceless towns from the air, while our press is still yelling for the blood of those who transgressed international law and our gentle women and brave men bear these unnameable things with an equanimity in which can be detected not one quiver of protest.
Woman Voter July 3 1919 see Appendix 1
Our work is here, and we have to pursue it. Whatever will strengthen the labour movement, or the woman movement, goes to strengthen the world forces of peace. Let us hold fast to that.
In 1919 the female rate was set at 54% of the male rate
Women at Work - Kaye Hargreaves Penguin 1982 p.16
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