Married women not wanted’


Was a headline in the Leicester Mail 27 February 1929.

It was reported that Leicester Corporation had voted against allowing married women to work for them. A motion at the council had been raised that no married woman should be debarred from permanent employment for which she was qualified, simply because she was married. Marriage should not hamper the ‘dignity and freedom’of women to ‘select their employment’, said a Miss Fortley, who raised the issue. She was seconded by a Miss Frisby, who added that the council had been inconsistent in the past, allowing women to do some jobs and not others. But the arguments from other council members, both male and female, were weighed against the two ladies. One councillor stated that allowing women to work for the corporation would ‘result in a good deal of disarrangement as business duties must necessarily clash with home duties’, while another argued that such a ruling would lead young girls to become ‘little drudges’who would be kept working after marriage to keep the home together. But the final reason for the dismissal was that one good income in the home should be enough,making the matter all about money rather than personal freedom and satisfaction and conveniently dismissing the role in the workplace taken up by women during the recent war.