Worldwide, women are influencing businesses and economies on an unprecedented scale. Wide Angle's "1-800-INDIA" (2005) and "Pickles, Inc." (2005) give us insight into two instances of economic and social shifts being wrought by the entry of women into local and international economies. In this lesson, students will begin by examining historic photographs to determine how economic roles for women have changed in the United States. They will then look at contemporary examples of women entering the workforce for the first time: in India's outsourcing sector; and in small business in Israel. They will explore how these women's entry into the economic sphere often involves negotiation and the overcoming of obstacles, but can bring about larger social and behavioral changes as well. As a Culminating Activity, students will apply the knowledge gained in this lesson toward a response to a Document-Based Question.
- Compare and contrast past- and present-day female economic roles in United States history;
- Compare and contrast economic and social roles of women in contemporary India and Israel;
- Analyze documents offering different historical accounts of women in history;
- Evaluate the changing economic and social roles of women in India and Israel today.
Two hours including web-based part of Culminating Activity
- The Value of a Girl QuickTime Video
- New Confidence QuickTime Video
- Widows in Israel QuickTime Video
- Pickle Business QuickTime Video
- All-Female Enterprise QuickTime Video
For the class:
- Computer monitor or computer connection to television/projector for video segment viewing
- Computers with Internet access
For each student:
Introductory Activity Web sites: For the Introductory Activity, students will view pictures of women from throughout the history of the United States. The following sites are some suggestions for pictures, but other images may be used as well.
- Picture History 1
Picture History 2
Picture History 3
Picture History 4
Picture History 5
Picture History is an online archive of images and film footage illuminating more than 200 years of American history. These three sites provide images of women throughout U.S. history in various roles in the workplace.
- About: Women's History
This about.com Web site offers pictures of women in history. This particular site shows the famous "Rosie the Riveter" poster.
- American Business Women's Association
This site offers women in the United States a professional forum in which to unite and develop. The homepage has a picture of a business woman, but throughout the Web site, other images of business women can be found as well.
- Hillary Clinton
This is the official site of New York State Senator Hillary Clinton. On the left side of the site, various pictures of Clinton's career can be accessed. This site will allow students to see a politically successful American woman.
Culminating Activity Web sites: For the Culminating Activity, students will view documents from the following Web sites to complete the short answer section of the Data-Based Question.
- Asia Times: "Women's wealth raised to the power of 3"
Asia Times is an online publication which reports and examines geopolitical, political, economic, and business issues from an Asian perspective. This article discusses the accomplishments of Naina Lal Kidwai in India's banking system.
- BBC News: "Indian Women 'can serve alcohol'"
This BBC article discusses how a law that limited career opportunities for Indian women was challenged.
- BBC News: "Sales soar at all-women garage"
This BBC article discusses the success of a petrol station run by women in Delhi. The article draws attention how this job for women strays from traditional roles.
- Christian Science Monitor: "Women step forward in the West Bank"
This article from the Christian Science Monitor discusses the new roles Palestinian women are playing in society in the midst of ongoing conflict in the West Bank.
- MSNBC Newsweek: "Flexing Their Muscles"
"Flexing Their Muscles" from Newsweek provides information about Palestinian women becoming active in the Hamas party. The article provides some history of Palestinian female involvement in politics.
- Boston Globe: "Palestinian women win big in elections"
This article in the Boston Globe from 1994 discusses how women won 51 seats in local elections in December 1994. This article discusses why women are becoming more involved in politics and why people are voting for them.
Before The Lesson
Bookmark the Web sites used in the lesson on each computer in your classroom, or upload all links to an online bookmarking utility such as www.portaportal.com.
Preview all of the video segments and Web sites used in the lesson to make certain that they are appropriate for your students, currently available, and accessible from your classroom.
Download the video segments used in this lesson onto your hard drive, or prepare to stream the video segments from your classroom. RealPlayer is needed to view the video segments. If your classroom computer does not have it, download RealPlayer for free at www.real.com.
Print and make copies of the three student organizers for each student.
When using media, provide students with a focus for media interaction, a specific task to complete and/or information to identify during or after viewing of video segments, Web sites, or other multimedia elements.
Part I: Introductory Activity
- Explain to your students that they will be examining pictures of women in different periods of United States history. Distribute the Document Analysis Student Organizer to each student. Provide your students with a focus for media interaction, asking them to fill in the first column of the handout called "What do I see?" while viewing the pictures at the following Web sites:
- Have students share their observations about each picture aloud. Then, have them brainstorm information for the second column, called "Reflects Change." Ask your students to consider the time period, historical events that may have led to change, etc. Have the students share their ideas aloud. (Students may indicate that at the turn of the century, women did work associated with handicrafts, teaching nursing, etc., industrialization brought more employment opportunities, war leads to a decrease in available male labor, etc.)
Part II: Learning Activity #1
- Explain to your students that they will be examining case studies of women in two different countries: India and Israel. Distribute the World of Women Student Organizer to each student. Tell the students they will be completing the chart while watching several video segments.
- Provide your students with a bit of background on the first two segments they are about to see. Explain that Santosh Kohli is an Indian woman working for an outsourcing company in India. She is being interviewed about the role she plays in her family.
- Provide your students with a focus for media interaction, asking them to fill in the first column of the "World of Women Student Organizer" on India. Play the The Value of a Girl QuickTime Video for the class. Check for comprehension (Santosh did not receive the same educational opportunities as her brothers did, and had to struggle against her parents' wishes to educate herself and join the workforce).
- Provide your students with a focus for media interaction, asking them to fill in the second column of the "World of Women Student Organizer" on India. Play the New Confidence QuickTime Video for the class. Ask your students to share how traditional roles for women in Indian society are changing according to Santosh Kohli's story (Her new jobs allows Santosh to support her family economically and has given her new confidence in herself).
Part III: Learning Activity #2
- Provide your students with some background on the next video segments they are about to see: the women in the video are Palestinian women living in Northern Israel. They are all widows. They have started a small business together.
- Provide your students with a focus for media interaction by asking them to fill in the first column on the "World of Women Student Organizer" for Israel while watching the video segment. Play the Widows in Israel QuickTime Video for the class. Check for comprehension. (These women, all widows, would traditionally be expected to stay at home.)
- Provide your students with a focus for media interaction by asking them to fill in the second column on the "World of Women Student Organizer" for Israel while watching the following two video segments. Play the Pickle Business QuickTime Video for the class. Check for comprehension after this video segment (the widows have started a pickling business together. Fatima Nator is explaining why it is important that she is making money and working in this company.)
Part IV: Learning Activity #3
- Provide your students with a bit of background on the video segment they are about to see: Explain that in this video segment the students will see some of the problems the pickling women have to overcome to continue in the business. Provide your students with a focus for media interaction by asking them to continue filling in the second column on the "World of Women Student Organizer" for Israel. Play the All-Female Enterprise QuickTime Video for the class. Ask your students to share how traditional roles of Palestinian women are changing. (For instance, students may answer that traditionally women may not have had jobs outside the home and now these women are running their own business. Because they are running a small business, they take care of all aspects of the enterprise themselves. They have to arrange their work schedules around their obligations at home, including taking care of their children).
Part V: Culminating Activity
- Students will complete a Document-Based Question using online articles and the film segments they have just seen. Distribute the Document-Based Question Student Organizer to each student, and go over the directions for Part A (short answers) as a class. Also go over the directions for Part B, where students will use the documents and their knowledge of global history to write an essay. Provide the students with a focus for media interaction, directing them to visit the Web sites to fill out Part A, taking detailed notes that will help them write the DBQ essay in Part B.
- Part B, "Essay," may be completed in class or for homework.
- Students can research economic status of women in other parts of the world.
- Students may compile portfolios of posters of women in the workforce.
Students may interview local small business owners in the community (started by men or women). Have the students ask the business owners to describe any obstacles they have had to overcome in starting and maintaining their businesses, as well as to speak about any positive impacts their businesses have had.
Contact local social service organizations that provide employment counseling for women and invite a representative to speak to your class.