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Rosie the Riveter. WW2 - the role of women on the American Home Front

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Info Sheet- WWII Home Front Women in the Homefront: When soldiers began to get enlisted in the military, America had a severe shortage of manpower. In order to fill jobs, the government and other media began to place ads and articles in magazines and newspapers in order to get the women to take the places that their men occupied earlier. Many women responded quickly to fill the positions; most of them were lower-class women who chose to switch jobs and work in factories for higher pay. However, as more and more production shortages occurred, many schoolgirls were hired right out of high school. Overall, there were about 18 million women in the workforce, with most of them in the service-sector. ...read more.


Before the war, although some women did work in factories doing less intense work, they never did the "hard" jobs such as operating heavy machinery, unloading freight, or working the steel plants. Although some people were worried about women doing such hard labor, others likened it to "cutting airplane wings to make a dress pattern, and mixing chemicals to bake a cake." Women were able to break down much racial discrimination because of necessity, and women of all walks of life were offered a job. In total, however, only a tiny fraction of working women took a blue-collar job in factories, but they did manage to significantly boost the work in shipyards, steel mills, munitions factories, etc. ...read more.


The most notable image of a blue-collared Rosie saying "We can do it!" was initially coined by Rose Will Monroe's being scouted from a Ford Motor Company aircraft assembly line to appearance in a film promoting the war. From this, Norman Rockwell created a "Rosie" picture to symbolize these "Rosies" working in the factories, and the significance of their contributions. Women were one of the most important components to the war effort on the homefront, and gained many economic and social advantages throughout the duration of World War II. Although the men from World War II eventually returned and demanded their old jobs back, nothing could change the shift in thinking that they produced, and nothing lowered the number of women holding jobs to pre-war levels. Rationing, Unions, Blackouts, and Victory Gardens: ...read more.

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