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

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Introduction

Describe the employment opportunities of women in Britain in 1914 at the outbreak of war. At the outbreak of war, in 1914 employment opportunities for women were very limited with only 5,900,000 women working out of a total of 23,700,000. This lack of employment, was mostly due to society's attitude of women and how they were thought to be less capable of upholding a job than a man. In one sense, this was true as one of the reasons women were thought to be less capable was because they did not have the same educational rights as a man, therefore most were not as knowledgeable. The school leaving age was 12, and if any parents wished to keep their child in education after this age, they would be expected to pay. Most people, if they had the money would consider sending a son, but rarely a girl as they would expect her to get married and have children, so their was really no need for her to receive an education. ...read more.

Middle

You were also given bed and board, and could send the money you earned back to your family. However, most women worked long hours in poor conditions whilst receiving extremely low wages. Unfortunately women were forced to put up with this as they needed the money, and knew that they would never receive anything higher as if they complained, another domestic servant would be easy to find. Another job at this time that employed a lot of women was the textiles industry, with a total of 900,000 women working within this trade. Again, hours were long and work was harsh but many women desperately needed the money. Wages were always considerably lower than a man's even if they both had the same job. For example, in 1906, the average pay rate per hour for a man was �1.47, and for a woman it was a much smaller sum of 93p. Another area of employment that attracted large numbers of women was the Sweated Trade, which was perhaps, the worst trade in terms of working conditions. ...read more.

Conclusion

Teaching was also a popular job, but once you were married you were expected to leave and become a housewife. Limitations on Education was becoming less, as women were starting to become more accepted. It was difficult for a woman to go to university and get a degree, but it could be done. There were a few women who attended lectures and tutorials at universities, however they were regarded with suspicion and thought of, to be unfeminine. Even after gaining a degree at university, it was still hard for a woman to be accepted into society and a particular profession. For instance, there were a few women doctors, but it was hard for them to become accepted as many people felt uncomfortable seeing a female GP. However by 1914 there were over 1000 doctors and it seemed that more and more women were beginning to be recognized and accepted. The First World War was to be the first opportunity for women to show that they were just as capable as the men. ...read more.

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