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Describe the employment opportunities of women in Britain between 1914 and 1918

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Describe the employment opportunities of women in Britain between 1914 and 1918 Employment opportunities for women increased between 1914 due to the enlistment of men. Very few women had regular work pre-1914 but many chose to work to earn extra income for their family and to support the war effort between 1914 and 1918. The Women's Land Army gave women was formed under the jurisdiction of the government in 1917. Most women who joined the Land Army were middle or upper-class. This allowed women who had never worked in their life to work with people similar to themselves. In 1914, 100,000 women worked full-time on the land and in 1919 this number had increased to 113,000. Discipline was harsh in the Land Army and the work was hard but rewarding: "From there I was posted to Lincolnshire for the back-aching job of picking up potatoes," Mrs Price. This was a good employment opportunity as although it was hard work, if you behaved and worked well, you had job security. ...read more.


Women were expected to and carried out these works which were before considered to be "men's work." An estimated three hundred women were killed from TNT poisoning and from explosions but the exact numbers are unknown. Many women chose this line of work as it directly helped the war effort and women who did this job were seen as patriots. Patriotism was a large pull factor in attracting workers to munitions factories and this negated the fact that the jobs were hard and stressful and for long hours: "That was where they wanted people most... that's where they kept saying, you know, your King and country needs you," Amy May. Women earnt upto �5 per week which was much higher than the average wage for an industrial worker pre-war of 11s 7d which was another pull factor for workers. Another change alongside the fact that women began to work was their working conditions. Lady Welfare Supervisors were introduced to perform a wide variety of tasks that controlled and assisted female workers; welfare supervision had: "...tended towards creating a better class of factory girl," Ministry of Labour. ...read more.


There were areas of work however where there was a decrease in workers such as domestic services. This is because these jobs were non-essential in a time of war and women wanted to be seen to be doing a more productive profession. Patriotism and camaraderie are both factors in the decrease in numbers of 24% for female workers in this field during the war period. Employment opportunities between 1914 and 1918 arose mainly from men who vacated their posts to go to war. I believe that the best new work opportunity that came up for women was in transportation. There was increase of 544% in female transport workers between 1914 and 1918. These jobs were fairly well paid compared to others and weren't dangerous or insecure (at least until men returned from war). Women became valued in work and were able to join trade unions and other organisations. Some were paid the same as men, but, however, many women lost their jobs after the war when men returned to work. Women began to realise their potential they had when released from the restraints of staying at home looking after the children all day. ?? ?? ?? ?? Michael Leedham 5N ...read more.

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