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In the 19th century, a "worker women" meant loss of status for the whole family
In the 19th century, economic hardships periods were really common between the working class. For this reason, wives were forced to resort to paid employment as a temporary strategy for family survival. This trend was repeated in all the areas of England. It was customary for women to work outside the home in the textile mills even after marriage and sometimes after the birth of their first child.
Among the respectable working class, however, the joint efforts of husband and wife at family survival were tending towards the division of labor into separate spheres. Rather, domesticity for respectable working-class wives “signified” status for their husbands in the male wage-earning community.
Out of the 1454 co-operative societies in existence throughout Britain in 1902, only 145 permitted what was known as open membership, which enabled wives to become members.
If you want to read more about this, have a look at the full article on Tool and Resources.