• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe the employment of women in Britain in 1914 at the outbreak of war.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

GCSE HISTORY-. COURSEWORK ASSIGNMENT NO.1-THE IMPACT OF WAR ON BRITAIN, 1914-1918. 1. Describe the employment of women in Britain in 1914 at the outbreak of war. As war broke out in 1914 about 1/3 of women were in some type of paid employment. The majority of this was domestic service or secretarial work and most people accepted, there was no place for women in manual labour e.g. dock-labouring, mining or road -digging. A woman's role was very much as the homemaker. They were regarded as the weaker sex and the sex that had fewer rights than men. Decent women were expected to stay at home and rear the children of the family. They had to obey their husbands. Britain's leisure class was kept in comfort by an army of domestic servants. A large landowner with a wife, two children and a 62-roomed house n the West End required an indoor staff of 36. Some of the servants accompanied the family to its other homes - the country house, the seaside villa, the 'shooting box' in Scotland - each of which also had its own separate staff, containing many women. ...read more.

Middle

At the outbreak of war women earned about 65 per cent of the male wage. The employment of little errand girls, usually only 14 years of age was common. Their work was very varied - running errands, matching materials, and taking out parcels, cleaning the workrooms, and often also helping in the work of the house. To be running around doing 'odd jobs' for the employees of a busy workshop was hard work and tiring. It was not surprising that the young women in those workshops often looked weary and overdone; but there were plenty of girls to take their place, so they would not give in. Many others were employed to work on the surface of coal mines or on fish docks at hard, tiring, physical labour. A sexist outlook upon women in the workplace operated throughout this period. It resulted in skill definitions and pay differentials. Women's work was usually considered unskilled, where as a man doing the same job would be considered skilled. For example welding was perceived as a skilled job when men did it but when women became welders during the First World War it was seen as unskilled, with women being paid half the male rate. ...read more.

Conclusion

with the management or the definition of skills, which affected pay, were controlled by men and favoured them; skilled women were poorly recognised. Women were also paid piece rates and found their wage lowered if they earned too much. One factory inspector remarked that 'What can one do when a girl is earning as much as 15 shillings a week but lower the piece rate?' In a survey just before the war the social commentator and reformer, S. Rowntree, had argued that �1 a week was necessary in order to live above poverty but few women received this amount. In J.M Barrie's comedy What Ever Woman Knows (1908), John Shand, the railwayman turned MP, owes his success as a debater to his wife Maggie, who has transformed his boring speeches when she typed them up. Women had achieved some degree of marital equality and been given some educational opportunities by 1914. They had also begun to make some inroads into traditional male occupations and they had focused political action on winning the vote. 894 words ?? ?? ?? ?? Sophie Ride 01/05/07 10 Lincoln Draft number 2 01/05/07 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. 19th century Pre-1914 Prose Assignment, Discussion of the women.

    and has individuality, which is something that Marina Warner sees as being impossible, 'Liberty like many abstract concepts expressed in the feminine, is in deadly earnest and one-dimensional'. Fevvers is more than simply a statue or a symbol. It is her personality and her individuality that allows her to withstand

  2. What Impact did the War Have on the Role of Women in British Society ...

    One area where there was a large change in the role of women was in the political changes which took place as a result of the war. Before the war women had very few voting rights as they were not allowed to vote in a general election and only householders

  1. Media, leisure & fashion - Britain in the 1930's.

    Dresses often had decorations such as a butterfly, large, puffy sleeves, trains, bows, or fabric flowers. Fur was popular for capes, coats, wraps, accessories and trimmings. Hats, such as berets, were always worn at an angle, pill box and brimmed hats became popular.

  2. History Coursework: - Southend.

    as causing considerable damage to the adjacent railway forcing it's closure for a period of time. The Kursaal Originally opened in 1901, the Kursaal was the world's first ever theme park, pre-dating Coney Island in America. Designed by the architect Campbell Sherrin, also responsible for amongst other things, the Brompton

  1. The changing status of women in employment

    I have chosen to conduct interviews because it has a very high response rate. Interviews are flexible compared to questionnaires as extra questions can be added and more detail can be obtained. Nevertheless interviews are time consuming and therefore the sample size is small which consequently risks being unrepresentative of the survey population.

  2. Describe the employment opportunities of women in Britain in 1914 at the outbreak of ...

    In 1911, nearly 2130 women were working in domestic service, which was more double the job with the second highest female workers (870).

  1. Why did a campaign for women suffrage develop in the years 1870 - 1914?

    This followed the 'Matrimonial Causes Act' of 1857, which allowed a wife deserted by her husband to keep any money she earns. This new law abolished the need of a private Act of Parliament in order to gain a divorce.

  2. Explain the differing reactions of people in Britain to the policy of Evacuating children ...

    Therefore the children coming from such different backgrounds was bound to lead to differing reactions between the two groups. The countryside, to the working class children was a complete new world to them that they had never before experienced. Most working class people would have liked the experience such as

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work