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Women in World War One - Describe the employment opportunities of women in Britainat the outbreak of the war?

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Women in World War One 1) Describe the employment opportunities of women in Britain at the outbreak of the war? At the outbreak of the war in 1914 women were involved a great deal in several areas of production and services. Women stayed enthusiastic to support most war efforts and nearly 5,900,000 women were employed in Britain, some for the very first time. As job opportunities for women did seem to open up in Britain it was all limited as they had to work in bad conditions, low pay and having to accept the fact that the men were being paid mare. Employment opportunities opened up in the fields of Domestic Services, Textiles and Sweated trades. ...read more.


Domestic services attracted young girls because the school leaving age was 12 and no formal education was required for the jobs as most of the work was manual. It employed one person in every eight which was a significant ratio at the time it was one of the few jobs that employed large numbers of women. The conditions were harsh and the hours were long, there were no trade unions for women at the time so nothing could be done about the hours, conditions or the low pay. In the field of domestic services opportunities did seem to largely exist but there were still limitations such as the bad conditions and the low pay with no trade unions for support against possible exploitations from employers. ...read more.


The system of piece rate is when a higher wage is awarded according to the quantity of production, a women could not work as many hours as a man to be able to produce more because she had other responsibilities at home such as cooking the food and taking care of the children. Opportunities in this field is similar to domestic trade as they did employ in large numbers but there were no trade unions to help protect employers from exploiting female labour. As massive losses on the fronts grew they required more doctors which allowed women into medical fields. There was a lot of criticism towards this as things were changing and the traditional "women's place in society" had been altered. Women began to be accepted into legal professions, banking and journalism. In 1917 the first women diplomat was appointed. ...read more.

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