The Gender Relationship in Postal, Telegraphic, and Telephonic Service from the 19th Century to the Second World War
Our research on postal, telegraphic and telephonic female staff pointed out the importance of these workers in the feminisation of clerical work – a job not related to the maternal function that in small cities assured to women an unusual social presence. Our contribution wishes to emphasize the battle of Ptt female workers in the feminist ranks and in the trade union movement for the acknowledgement of their rights as workers, civil servants, and women. Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the female staff fought to establish the freedom of occupation – particularly against the obligation to spinsterhood –, for normative and wage equality and for their access to career. In the period between the two World Wars, the postal, telegraphic and telephonic female workers, playing a significant role within the union International Ptt, raised new issues: better conditions of work (physical and psychological stress, hygiene) and maternity protection (family benefits and maternity leaves).