• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How did world war one affect opportunities for women in Britain?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How did world war one affect opportunities for women in Britain? Before WW1 opportunities for women, particularly job opportunities, were virtually non-existent. On the arrival of WW1, the few women who did have jobs were made redundant. This was due to the lack of demand for employees of the small, insignificant businesses that women were allowed to work for. For example; women fish gutters were made redundant when fishing boats stopped work when German ships patrolled the sea. These job losses meant that almost 50% of women were unemployed by September 1914, and the war struck Britain in August 1914. However, by mid 1915 the unemployment figures for women dropped from then on. This essay shall cover some of the reasons why this occurred. After the war had started in August 1914, it was clear that it would not be over by Christmas that year. This encouraged thousands of men to volunteer for the army, to fight for their country. This surge of men signing up meant that there were a lot of jobs going free which were usually thought of as unsuitable for women because they were too "demanding". ...read more.

Middle

Wages were reasonable - the average pay was �2 a week. Women could take up new opportunities for greater freedom and independence. They could go to the cinema, music halls and public houses. Working in munitions factories was not the only option women had - in fact it was mainly unskilled working class women that took those jobs. There were other jobs for the middle class like nursing, surgery, medicine, teaching, secretarial, military services (WAAG). These were reasonably well-paid jobs also, but there was no chance of being promoted, and women did not get the same wages as men in the same profession. One of the more popular of these choices was work in the medical professions. This was not only because many people in this line of work had gone to war, but also because more doctors, nurses and surgeons were needed to cope with the casualties from the war. However, not all of the remaining under 18s or over 40 year-old men were happy with this. This resulted in a lot of women being bullied and intimidated in the workplace. ...read more.

Conclusion

All men on the other hand could vote at the age of 21. These terms only gave eight million women the vote. It was not till 1928 that women could vote on the same terms as men. In conclusion, although there were a few disadvantages for women during the war, many opportunities opened up for them and many people realised their importance in society. During the war women gained the right to vote, decent jobs and the respect and recognition they deserved. Although they gained all of these things during the war, they lost them again with the exception of the vote after the war was over. It was not till WW2 they stopped being oppressed and treated like equals, and it was not until the 1960s that women were given the same wages as men. The war just brought up the idea of equal rights for women. It did not have any lasting effects, when the war was over women were expected to go back to being humble housewives as they were before. It was a significant step for women, but only temporarily. Cara Roberts 10/11C ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. Women in world war one

    Implying she was being picked on; 'None of the men' liked that she was receiving their full 'rate of pay as a result they never 'spoke to her'. This source is reliable as it was recorded around the time of the incident.

  2. World war 1

    Thinking that the Germans had been destroyed by the bombardment, and fearing that their inexperienced soldiers would become disorganised in a rush attack, the generals had ordered that the men should walk, in straight lines, across No Man's Land. They were slaughtered.

  1. How did world war one change the role and status of women in England ...

    Thomas is a historian who would have used articles of the time to write this article. Previous sources tell us about women's attitudes and domestic lives. These statistics from a report written after the war show a positive change for women.

  2. Votes for Women in Britain 1900-1918

    Women were given very specific rules and requirements by society, they were expected to marry, have children and look after their families. A working woman was extremely rare and so it was taken that seen as they do little to fuel their countries economy and political procedures, they had no right to a vote.

  1. Source Work- Women in World War 1

    This is because source 4 was written near the end of the war, reminding the government about what the society was really about, however everything concerning franchise for women was called to a halt until the war had ended. Therefore source 4 doesn't tell historians what they were doing during the mostly during the war.

  2. Battle Of Britain - The Popular Myth

    Klaus Schulz tells us how Germany was very successful in the first two years of the Second World War, capturing a number of countries, which included France and Poland, but the hard work of the previous years were ruined, due to poor tactical judgements such as the breaking of the

  1. How important were Haig's tactics in bringing an end to WW1?

    In 1917, the 'battle of Cambrai' began. Haig ordered 100 tanks although he still did not think that they were the wonder weapon and neither did the Germans. The Allies' new weapon was the tank and the new German weapon was the pillbox. It was a box of concrete with holes in it big enough for a few machineguns to fire at the approaching Allies.

  2. "The First World War led to great change in the role of women in ...

    Even if women did the same jobs, men were thought to be more valuable, thought to do more work, and were therefore paid more. Women had been trying to change this for a long time, but most of them just accepted things the way they were, and didn't try to change them.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work