COMPARISON BETWEEN TWO CHAPTERS 8
In1906, in many areas of the land in British Columbia was either hardto clear or needed drainage or irrigation to make it useful.Communication within and between areas was difficult. The isolationof communities and farm areas was one of the factors in attractingwomen to the Women’s Institutes. Most women worked as housewivesincluding those for those who had servants. Another attraction of theearly Women Institutes was their program on lectures anddemonstrations in sewing, cooking and other household’s arts(Bourgon, 1979). Many rural women originally came from towns andcities in more settled areas and were unfamiliar with housework, farmwork and cooking in the less modern conditions of the country.Climate also led to the establishment of Women Institutes. Theawakening people consciousness of women was accompanied bytransformed and expanded view of the family as the essential unit ofthe society and the importance of the mother raising up the children.Rural women aimed at taking part in new activities and gainingrecognition by using their housewifely skills.
Womenshared the prevailing viewpoint that the problems in the societycould be solved by educating people for a change as a result of humanprogressive. Women joined the Women Institutes to satisfy their needsfor their education, power, companionship and recognition. Later onthe government organized a club for rural women (Robin, 1972). Rurallife was idealized as uplifting, pure and vital to the country’swell-being. As a result, the government sponsored the Farmers’Institutes to teach farmers for their labors to be easier and moreproductive. Government shared the belief that agriculture was thebasic industry of their country, the child as the greatest asset andthe womanhood status are the standard of civilization. The governmentorganized the agricultural policy to educate women in ways of makingthe land more productive and enhance women’s aid of makingagriculture more attractive to their children. The women’straditional agricultural fields included the dairying, poultry andgardening would also help on increasing the productivity of Columbianfarms.
Theissue of woman suffrage also led to the organization of Women’sInstitutes. The organization of the institutes was response to theprevailing climate, the requirements for the government policy andthe needs of women. Home economics was also introduced in Women’sInstitutes. Prevailing social attitudes supported that the women’srole was that of being a spouse, mother, and a homemaker. Canning offruits, meats, vegetables, millinery, baking and food values werefavorite topics (Schulz, 1955). The first order of the business formany Women’s Institutes was to raise funds, build or improve theirhall for their own and society use. Some Institutes preserved thelocal historic sites.
TheWomen’s Institutions also beautified public areas by planting treesand flowers and cleaning up the compound. The institutes alsoprovided the restrooms into towns where rural women together withtheir children would rest after shopping. Women’s Institutesimproved local roads and transportation facilities. The memberspresented resolutions and petitions to the provincial and localgovernments and to transport companies for repairing, extending andimproving railways and roads (Schulz, 1955). Women’s Institutionsaimed at developing the community social life by organizingrecreational activities, social events, monthly institute meetingsand general friendliness which did much to relieve loneliness in thecommunity.
CanadianWorkers’ Educational Association (WEA) was founded in 1903 byAlbert Mansbridge, a clerical employee in the cooperative movement.The aim of WEA was meant to provide a link between learning and laborby proving higher education to working people. Mansbridge understoodthat WEA would succeed if only the workers controlled theorganization, fulfilled and delineated their educational needs. WEAwas successfully established in 1918 with an interest on socialreform. All educators stressed that the main purpose of WEA was toprovide education for citizenship (Mansbridge, 1944). Meanwhile, inOntario strike activities increased enormously, trade unionism grewrapidly and labor political action expanded to start middle classacademics. The education supporters of WEA had other aims whereuniversity elites saw the organization as a medium for training laborleaders to play a larger in the society. The academics demanded WEAto provide cultural, liberal and social education but not technical.WEA believed that workers with more knowledge would assist inimproving the existing social and political systems. WEA assistedmany working people to gain education denied in the youth stage(Mansbridge, 1944).
Workerseducation was regarded by some working people as a contribution toboth developments of the labor movement and personal growth. Aliberal education was also regarded to bring bad effect on emotionaland intellectual health in workers. The WEA association was evercautious, determined to retain broad support from the government andthe university. Some prominent leaders in WEA believed scientific andthorough study of the society would lead them into a socialistposition. In one way, the educationalists saw the association as anexperiment in social control and on the other way, the activists oflabor hoped to reduce the imbalance of power in the society andcreation of labor (Berger, 1970). In the first decade, WEA found itdifficult to convince very many unorganized workers to join theAssociation. Later, the unorganized tended to share the associations’suspicious of social mores and education imposed from above.
Duringthat time, many members were stenographers, salesperson, clerks andsome professional and business people took WEA classes. Efforts weremade to diversify the curriculum where courses such as Trade-UnionLaw, Cooperation and Metallurgy were offered. The Associationcomprised of women who also attended the classes. Many of thosefemale students were housewives, but there some who were in theworkforce. What drove women to attend the classes was because theirchildren usually left them after they got educated. The women who gotinvolved in WEA classes learned about friendships and labor matterswhich were of more importance. Most women members got an opportunitythrough WEA to get out house with the aim of meeting and learningfrom others. In 1930s, WEA became a worldwide organization wherelocal associations took distinct characteristics and enjoyed autonomydegree (Berger, 1970). The association also got involved in visualand radio education. Despite the WEA’s eventual failures, theassociation left a mark on the labor movement. The path-breakingefforts of WEA in labor research and education became useful modelsfor the future trade-union educational programs.
Betweenthe two chapters, there is formation of institutions. In the firstchapter, Women Institute was formed with the aim of educating thewomen in fields such as cooking, farming and other household arts. Inthe second chapter, the same scenario happened where Worker’sEducational Association was formed with the aim of providingeducation to working people. In both chapters, it is revealed thatthe main aim of organizing institutes and institutions is help peopleto grow socially and politically. After the person excels ineducation he or she is capable of socializing with other people,which is necessary in politics. Education also helps in the growth ofpersonality. Women Institutes in the long-run led to economic growthand development where the women engaged themselves in agriculturalproduction.
Women’sInstitutes improved local roads and transportation facilities. Womenwere also taught on how to can fruits, meats, and vegetables, whichwould result to economic growth development. WEA would also lead toeconomic growth and development because through the acquisition ofknowledge and skills to the working people would result in workersbeing efficient in working place. Increase on productivity would beexperienced hence raising economic status of the country. Bothassociations in both chapters brought a need of creation of otherassociations offering the same services for competition. Competitionassisted the associations on improving on their services and in othercases forming unions with smaller organizations. Lastly, bothchapters revealed on improvement in the labor market leading to thecreation of employments.
Inthe first chapter, the Women Institutions were meant to benefit womenand, therefore, men were left out. Some of the recommendationsinclude creating institutions for men in order to ensure men are alsoeducated. In other words, formation of institutions should considergender equality. WEA, in the second chapter, considered onlyeducating working class people. They should have included non-workersor the jobless people so as ensure equality in the provision ofeducation.
Conclusively,women play an important role in the society. Educating women is likeeducating the whole society. Women’s Institutions led to theeconomic growth and development of the country through theagricultural sector. The Women’s Institutions demanded betterroads, railways, schools, hospitals and recreational facilities inwhich in the long run led to economic development of the country.Worker’s Educational Association helped additional of knowledge andskills to the working class people. It is, therefore, necessary toeducate working class people due to emerging issues in thetechnological sector.
Berger,C. (1970). TheSense of Power: Studies in the Ideas of Canadian Imperialism,1867-1914.Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Bourgon,N. (1979). RubberBoots for Dancing and Other Memories of Pioneer Life in the BulkleyValley.Smithers: Tona and Janet Hetherington.
Mansbridge,A. (1944). TheKingdom of the Mind.London: J. M. Dent.
Robin,M. (1972). TheRush for Spoils: The Company Province.Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Limited.
Schulz,J. (1955). TheRise and Fall of Canadian Farm Organisations.Winnipeg: The author.