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Why did the Number of Women employed in Britain begin to rise significantly from mid-1915?

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Introduction

Why did the Number of Women employed in Britain begin to rise significantly from mid-1915? The number of women employed in Britain increased dramatically as of mid-1915. There was a multitude of reasons for this which I will explore during this essay. I shall be looking in particular at the great shell shortage of May 1915 and the women's campaigns to be a part of the war effort. I shall also look at some of the other opportunities made available for women then and the reasons behind them. The main contributory factor to women's employment was the 'Great Shell Shortage' of May 1915. ...read more.

Middle

There was a national register of names of women who were ready for war related work. Another important reason as to why numbers of women employed in Britain rose in 1915 was marches for women's rights organised by the suffragettes. In an attempt to capture the patriotism involved in war and utilise it for their own benefit they modified their previous 'right to vote' slogan to 'right to serve' along with 'right to work'. The march took place in July and over 30,000 women participated in it. The marches were well timed to highlight the fact that women were willing to help in the war effort and highlighted the fact that the real enemy was not the women but their opponents on the battlefield, specifically Germany. ...read more.

Conclusion

Women were not allowed equal pay for the same job as man, and there were always dangers. Women had also become increasingly unpopular amongst the male remaining male workers who feared 'dilution' meaning they did not want their pay to decrease due to the poor work of the less skilled women. Strikes were held as a result and many women were told they would instantly lose their jobs upon the homecoming of men fighting in the war. Women were often given a hard time in the workplace by their male counterparts, often the men would try to confuse the women and often jokes, both verbal and practical were made at their expense. Ultimately there was a significant increase in employment for women I Britain in 1915 but it did not come without a cost. Ian Wotton ...read more.

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