• 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...


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.


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.


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. The changing status of women in employment

    Do you work: Part time Full time Seasonal 6. What is your job title? _____________________________________ 7. Do you have Children? (If no, go straight on to question 11) Yes No 8. How many children do you have? ............................ 9. What age group(s) do your children fall into? (Tick all that is applicable)

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

    forced to have busier, more productive lives by the circumstances of the time and needed simple clothes to match this lifestyle. Late on in this period, living standards began to rise and industrial development increased. Consequently, man-made cheaper fabrics, such as rayon, which was known as artificial silk became available.

  2. 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.

  1. 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

  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. Describe and explain the women's employment situation in Britain in the years before the ...

    Women were seen as kind, caring and gentle people, which is why hospitals employed them to comfort patients and reassure them while in hospital. They also came across as kind people when stood behind a cash register in a shop as shop assistants because they wouldn't seem intimidating to customers.

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

    tasks such as those they had to do once they joined these organisations. Neither was their work requiring any intelligence as it was thought that men were more clever. For this reason they were similar in that none of the young women joining the FANY, VAD and WAAC would have had an education.

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