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Women and the War Effort in Britain.

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Introduction

Women and the War Effort in Britain Jas Singh 10D Teacher - Mrs Ball 1) Source B is the front cover of the War Worker magazine, which was written in 1917. It shows a British Soldier holding a flag of the Union Jack, along with a female worker also holding a Union Jack. In the background of the picture we can see factories and industries and vast electricity pylons. The impression that we are meant to be getting is that men and women are both united in a common cause, and that cause is to work together to help win the war. It also tells us that the women back in Britain are just as important to the war effort as the men fighting on the frontline are. However, Source B cannot be trusted as it comes from a propaganda magazine, and so it is inevitable that the magazine has a different purpose. It was produced primarily to encourage women to support the war effort, and to persuade women to find work, and so some of the information in the magazine and indeed on the front cover may have not been truthful - it was just trying to convince the women. Therefore, we must question the reliability of this source. Whereas Source B was saying how attitudes towards women had improved, Source F is saying the opposite, saying that, "Attitudes to women workers remained, in many instances, negative." ...read more.

Middle

Source C tells us how the role of women had changed from the old "for men must work and women must weep." Women had proved successfully that they could do her share in times of crisis and that her contribution to the war effort was equally as vital as the men's contribution. Source I tells us how women had demonstrated practically their claim to equality with men, as they took on all the jobs that men had done in the past, and even set up their own Land Army. It goes on to tell us how even through danger and very risky hazards, the women continued to work in the munitions factories, and that now the role of women was no longer to be despised as their efforts and transformed their roles in society. Source J, 'The Duchess of Duke Street,' shows us how women of all classes united to help to war work, such as holding buffets for soldiers. In this instance, the women converted houses into hospitals for the sick. This demonstrates how the women were united in a common cause and how they put in lots of effort in aid of the war cause. However, we have to question the reliability of these sources. Source A is taken from The Daily Chronicle newspaper, from the 19th July 1915. At this time in the war, the British Government had put newspaper censorship into operation, which meant that the government had complete control over everything that the newspapers wrote. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 1919, a law was passed which meant that being female or married was no longer allowed to disqualify someone from holding a job in the professions or civil service. In 1923, a law was passed which meant women were given the same right as men to seek divorce on the grounds of adultery. In 1923 and 1925 the Property Acts allowed married women to hold and dispose of property on the same terms as their husbands. Again in 1925 widows and dependant children were entitled to pension benefits, and finally in 1928 all women over 21 were allowed to vote. However, in work the transformation of women's status was not so apparent. Women were expected to give way to men returning from the forces and to return to pre-war 'women's work'. The assumption that 'a woman's place is in the home' returned. The percentage of women at work returned to pre-war levels, although more women worked in offices than ever before. In conclusion, I believe that Sources A to J do not prove that the First World War transformed the status of women in British society. I believe that the sources are too unreliable, and we have to question whether we can trust the information they give. My own knowledge supports the sources that don't believe that the status of women was transformed, and my own knowledge disagrees with the sources that believe that the status of women was transformed. Therefore, I have to believe that Sources A to J do not prove that the First World War transformed the status of women in British society. ...read more.

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