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Information on women in Britain before 1914-18.

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Bibliography GCSE coursework by Samuel Waigwa,2004-01-13 Britain since 1914-18 by Malcolm Chandner Information on women in Britain before 1914-18 Words: 1.695 1) Describe the employment opportunities of women in Britain in 1914 at the outbreak of war During the outbreak of the first world war ,approximately 5.9 million women were working in Britain out of a total female population of 23.7 million. The most common jobs were in domestic service and approximately 1.5 million women working as domestic servants. In textiles about 900.000 women were working and another 500.000 in the sweated trades.theses jobs involved low pay and extreme hours of work and women earned less money than men and were rarely prmoted above men. Domestic services were jobs that involved women working in houses as cleaners, cooks , or chambermaids. Where they could earn �5 or �10 per year, and they often got one half day a week or sometimes a month off. Servants who lived out in their own homes were better paid. The school leaving age was twelve, so many young women worked in services. The payment would be low because many girls were looking for work which was a job that did not require a high level of education. Jobs like rxtile industry was a major employer of women, as it had been since the industrial Revolution. ...read more.


David Lloyd George became minister for munitions and this attempted to increase the production of weapons and ammunition. This suggested that many more workers were needed and this workers were "WOMEN". At the end of 1915, 2.5 million men had volunteered for service in the army. Women were needed to supply munitions to the army. They took the places in muntions factories of the men who fought abroad. They also worked in new factories that produced planes, weapons and ammunition. A national register was set up to collect the names of women who were ready to take on the war work. Working in the munitions factories could be or was very dangerous and nasty. Women would catch lung diseases and explsive powder which made the skin turn yellow. Most women were nicknamed "canaries" or "munitionnettes. Safety precautions were only basic and many women inhaled poisonous chemicals. As a effect some women became unable to have children. Regardless of the risks, hundreds of thousands of women worked in munitions factories for the comparatively high wages the work received �3 a week. Many women gave up on their jobs as domestic servants for the freedom that came with the wages. The employment of women was not always popular. In 1915 there were strikes against women workers and the government was forced to sign agreements with unions which assured that women would not keep theirjobs at the end of the war. ...read more.


The middle-class households women were not expected to have a job, the middle-class man had to earn enough money to keep his wife and children in comfort. The return of middle-class woman was expected to look after her husband and family. Relationship between men and women was supported by special laws. When a woman married, all her possessions became her husband's property. She became his property. He was not even committing a crime if he hit her. Women over 30 were allowed to vote while the younger women had to work for their very best. This led a growing of suffragettes who campaigned to vote for women. In 1903 the WSPU (women's social and political union) was set up, it was a non violent organisation. After the general election of 1906, the suffragettes as members of the WSPU began campaing to try to force the government to give women the vote. In 1917, the government became aware of the need to call an election. The problem was that, according to the law, only men who had been resident in the counrty for 12 months prior to the election were entitled to vote. At this point, the arguments of millicent fawcett and the National union of women's suffrage drewed attention to the work of women during the war, it persuaded the liberal leader asquith, to allow women to vote. In 1928 women over the age of 21 were finally allowed to vote. ...read more.

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