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The Home Front

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19 January 2003 The Home Front Question 1 In Britain, before the war, there were very few working opportunities for women. In 1914 only 5.9 million women out of a total female population of 23.7 million were working in Britain. 1.5 million of these worked in domestic servicing, about 900,00 women worked in textiles and another 500,000 in the 'sweated trades'. Because working class women were not getting a good education they did not get the same opportunities of work as the men did and if they did succeed they were expected to quit after they were married. Middle-class women, although they had some education they were not expected to work because they were the weaker sex and didn't need to because it they were expected to marry early. The reason why many women didn't work was because of the lack of education for girls. It wasn't until 1876 that education became compulsory and it was not free until 1880. ...read more.


They wanted the right to vote so they make the situation for women better, such as better working conditions and equal pay, however, men thought that women could not make sensible decisions, and politics was a man's business. The suffragette campaign lasted until the war. Work was divided into 'women's jobs' and 'men's jobs'. It was assumed that women could only do light, indoor work which did not need strength or skill. Women were usually paid less than men, even though they worked the same hours. Many married women worked at home, either as housewives or making clothes. An alternative to this was for an unmarried girl was to work as a domestic servant. In domestic work pay was low, a fifteen-to sixteen-hour day was quite normal and there was hardly any free time, even at weekends. In Stoke-On-Trent there were other opportunities for women in the pottery industry because of the delicate jobs such as painting. ...read more.


Some women worked at home and were paid piece rates (paid for each item produced). They made goods like jewellery, or painted lead soldiers. Women were easy targets for the owners of sweatshops. The workers could not afford to complain or they would lose their jobs, and it was impossible to set up trade unions because the numbers in each workshop were so small. In conclusion, the reason why it was hard for women to get good jobs in good working conditions was because education for girls past the minimum age was scarce so they did not get the education needed to do the jobs, and even if they did they were expected to leave most jobs after getting married. Even middle-class women didn't work because they didn't need to and were just not expected to. Although generally, it was not difficult for women to get work, they would have to put up with the worst conditions and lowest pay, often, about two-thirds of a man's or even less. Sorrel Sheppard Assignment 1 The Home Front ...read more.

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