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Describe the ways in which womens work in the home contributed to the war effort

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History Coursework Question 1 Describe the ways in which women's work in the home contributed to the war effort. The world war of 1939 brought devastation to the country but it wasn't fought alone, many people contributed to it, not just the front line soldiers but the people behind the scenes, the women. The war demanded hard work from women in the home which was their domain, in many ways, women had to find new ways to manage and run the home because of it. For one, women had to manage with the blackout. This meant putting thick black curtains, cardboard or paint across every window were there would be light, this prevented German bombers seeing towns and then using them as bombing targets. Even street lights were switched off or dimmed and shielded to deflect their light downward, traffic lights and vehicle headlights were fitted with slotted covers to deflect their beam down to the floor. This caused many difficulties for people such as frequent road accidents, falling down steps, or bumping into things. ...read more.


Providing the people of Britain with food became a serious issue at this time, German submarines attacked many of the ships that brought food to Britain and this caused a shortage of supplies. Britain imported 22 million tons of food before the war had begun; a month after this, the amount of food entering into Britain had decreased to just 12 million. So a regimented system was introduced, known as rationing which set up in 1941. Food regularly consumed by the average family became very scarce such as cooked meats, dairy products, tea, and sugar and chocolate. Everyone received a ration book which contained a limited amount of coupons to be given to the shopkeeper when buying goods. However it did cause another problem for women as they had to go to particular shops such as butchers, grocers and dairy and the shopping queues were very long and at times women would wait for long lengths of time to find out that there was nothing left. Rationing did help the war because all the food wasn't being used up and the men would be able to have enough to fight. ...read more.


So they had to be very creative with the little they had. The Dig for Victory campaign started because farmers were now growing food for essentials such as wheat and so if you wanted vegetables you had to grow them yourself, this was another male job that women had to master. Keeping animals was also encouraged and if you killed a pig or had more than 20 chickens, you had to tell an inspector. Although it may not be as significant as working hard growing food or building shelters, the way that women joined together as one despite their differences (and women are quite sensitive to each other) and helped their neighbours by doing things like each others laundry because soap and water were getting scarce, helped keep the war free of insignificant problems and keep the country together. All these different factors show how the women's work in the home contributed to the war effort. The way that women worked hard to keep the country in unity and in working motion, starting with the home, shows that they had a part to play in the war and their efforts were definitely worthy of recognition. ...read more.

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