• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe the role and status of women in Britain in the late 1940's and 50's.

Extracts from this document...


1. Describe the role and status of women in Britain in the late 1940's and 50's. During the war women in Britain experienced freedom they had never had before. However, when the war came to and end and the men returned from fighting, many women were immediately made redundant without any explanation. The government encouraged them to go back to working in the home, looking after her family was seen as a woman's priority and duty. Women in Britain were used as a 'reserve army of labour' called upon in a crisis but expected to go back to their traditional roles when the crisis was over. People saw a women's place as being in the home looking after the children, they were only required for emergencies. Any part time work was viewed as 'pin money' (extra money) for spending on luxuries and the children. ...read more.


As well as the NHS, the Butler Education Act was introduced to provide more children with a better education. The school leaving age was raised to 15, and when leaving primary school all children had to take the 11+ exam, and depending on the result would be sent to one of three different schools; grammar, secondary modern, and technical. For the first time the act provided all children with a free education, and also gave girls an equal opportunity to learn. However, there were not as many girls' grammar schools as there were boys, so I infact girls were not made quite equal. Compulsory secondary education meant that pupils would no longer be forced into low paid unskilled work. Although changes made by the Welfare State were a great improvement in the lives of women, the government's insistence of women returning to the home must have felt very restrictive, and probably left a lot of women feeling trapped and unhappy. ...read more.


They finally had freedom to make their own decisions. With the 'baby boom' after the war, lots of child care books published in the 50's encouraged women that their place was in the home, and an idea that a working women was a bad mother developed. Marriage was increasing and couples were getting married at a younger age. Divorce also started becoming more common, in 1937 one marriage in 60 had ended in divorce, but by 1955 that number fell to one in fifteen. By the end of the 50's many girls were receiving grammar school education, and more then a third of university graduates were women. With advances in machinery and labour saving devices eg. The washing machine, women had more spare time and could really look to the future and start breaking free from their traditional roles in society by using their education and the other benefits given to them by the new Welfare State to start improving the lives of women. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Work & Leisure section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Work & Leisure essays

  1. a) With reference to the Items and elsewhere, assess the view that the introduction ...

    This would be because of the teachers making judgements about pupils from their background and therefore reproducing the "tripartite system under one roof". This links the teachers' judgements and labels with how well students from different social backgrounds achieve in the education system.

  2. Match Girls Sources Questions

    This source, being a photograph, makes its reliability more valid than Source C's, although I am aware of the fact that photographs too can be manipulated to give off the desired impression. Source E, again is an article written for a middle class audience and middle class newspaper called The Echo.

  1. To what extent did women become more emancipated in the period 1800-1914? In 1800 ...

    The focus at this time was on universal education of all, but this education was gender specific, as the academic education of boys seemed to take priority. This does not mean to say that this did not aid women's emancipation, as the skills acquired would be very useful in the suffragette years to come.

  2. study I am reviewing is "Are NHS patients becoming increasingly consumerist?".

    A questionnaire would give the researcher good reliability. Critical Analysis of Theoretical Context As there is no clear theoretical context approached in this study I am unable to analysis it but I think it would have improved the study if the researcher had established a theoretical approach. It may give it a clearer understanding if we could see the theory behind it.

  1. To what extent had the role and status of women in society improve by ...

    (Picture to show the new teaching profession and compulsive education.) Pre 1870 marriage was seen more as a business in which a women who was a possession of her father and the only way for him to pass his responsibilities onto another man is for him to make sure his daughter marries.

  2. What was the role of the government in developing Elementary Education 1833-1870?

    They may have been struggling because the higher classes were sending their children to school so they would have had a tremendous advantage over the poor and uneducated children when they both contest for work, as they got older. A link the raising population had with the changes outside education is firstly the 1832 Great Reform Act.

  1. What were the lives of people like in the 19th century cities?

    Not quite functional. Various other formal sports got to be sport in which you could get challenged: football, rugby, tennis, swimming, golf and athletics.

  2. Describe the employment opportunities of women in Britain in 1914 at the outbreak of ...

    The middle and upper class woman had greater access to birth control knowledge than working class women. Information became more widely available in the later nineteenth century and contraceptive devices began to be sold at reasonable prices. Despite greater affordability, working class women were left with abstinence or abortion as

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work