Female Convict History

For crimes that required pity more than punishment convict women were forcibly migrated around the world. Until 1776, when the War of Independence halted their offloading to America, these 'unfortunates' were pawns of the slave trade. From 1788 to 1853 – 25, 266 women were transported to Australia. Keeping them company was British Middle Class ideology that became embedded in Australian society. Penal conditions exacerbated the oppression of women. Convict women were treated as slaves, just stock to barter.

Convict women must have required enormous depths of self assurance not to be crushed by the condemnation hurled at them. Language of the day confirmed a convict woman’s degradation. How hard to erase the prevailing belief in their whorishness and worthlessness. Until recently historians perpetuated the ‘immorality’ of convict women and did not look beyond the stigma of moral condemnation.