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Role of Women in the first world war

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Introduction

Role of women in world war one - essay Before world war one, women typically took on the role of the homemaker doing the annual duties of cooking, cleaning of the house, caring for the children, maintaining the yard and sowing clothing for the whole family. Women were mainly judged on their beauty and appearance rather than their ability at something or their intelligence. Although women had worked in the textile industry since the 1880's, they were forbidden to pursue a career in industry and other positions involving any real responsibility. Before the war women were also seen as 'below' the men. Women could not vote and it was very rare for a woman to attend university. Britain was ruled by men and women had to live with not voicing their opinions. Before the war it was rare for a woman in Britain to enrol in higher courses of mathematics or science because it was frowned upon for a woman to work in a male dominated industry. ...read more.

Middle

Little effort was made to ease the change from working in the home to the work place. Few employers provided childcare for working mothers or even set aside toilets for the female workers. But most employers set up schools in order supply more skilled female workers into the factories. These schools taught the women upholstering, trimming, and other work calling for skilled operatives. With so many men fighting, women brought in the harvests and kept the farms going. The Women's Land Army played a crucial role in doing this when the men who would normally work on the farms never returned or returned disabled from the war. One of the comments made by women in the Women's Land Army was that, "there feet were never dry even in dry weather - simply because they had to work early in the morning and the dew on the grass would enter the boots through the lace holes," World war one gave women a chance to show a male dominated society that they could so simply more than stay at home and bring up children. ...read more.

Conclusion

From the 19th century to 1911, between 11 and 13 per cent of the female population in England and Wales were domestic servants. By 1931, the percentage had dropped to under eight per cent. For the middle classes, the decline of domestic servants was aided by the rise of domestic appliances, such as cookers, electric irons and vacuum cleaners. The popularity of 'labour-saving devices' does not, however, explain the dramatic drop in the servant population. Middle-class women continued to clamour for servants, but working women who might previously have been enticed into service were being drawn away by alternative employment opening up to satisfy the demands of war. Therefore, nearly half of the first recruits to the London General Omnibus Company in 1916 were former domestic servants. The advantages of these alternative employments over domestic service were obvious: wages were higher, conditions better, and independence enhanced. Women's role during the war changed the lives of women today because of the right to make careers, join the politics and vote. By Sarah Mcentee 10e ...read more.

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