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Women in world war one

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Introduction

Women and World War One How were the lives of women on the Home Front affected by the First World War? During the early 20th century, an average women's role in society would be to cook, clean and generally cater for her family. Along with this, they were not able to vote, work in industrial areas or be seen out and about without a chaperone. There was a scarcity of jobs for some women; and discrimination or low pay for the others. Although capable of much more, women never attempted to balance their opportunities with that of men's. Whether it was because they never thought it would be possible to do as good a job or they just didn't want to break years of tradition; World War One was about to affect the lives of these women in many ways. While men set off for war in 1914, vacancies in the tertiary and secondary industry opened up. With the great demand of munitions and weapons, with higher pay and with no men to maintain things back at the home front, women thought they wouldn't just be taking these jobs for themselves, but for the sakes of their husbands, sons, friends and family at war. ...read more.

Middle

When really this primary, not so reliable source, was written by this upper-class woman, meaning she was always able to 'do theatres in style'. So she was in no position to talk about the changing experiences of working class women because she didn't experience the real problems faced by them. On the other hand Munition wages touches on the changing wages that woman got working in munitions factories as well as other social changes, for example Bedford talks of 'driving out in taxis' as if she was without a chaperone, before the war this would have been looked down upon. Overall this source although partly unreliable is useful to an historian as it elucidates the change for women's social life. Within this transition, women also faced many problems and challenges. In 1920 an article was published in a popular magazine, 'Live wire'. Saying women didn't deserve the occupation of which were normally held by men. This primary source, 15, was written to persuade woman to give up their jobs for the men to take back. As it is highly opinionated and with a motivation to persuade, meaning there's a lot of exaggeration and generalisation behind it, it isn't a very reliable source. ...read more.

Conclusion

This source represents the massive amount of desperation as well as devotion from the working class women. It also shows a change in motives, women were no longer doing this for their men at war, but for themselves; surely they urgently needed the money enough to have suffocated themselves. To conclude, whether it meant; the right to vote, working in industrial areas or being allowed out without a chaperon, the First World War had affected the lives of women, especially working class women in many ways in the home front. Taking into eye-witness accounts, historical records, and statistics and other historian's research through hindsight, I can see that women's lives changed economically, politically as well as socially. The seeds of the women's liberation movement were seen before World War One but it was the war that allowed those tiny seeds to begin to germinate. They were able to see through the problems and challenges while it went from scarcity of jobs and low pay, to abundances of jobs and higher pay. Women had started to be seen as equal. This is evident now since, the type of jobs afforded to men, is equally given to a woman. Women nowadays leave the home front to join the army at war. In some cases women such as, Margaret Thatcher have reached the very top and become prime ministers. ?? ?? ?? ?? GCSE History Hajera Rahman ...read more.

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