Working women pursued their own solutions to hunger and poverty by fighting for improved wages and working conditions. Women faced discrimination from their bosses and from their male trade union leaders, who viewed them as “unskilled” workers more interested in marriage than their careers. In November 1909, women garment workers defied these expectations. Some 20,000 women took on New York City’s shirtwaist makers, walking off the job and enduring harassment and hundreds of arrests for eleven weeks through the winter. The “Uprising of the 20,000” inspired union organizing among women across the country that increased wages for thousands.
Galleries & Exhibits
- 11865-1925: Hunger in the Industrial City
- 21929-1940: America in Crisis and Recovery
- 31945-1965: WWII and the Paradoxes of the Postwar Era
- 41955-1980: The Fight for the Right to Food
- 51975-1996: The Unmaking of the Great Society
- 61997-Present: How It Is — And How It Should Be