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date: 12 April 2024

Production Systems 

Source:
The Oxford Encyclopedia Women in World History
Author(s):
Daryl M. HafterDaryl M. Hafter, Bonnie G. SmithBonnie G. Smith

This entry consists of two subentries:

Pre-Industrial

Industrial

Besides satisfying the requirements of family subsistence, women's work has always contributed to market production. We can see why this would be the case by analyzing the elements of the pre‐industrial workplace. In the era before the use of fossil‐fuel‐powered machines, the only sources of power were wind, water, animals, and human beings. Like agriculture, manufacturing depended on many hands, and production was frequently limited to the labor available. Society needed to include the working energy of women, not only for reproduction and family support but also to maintain any number of craft industries. As patriarchies, many cultures defined women's work as unskilled work, work given low pay and little prestige. This stigma persists in today's post‐industrial economy; it is unclear whether traditional societies honored women's productivity more highly than today's do.... ...

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