The liberation of women since the 19th century has been one of the monumental shifts in the history of western civilisation.
Women's history has grown in size and scope incorporating political, social, cultural and economic strands to explore the changing conditions for, and experiences of, women across time and space. However, scholars can be thwarted by the dominance of the male voice and experience in historical sources.
The Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) can offer a wide variety of resources to further research into both the contemporary and historic conditions and experiences of women. To mark Women's History Month 2012 and International Women's Day 2012, ESDS has created this guide to some of our resources. We have chosen data from across the ESDS services along with suggestions for their possible use.
Below is a short guide to the major resources available.
||Labour Force and Weekly Full-Time Earnings by Age and Sex, British Cotton Textile Factories, 1833-1906
||This dataset contains estimates of average weekly wages and numbers of workers in the cotton industry between 1833 and 1906 divided by age and sex.
||history, gender differences, women's work
||Women Shipowners in the 19th Century, 1842-1899
||This dataset surveys women in five ports (Exeter, Fowey, King's Lynn, Whitby and Whitehaven) who owned shares in ships in those ports. It includes 867 women who owned 12 per cent of shares as widows, spinsters or wives. It includes how these shares were bought, inherited and mortgaged.
||history, women's work, socio-economic condition of women
||Women Engineering Student's Workplace Experiences: Impact on Career Intentions, 2004-2005
||This survey was conducted to discover how female engineering students approached their career choices and intentions after their work placement. Includes interviews and focus groups as well as an email survey of male and female engineering students.
||women's work, women's education, gender differences
||Mathematical Women in the British Isles, 1878-1940
||This dataset contains a survey of women in mathematics between 1800 and 1940, including a list of those who acquired an honours degree in mathematics, their training and career structures in the field, and academic publications.
||history, women's education, women's work, socio-economic condition of women
||Gendering Latin American Independence, 1790-1850
||This dataset examined the influence of gender on the shaping of independence movements in Latin American by focusing on the ideas and activities of women as a social group on the public discourse that fed into these movements.
||history, non-UK, women's activism
||Afghan Women's Resistance and Struggle in Afghanistan and Diasporic Communities, 2004-2005
||This dataset contains semi-structured interviews with Afghan women (and some men) in several countries to develop a better understanding of Afghan women's resistance to war and violent conflicts; their engagement with multiple worlds as refugees or living in exile, their struggle for survival and/or their acquisition of new knowledge and power.
||non-UK, women's activism, gender differences, contemporary, socio-economic conditions of women
||Family Life and Work Experience Before 1918, 1870-1973
||This dataset includes 453 interviews conducted in the 1960s and 1970s as part of a larger study into life before 1918. It covered topics such as domestic routine, including the roles of husbands and children; the upbringing of children; emotional relationships and values in the family; courtship and marriage; the wider family; relationships with neighbours and perception of the community structure; experience of work and occupational history of the whole family.
||history, women's work, gender differences, gender relations, family life and motherhood, socio-economic conditions of women, marriage
||Mothers Alone: Poverty and the Fatherless Family, 1955-1966
||This dataset surveyed experiences of mothers living alone (either unmarried, separated, divorced, or widowed) and their experience of poverty. It surveyed the effect of low-income and the experience of raising children without the father's presence, the cause of their situation and the adequacy of community support.
||family life and motherhood, marriage, socio-economic conditions of women, women's work,
||Mothers and Daughters: Accounts of Health in the Grandmother Generation, 1945-1978
||This dataset surveyed the beliefs and attitudes to health and medical care, inter-generational relationships, and social history of members of a grandmother generation. It includes information on the grandmother's attitude to health care and illness and the impact health/care issues have on their relationships with their granddaughters. Only interview transcripts with the grandmothers are available in this dataset.
||women's health, intergenerational, family life and motherhood
||Families and Children Survey: Waves 1-10, 1998-2008
||Originally a survey of single-parent and low-income families this survey has since expanded to high-income families as well (from Wave 3). It is used to evaluate government policies and compare family living conditions and outcomes across income groups and waves. The survey includes interviews with the mother figure and surveys household characteristics, organisation, child's education and care, and income.
||women's work, family life and motherhood, socio-economic conditions of women
Family and Changing Sex Roles, 1988
Family and Changing Gender Roles II, 1994
Family and Changing Gender Roles III, 2002
|These international micro datasets cover adult populations worldwide and investigate attitudes towards working mothers, childcare, marriage, and family structure. The first (1988) only surveys eight nations but this expands to 35 by 2002.
||women's education, women's work, gender differences, marriage, socio-economic condition of women, family life and motherhood
ESDS also has a new interface for exploring the lives and work of 'Pioneers of Qualitative Research'. Choose to browse by gender and explore the contributions of some pioneering female researchers.
ESDS has already helped researchers investigate a range of issues and topics including: