The Manitoba Women's Institute and its role in helping rural Manitoba women meet their perceived clothing needs, 1930 to 1939
Meiklejohn, Heather M.
The objectives of this study were to identify the perceived level of minimum clothing needs of Manitoba Women's Institute members between 1930 and 1939, to identify and evaluate initiatives of Manitoba Women's Institute groups to help women meet their perceived minimum clothing needs during the economic depression of the 1930's, and to identify and compare selected independent variables between Manitoba Women's Institute groups in relation to the members' perceived minimum clothing needs. To conduct the study, a census survey involving 50 members of the Manitoba Women's Institute was undertaken. A personal interview technique was used for data collection. The population was limited to members of Manitoba Women's Institute groups that operated between 1930 and 1939. Findings indicate that approximately 50% of the population studied felt their wardrobe was adequate to meet their perceived minimum clothing needs. It was also found that a variety of courses and programs were offered by Manitoba Women's Institute groups to help women meet their perceived minimum clothing needs during the 1930's. A positive evaluation of the programs was given by the majority of respondents. The results of this study further suggest the selected independent variables of geographic location defined by severity of drought, the position of an individual within her family unit, and employment status, were not related to a woman's perception of her personal clothing needs of the time period. However, a significant relationship was found between a woman's perception of her personal clothing needs and her perception of other women's personal clothing needs. One implication of these findings suggests that during the 1930's, a woman's perception of minimum clothing need was influenced by her perception of her peers' minimum clothing needs.