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In what ways did the First World War change the employment opportunities of woman in Britain?

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Introduction

The Home Front 1914-1918 G.Holgate Coursework Assignment In what ways did the First World War change the employment opportunities of woman in Britain? The First World War ended on the 11th of November 1918. Four million British servicemen got ready to return to their homes and jobs. Women had been allowed to take over skilled industrial jobs normally done by men as long as the war lasted. Now that the war was over, they were expected to give up their jobs to the returning servicemen. Even in the factories that had had existed before the war, many women were pressured into handing in their notice within months of the end of the war; hundreds of thousands of women were out of work. Many of these women did not want to go back to their traditional 'women's work' when they lost their jobs. Domestic service especially unpopular women were willing any job then domestic service and some women stayed on the dole rather then go on domestic service. These women faced a lot of criticism. ...read more.

Middle

Act. It although removed barriers to women's employment such as the marriage bar, the act contained language that could discriminate females. The aftermath of the First World War used women as a reserve of cheap labour and a temporary substitution for men. Women were frowned upon in the first stages after the War but also gaining some legal benefits from the government. After the war, many women lost their jobs as more and more men were returning home. 950,000 of women were working in government during the war, after it the number of women had dropped by 32%, 175,000 women were working in munitions factories and had dropped by 12.5% and women in office work had also dropped from 125,000 to 90,000. However there were some rises in women employment after the war; women in transport had risen 11% and women in agriculture had risen 10%. Women were expected to return to their low paid domestic jobs. ...read more.

Conclusion

By 1919 women could do jury service, become lawyers and joined the civil service. Women were admitted to Oxford and Cambridge universities. A state register of nurses was set up, so nursing became a respectable profession. By 1921 women could claim unemployed benefit and women were entitled to pensions. Many people thought that the war had brought about a revolution in women's lives. Financially they were better off and socially they were free. During the war women had got used to things they had been frowned upon before, such as smoking, going out alone, and wearing short shirts. Politically their positions improved and many people in 1920 were talking about the 'new woman'. The war had really changed the job opportunities for women. It not only revolutionized the industrial positions of woman, but also revolutionized men's minds and conceptions of the start of work, which the ordinary everyday women could not do. The war had changed lives for women everywhere. By 1920, woman had made an important progress towards legal, social and professional equality and for the first time women had tasted freedom. ...read more.

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