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Women in World War Two

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Introduction

Women In World War Two Question 1: Describe the ways in which women's work in the home contributed to the war effort. During the Second World War women played a much more significant role than ever before, this was partly to do with the contribution and effort they put into it. The most important contributions were in rationing, evacuation and safety. When the first evacuation took place in September 1939, 800,000 school children and 520,000 children under the age of five were sent away by train to the British countryside. For both mother and father it was incredibly hard to let go of their children. It was especially hard for the mothers, as they were the ones that looked after the children on a daily basis, while the man of the house went out to work. The mothers were under a lot of stress not knowing where their children may end up living. It was also hard for the women that received the evacuees, as they not only had to look after their own children, but to take care of other children who were strangers to them. Sometimes children from the city would turn up unwashed and bad mannered, this was difficult for country women to adjust to. Rationing was a reasonable way of making sure everyone had their fair share of goods, but it did create some difficulties and problems. ...read more.

Middle

Work, for women clashed with some of the responsibilities at home. If a women had a twelve-hour shift it was hard to look after the children, cook and clean with just two pairs of hands. The role of women in the home changed the most during the war. Another aspect of women's work, which changed dramatically, was farm working. Before the war, farm work was strictly for men, it was dirty, dangerous and very hard working. However, in September 1939 all this changed when 80,000 women joined the Women's Land Army. It was hard for a lot of the women because men in particular didn't think that they could to do such physically demanding jobs. Furthermore, most of the women working in the Land Army came from the towns and were not used to country life. Women were now doing men's jobs, ploughing, driving tractors, shearing sheep and cutting down trees. The Land Army was a success and it started to prove that women could do the same jobs as men. Even though things were improving for women, they still couldn't fight in the war themselves, so instead they had to be the supporting roles where they worked in the Women's Armed Forces. Before the war women had no significant role in the armed forces, this changed completely during the war, where women learned many new skills such as Morse Code or radar control. ...read more.

Conclusion

Men made all the military decisions, and were in charge of running the factories and businesses. Churchill was in power at the time and as quite a sexist man he did not give women much of a chance to prove themselves, and as a result women went un-noticed again. Many years after the war historical information was gathered all around the world, which recorded all the fascinating facts and stories of World War Two. However, it wasn't the women that wrote the books and read the facts, it was the men. Men had more exciting stories to tell about battling the Nazis and surviving in harsh conditions. People were more prepared to read these stories, than about women working on the home front, it wasn't seen as interesting. A lot of the history that was collected about women was in the form of letters, possessions or orally passed down through personal stories. Most of this evidence was lost and forgotten. Women overall were not seen as important, because they were never given a real chance to prove what they were capable of. After the war, in the 1950's the feminist act developed and women were educated, this made a lot of improvements to gender equality and today both men and women are seen as important in what they do. They may not have been remembered as having important roles during World War Two, but they did however gain a lot of independence and confidence out of it. ...read more.

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