• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

Role of women during the First World War

Extracts from this document...


Assignment One Q1) The aspects of employment opportunities that I will cover are the type of jobs they were employed in like domestic services, textiles and the sweated trades. The work done by woman in these jobs was mostly manual. These jobs did not require a high level of education. Women were rarely promoted due to the attitudes and mentalities of men at the time. Many people thought women were less capable than men. This is because women were not as well educated as men. Domestic service was one of the few jobs that employed women in large numbers. However, the pay was very low and the domestic servants often worked in bad conditions. They lived in the attic houses and worked very long hours. The servants were paid five to ten pounds a year and they only got half day a week off. Many young girls after leaving school at the age of twelve went straight into service. Pay was very low at the time due to the number of girls searching for jobs as only 5,900,000 women were working in Britain out of the total female population which was 23,700,000. This job did not require a high level of education. Therefore, many girls were employed in this job because the educational opportunities for women were very low. It was estimated that 2% of girls received secondary education. These were often the rich girls. Textiles and the sweated trades also employed a large number of women as it had been since the industrial revolution. Examples of these industries were clothing, dress making, jewelry, shoemaking, spinning weaving...etc Here, pay was very low, usually two thirds of a man's pay. Most of the workers in these industries were women. However, they also had to look after their children. In these conditions, women were therefore, an easy target for owners of sweatshops. Conditions in these industries could be worse than in domestic service. In 1914, it was not difficult for a woman to find work. ...read more.


Even though men re-took their jobs in 1918, the Victorian attitudes were now abandoned. Whilst it was a long road to equality, it starts with World War 1. The changing of attitudes, lead to women getting the vote in 1918. (Get info on role of women in ww2) Although men re-took their jobs in 1918 using harsh methods, the 'Victorian' attitudes were now abandoned because World War 1 proved women's worth. Also, World War 1 acted, if nothing else, as a way of improving the long term move towards equal rights for women. Only then, would women be employed on the same terms as men. Therefore, in conclusion, World War 1 did not give any immediate results on the level of change of employment opportunities for women. However, one stage for women was now competed, which was getting rid of the 'Victorian' attitudes. After the war, women could then move on to the second stage with the wide range of skills that they learnt in World War One. Assignment Two Q1) Source A suggests that women were not equal to men. Even women from the middle class would not get the vote whilst jobless men would be able to get it. This source shows that although women managed to get in the higher ranks of society, they were yet not awarded for this by getting the vote. This shows that it is not enough for a woman to get a highly paid and highly respected job to be equal to a man. If a woman with a good job cannot get the vote whilst a jobless man can, then the source suggests that the system of the votes needs changing. The source is suggesting what more should a women do to get the vote. It shows that it is not the women that need to change, but rather, the system of the vote. However, the source might also be a message for women that being well placed in society is not enough to acquire the vote but they will have to fight for it. ...read more.


This obviously means that they were also discriminated against the votes. During the war, society was slowly moving away from the 'Victorian values.' Women played a vital role during the war and this changed many people's attitudes. However, even though women were playing a vital role, they were 'greatly resented' in farms, hospitals and factories. During the war, women had for the first time a more challenging role. By accomplishing this role, men began to think that women were responsible enough to vote. The changing of attitudes of society and government in general was an important factor that earned women the vote. However, attitudes wouldn't have changed if women did not show their capabilities during the war. Also, the changing of attitudes alone is not enough for women to earn the vote, political changes were also needed. Certainly during the war there were many political changes. At the outbreak of World War One, Emmeline Pankhurst called off suffragette actions. However, after the war there was nothing stopping them from starting again. It may have not been a serious threat to the government, but it was one that was better avoided. By 1918, there were in fact few politicians who were against women's suffrage. Women had played a vital and responsible role during the war and most of the arguments against women's suffrage were no longer valid. The Representation of the People Act in 1918, gave the government the opportunity to give women the vote without fear off appearing to be giving in to women. Political changes were the cause of women getting the vote. However, some of these political changes wouldn't have occurred if women didn't work hard during the war. I agree with the statement that 'It was the work that women did during the war that earned them the vote.' However, the cause of women earning the vote 'must not be isolated from the great social and political changes.' It is true that these changes led to women getting the vote in 1918, however, these changes wouldn't have occurred if women hadn't shown their capabilities by working hard during the war. ...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. Evaluate the impact of the First World War on the social, economic and political ...

    Some women also remained working in textiles and clothing and Domestic service. However, the amount of women workers in Domestic service and textiles decreased. This was probably because there were more opportunities for women to get higher pay in more professional jobs.

  2. "The Impact of World War 1 on women's role in British society was only ...

    Women knew that they had the same rights as men. They also knew they could any job just as well as a man. Although women over thirty now had the right to vote, it was such a small percentage that it didn't really have an effect on society.

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

    Through the war politicians realised that women's voices now had the write to be heard, they then gained the vote for women over eighteen in 1918. However there were probably other factors apart from the war that would have lead to women gaining the vote.

  1. Attitudes towards women and their right to vote had changed by 1918. How important ...

    Important members of the Suffragettes went on hunger strike. Marion Dunlop refused to eat in prison and was released and Emmeline Pankhurst's sister went on hunger strike at Holloway Prison in December 1910. These methods harmed their campaign in some ways, because they caused a lot of problems and inconvenience

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

    This was the first tank raid on such a scale in military history, and, but for lack of reserves, the British might have achieved a breakthrough. As it was, the British drove an 8-km (5-mi) salient into the German lines, just because of the Tank, but the cavalry did not follow otherwise a breakthrough might have occurred.

  1. Changes in the role of women in society 1900-1970.

    Women could not have gone out and got a job to work for themselves, as they were either tied down at home, trying to look after a family while the man worked hard to bring home the money in order to feed themselves, or there husband would not have let

  2. The struggle for the emancipation of women.

    So a lot of credit needs to be given to her because she made a lot of advancements in medicine for women everywhere.

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