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David Livingstone Birthplace’s Gender Inequality Education Pack

Download this free education pack from David Livingstone Birthplace's to learn more about gender inequality during the industrial revolution.

Suitable for: KS2, KS3

Subjects: Citizenship, History, PSHE


Explore gender inequality.

In the Victorian era when David Livingstone began exploring, ideas about the roles of men and women in Britain were very different from those in Southern Africa. In Victorian Britain, women were treated unequally to men. The ideal place for a woman was believed to be the private sphere of the home, where she was responsible for housekeeping, cooking, cleaning and raising children.

Working-class women, however, had no choice but to work in factories or in the domestic service of richer families. Men, like David, worked and provided food for their families. On the whole, men held the positions of authority and power in society.

Unlike in Britain, the wives of missionaries stationed abroad played a much more active role in public. Throughout Africa, women were spiritual leaders, chiefs and warriors. These were very different from the roles of women in Britain at the time, as the women David encountered often did the same jobs and tasks as men.

However, during this time women were often excluded from historical narratives due to beliefs around gender roles and stereotypes of women and men’s roles within society.


Suitable for: KS2, KS3

Subjects: Citizenship, History, PSHE

Topics: Georgians, Victorians, Industrial Revolution, Gender Inequality, Conservation, British Empire

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About David Livingstone Birthplace.

The David Livingstone Trust (DLT) includes the Listed Building of his birth, surrounding parkland, and the 2,000 piece David Livingstone collection.

David Livingstone’s Birthplace is a dynamic visitor experience where people can learn about and be inspired by Livingstone’s story, his childhood home and their collection.

Today they continue Livingstone’s mission by enabling people from Scotland, Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond to engage in intercultural dialogue and participate in the world as active global citizens.