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The Employment Opportunities For Women In 1914 At The Outbreak Of War Before the war, women had few employment opportunities, which meant that the jobs that were available were poorly paid. Factory owners employed women because their fingers were tho...

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Introduction

The Employment Opportunities For Women In 1914 At The Outbreak Of War Before the war, women had few employment opportunities, which meant that the jobs that were available were poorly paid. Factory owners employed women because their fingers were thought to be very nimble, so they could work the new machinery. Women did various different jobs in these factories and small workshops including making nails, chains, bricks, matches, clothes, hats and buttons. Even though women were not meant to work in the underground mines, many of them worked on the surface, as bosses still employed them. Their job included working at the pit mounds where they loaded the coal into trucks and separated the ironstone from the shale. Some women were servants for the upper class, this was known as domestic service. This job included washing, cooking and cleaning. Even though they had everything provided for them such as food and shelter, this was not a particularly good job. These women were under the watchful eye of their masters all the time. Many worked from 6am to midnight everyday and on their day off they had to go to church with their master and his family. Women were paid about half of what men were paid. For example, a man's average wage in the 1880s for working in an office was �2+ a week, whereas a women's was �1 a week. ...read more.

Middle

The government used propaganda to encourage bosses to employ women and to encourage them to consider factory work. The government issued women with a Registration Act certificate to let them know who was available for work. Women also took part in marches, for example, in July 1915 over three thousand women attended a Right To Work march in London, organized by the Suffragettes. This lead to more women being employed because it inspired other women to work and the government decided to let these women work in places of the men. One woman, who lived through World War I, wrote in a letter about her change of job due to the Registration Act certificate. She said, "When the war broke out, ...I was earning about �2 a month working from 6am to 9pm." She then said "So when the need came for women 'war-workers' my chance came to 'get out'." Many women did the same, which increased the number of women employed in Britain. Britain needed to grow more of its own food and this provided more jobs for women. This increased from 1915 and in 1917, the Women's Land Army was formed, most women who joined were middle and upper class. Food and clothes also had to be provided for the men at war. ...read more.

Conclusion

they worked it out during the war. How could we have carried on the war without them?" Before the war, Asquith disagreed with women having the vote, but during the war women proved that they could be just as hard working as the men. It was because of this, that Asquith and other politicians changed their minds to allow women to have the vote. Another positive change in the long term was that the war changed social attitudes. Women had more freedom, their clothing became simpler, they were allowed to wear trousers and short skirts and their shirts were allowed to have sleeves. Their hairstyles changed too. The negative change in the long term was that many women were sacked at the end of the war to make way for the returning soldiers. There was a campaign, which was meant to persuade women to give up their jobs and go back to being housewives. Sometimes women were attacked if they refused to give up their jobs. In conclusion I think that the First World War changed employment opportunities in Britain in both the long term and the short term. In the short term women had a variety of jobs, they were better paid and they had more freedom. However, many women were sacked at the end of the war because the men wanted their jobs back. In the long term, women had more rights and men's attitudes towards women had improved. ...read more.

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