Female mill workers in England and Japan: How similar were their experiences? Nikita Thompson B period 10/6/11 If a person who thinks they have it tough with their job takes a look at the fact that a young Japanese or British girl worked longer hours, got paid less, and put up with horrendous working conditions, that person might reconsider their statement. Despite the fact that Japan and England had many similarities with female mill workers, they still had a few differences. Young children and women worked in big dangerous factories known as mills, spent more hours then the average working person today, making thread or fixing machines.
So how were their experiences different? Female Japanese workers had to work more, got paid less, and accepted the role that their society gave them. Compared to English women mill workers, Japanese women worked more. English female workers only worked about 74 hours a week and Japanese female workers worked 91 hours a week (Document 5). This was because the Japanese workers worked longer each day, had fewer holidays, and worked on weekends (Document 5). English female workers had more breaks, worked shorter hours each day, and did not work on weekends. This is a big difference between female English and Japanese mill workers.
Even though in both England and Japan women got paid less than men, Japanese women got paid even less than English women. This is why they had so many workers (document 4). Since Japan paid the female mill workers less, they would be able to hire more workers and increase their production rate. Why would they want to pay women less? They paid women less because the women needed money and they would accept any amount given to them (Document 8). Japan and England had different ways they treated women and because of that the Japanese women accepted almost everything they went through in the mills.
In Japan the women were treated a little less fairly. Japanese women were more willing to accept their role in the work force because they couldn’t do much about it (Document 11). This is the reason that female Japanese mill workers got low pay and worked more hours. In their society the men were respected more and got paid twice the amount the female Japanese woman got paid (Document 8). Having few if any rights, Japanese women would be forced to accept the role that society put on them and couldn’t put up a fight against the unfair and unlivable conditions put on them.
But like the female mill workers in Japan, female mill workers in England were treated terribly as well. For example, one of the few men in the mill would beat the little children if they didn’t do their work right (Document 10). Though a beating is terrible, it has been recorded that some female Japanese mill workers committed suicide (Document 11). It’s because female Japanese mill workers worked longer hours, got paid less than British female workers, and had less freedom in society that we can conclude to the simple fact even though British and Japanese female mill workers had similarities, the Japanese female mill worker had it worse.