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Why did the number of women employed in Britain begin to rise significantly from mid 1915?

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Question 3 In what ways did ww1 help to change the employment opportunities in Britain? Before the war job opportunities for women were scarce and the only jobs available were very lowly paid. An average maid or cleaner would make about �5-10 a year, some even less. Most jobs that women were employed in would include: maids, cleaners, jobs in the textiles industry and a few of the luckier ones would be employed as secretaries or shop till ladies at shops. Some older women with experience of looking after children would be employed by wealthy families as nannies to look after there children. Men's attitudes to women working were that they only had the skills required to work in jobs that needed minor intelligence and skills. Statistics taken estimate that before the war the number of women in paid employment was about 2.5% to 10% of men. During the war job opportunities for women started increasing as men left to go fight in the war. ...read more.


petty about it, they did however foresee a problem when all the men came home which was, what would they do when there were no jobs left, this forced the government to sign an agreement that meant women would have to give up there jobs when men came home if there was a man to fill the place. The government also gave Mrs Pankhurst �3000 to organise the women's war register, were women could apply for jobs, and the 'Women to do work campaign in which propaganda was designed to make women feel guilty if they weren't working, which was quite ironic as before this time the government and trade unions didn't want women working. After the war register was established over 100,000 women applied although only 5000 were initially accepted, this took the ratio of women to men working up to 5% of women in paid employment to every 10% of men. After the end of the war and with men returning in their masses, women were having to leave the employment they ...read more.


The war changed some attitudes towards women, for instance industry owners quickly recognised the efficiency of women and other men were seeing there usefulness, women on a whole were perceived as slightly more equal to men, though it was still a very sexist society. As a conclusion I don't really think that job opportunities changed significantly for women from before the war to after the war although there was a significant peak of women in paid employment during the war (around 1915 onwards). Figures showed that after the war there was a sharp decrease in the number of women in paid employment, because of the vast number of men coming home, but eventually decreased further still to an average of 2.5% of women in paid employment to 10% of men as it was before the war, this shows that the war made no real different to the number of women in paid employment because of the war. Joe Ingham 10JWA1 ...read more.

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