The Great Depression was a severe economic crisis that began in 1929 and lasted throughout the 1930s.
All over the country women and men lost their jobs as factories, stores, and other businesses shut down. Women of color were the hardest hit.
Without women’s efforts, many families would not have survived during the depression.
Wherever they could, women cut back on household and food costs, following the lead of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who insisted on seven-cent meals at the White House.
To add to the family income, they took on odd jobs, such as washing clothes, selling home-baked bread, or styling hair.
One woman, whose husband was often out of work, said, “I did what I had to do. I seemed to always find a way to make things work. I think hard times is harder on a man, ’cause a woman will do something. Women just seem to know where they can save or where they can help, more than a man.”