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Did the First World War liberate British women?

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Did the First World War liberate British women? By Ruth Jagger Introduction In this assignment I will be studying what effects world war one had on British women. I will examine different sources to reach a conclusion. I will describe what life was like for women before, during and after the First World War. I will comment on the utility and reliability for each source I use. By the end of my assignment I will of reached a conclusion and state my opinion on weather I thought world war one had liberated British women. In source A1 the author describes how women went from working in factories to becoming housewives. Women workers gradually decreased from 1819, this was because child labour was gradually being restricted and so now people were realizing that the children needed looking after, this role fell to the women. This role became very important, women had no way of getting out especially when Queen Victoria gave a statement saying "Let women be what God intended them to be, a helpmate to men." Everyone agreed with their role in life even the Queen. One in four married women were employed by 1911. The situation remained like this untill about 1914. I would say that this source is reliable because it was written by a woman called Ann Oakleym who's book "house wife" was published in 1974, she would have no reason to lie about her experiences and she witnessed how life was during that era. I would also say that this source is useful because it gives a lot of information about the gradual decrease in un-employment in women and how they managed to fight for legal rights. Describes from the dates 1760-1950, before, during and after the war. Source A2 describes the role of women before the war. "A woman's place was in the house caring for her family" men believed that women were not as intelligent as them and could not handle work that required leadership. ...read more.


I would say that it would be useful in the sense that we can see what men thought of Emily Davison. Source B11 talks about how women suffragettes suffered in prison when they refused to eat. Mary Leigh, a women suffragette describes how she was pinned down by two wardresses and had a tube put in her nose, forcefeeding her because she refused to eat. She describes how painfull it was saying that her eardrums felt like they were bursting and how she had a horrible seering pain in her throat. Iwold say this source is reliable because it was written by a suffrogette who suffered the consequences of refusing to eat. It wold be pretty hard to make up a story like that if there was no evidence that this was going on. So even if she did lie there were women who did suffer like this. Besides why would she lie because it wouldn't get her anywhere. I would say this source is useful because it shows the consequences that a suffragette would have to go through if refusing to eat which was common because women wanted to put their point across This source show how desparate or determined these women were to get recognized. Then, in 1914 the great war changed everything. Women's roles as housewives were about to change. Source C2 is written by a woman who we do not know the name of, but what is written suggests that she is quite young. She talks about what women did to help during the war and how winning the right to vote was a national victory. She explains why they voted for a government that was against womens causes, she says that it was because the country was their country and it belonged to them and not the government, so basically it didn't matterwat party they voted for the said that they could basically do what the like. ...read more.


The first piture shows a woman by a fence with a banner saying "Votes for women" which demonstrates women getting the vote in 1918. The next picture shows the first women M.P, Nancy Astor in 1919. The next two pictures show how some women broke away from the crowd during the 1920's they had their own individual style and they would smoke in puplic these women were known as "Flappers" The next two pictures show how the role of working class women did not change much after the war. I would say this source is reliable because it is a simple form of what other sources have described, the pictures are based on fact. I would say this source would be fairly usefull if you were trying to put information across in a simple form, perhaps in a lower school textbook Conclusion After studying the sources that I have used I have come to a conclusion that the First World War did liberate British women to a certain extent. Before the war women were looked down upon, less than a quarter of British women worked in 1914. Britain was a man-operated country and even today it still is. Women before the war were considered to not be as intelligent as men and they were left to care for the children. Women did not even have the right to vote. When world was one broke out men went off to fight leaving women to do their jobs. Women managed their jobs well and surprised most by their good attitude and skill, they got paid higher wages and at the end of the war in 1918 they won the right to vote. As time went on women employees stated to fall again because Britain went through depression and the first workers to go were the women but even so women could be more flexible with the type of job they wanted and could go and get a degree. They had a lot more rights after the war, they had earned it and they had also earned the respect of most men. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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