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In what ways did the Second World War impact upon the position of women?

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Introduction

In what ways did the Second World War impact upon the position of women? Women's role in society during the 1920's was a polarised one, were women would stay at home and look after the children and the men earn the money. However, after World War I, society had changed for the better and this lead to a better life for women. Young women started to rebel against what the previous generation thought they should act like and did as they pleased. They wore the latest fashions, short skirts, short hair and make up, and would smoke in public. They came to be known as 'flappers'. In the 1920's, women won the vote which shows how much more of an impact on society they know made. At the start of World War II, millions of men joined the armed forces and women were needed to fill in their roles. In this essay, I will discuss whether this period of time had an impact upon the position of women or if it was a temporary one. ...read more.

Middle

Overall, we can see that women position before the Second World War wasn't a great one. They were being actively unfairly treated and discouraged to work. The USA's involvement in the Second World War began 7th December in 1941. The Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbour and FDR was anticipating this moment. America had been rapidly producing goods and the WPB (War Production Board) directed all companies to make arms. The government spent millions on the development of bazookas and the atomic bomb. Government expenditure rose from $20billion in 1941 to $97.2billion in 1944. Taxes were increased and people were persuaded to buy war bonds, to help with the war effort. Nation debt grew to six times the original size in 1941 and most of this money went to huge companies who were able to produce aircrafts, tanks and ships. These huge companies needed people to work for them, all the men had gone to fight the war and so it was up to the women. Firstly, the government had to get rid of the stereotype of women being housewives to get them to work in these factories. ...read more.

Conclusion

The inevitable happened as soon as the Second World War ended. Propaganda started again, saying 'give your job to a veteran'. Women's wages fell from 65% to 53% and those married women with a career, were blamed for the rise in juvenile crime, as they weren't looking after them. Although, during the wartime this wouldn't have arisen as they needed women to work in munitions factories. Government spent a lot of time now stopping women having jobs. They tried to fill in this time for a housewife with soaps such as, 'I Love Lucy'. Also many programs blamed women with careers for failed marriages and all the problems of society (to discourage them further). In conclusion, I think al the propaganda was short term and they used the women. Women did prove that they were as good as men and could do the same jobs as efficiently. We can clearly see that it was a temporary change to the position of women in society. In the long term, the war had given women a taste of social and economic freedom, which lays the foundation for women's liberation. Women did prove that they were as good as men and could do the same jobs as efficiently. Samir Manek 10P ...read more.

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