This New Deal Summer Camp Program Aimed to Help Unemployed Women

This New Deal Summer Camp Program Aimed to Help Unemployed Women

During the Great Depression, thousands of the unemployed picked up saws and axes and went into the woods to serve in the Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal program that employed approximately 3 million men. But the men of the CCC were not the only ones to venture into the great outdoors at the time of the New Deal. Between 1934 and 1937, thousands of women attended the “She-She-She camps,” a group of short-term camps designed to support unemployed women.

The program was designed by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who wanted an option for the 2 million women who had lost their jobs after the stock market crash of 1929. Like their male counterparts, they were looking for work, but the stigma against women who were working and the women who took government help made looking for a job even more difficult. Many women have been forced to seek diminishing private charity or have turned to their families. Others have become increasingly desperate, living on the streets.

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