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"Without the first world war women would not have gained the right to vote in 1918"

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Introduction

The Changing Role and Status of Women from 1900 to 1914 "Without the first world war women would not have gained the right to vote in 1918" Yes I agree that without the First World War women would not have gained the right to vote in 1918. Previous to the war and ongoing during the war (on a smaller scale) two parties had been formed; the Suffragists and Suffragettes. These two parties were a huge factor in women gaining the right to vote in 1918. All sorts of women (some who had not wanted the vote) united together during the war to show that women were worthy of the vote and could learn any sort of skill. However, they still had it tough; women were trying to prove themselves to a male dominated world. Nonetheless, women worked in the munitions factories (endangering their lives), engineering work and worked on the land. It was not a coincidence, it was inevitable that women would have eventually gained the right to vote but without the huge factor of the war the women would not have gained the vote in 1918. ...read more.

Middle

This postcard links directly to the year it was produced as it shows women in the textile factories; maybe if it has shown them in the munitions factories it would have had slightly more impact. The postcard as a whole has little impact, Suffragettes would have been selling them in their shops therefore men would not have really seen these because men would not have entered Suffragettes' shops. Before the war, within the working world there was a hierarchy and a division between men and women. There were plain, unskilful, degrading jobs for women with very low pay and highly skilled well paid jobs for men. It was alleged that women's small frail bodies and minds could only cope with light indoor work which did not need any of the factors of which men's work did. This view of women was backed up by a speech made in 1912 by Lord Curzon (Source C). He said that women would be unable to vote because of their lack of strength and ability to learn, however, in just two years time women would be showing their strength both physically and mentally. ...read more.

Conclusion

Attitudes to women did have a significant change during the war, however, Rex Pope (Source E) thinks otherwise. He said that attitudes towards women didn't change, although, they must of changed, even if it was only a small change as men were able to see that women could work and without them the war would not have been able to continue. In conclusion, war was a huge turning point for women. The First World War gave women the chance to show their physical abilities and mentally: how they could cope without the men. However, at the beginning of the war attitudes towards women were still harsh, but they most definitely changed; they had to, women were no long the irrational 'weaker sex' any longer. How ironic that something as negative and disastrous as war could end on such a positive note for the women who had been desperately campaigning for what they were to receive in 1918 for over 40 years. Of course it would be wrong to say it was only due to the war that the women gained the right to vote. Yes, it was a huge factor of many as were the Suffragists and Suffragettes. ...read more.

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