Iowa Women in the WPA

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Iowa State University Press, 1999 - Business & Economics - 140 pages
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How did Iowa women fare during the Depression? This book looks at women working in a program designed by the federal government to provide work suitable for both skilled and unskilled workers, mainly women.

The Works Progress Administration continued to exist into the war years of the 1940s. It affected hundreds of Iowa families both on farms and in the cities. Noun examines the WPA's Women's and Professional Division, which was the overseeing body for all non-construction work. Until now it was often lost among the male-dominated programs of Roosevelt's New Deal, such as the CCC and the CWA.

This book looks at the job classifications for Iowa women, their pay scale, and the absence of equality in wages in the WPA. Florence Stewart Kerr, midwest administrator for the program, wished to see "that women get their fair share of wages in the new relief program and that the work provided for them is as near to their skill level as possible." The book shows a breakdown of the state by zones developed, kind of jobs assigned, and pay scale per zone, in addition to looking at what constituted skilled and unskilled labor.

Having a rich collection of rarely-seen photographs, Iowa Women in the WPA helps give insight worthy of a history lesson that can be applied to the roles of working women today with a special emphasis on wage equality in the workplace.

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Status of Women in the WPA
Sewing Cooking and Cleaning
Professional Projects

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