Essay Women Before, During and After World War One

647 Words 3 Pages
Women Before, During and After World War One


Pre war women did have working opportunities though very little compared to men, as they were seen as weaker and that their place was in the "home". Their employment was limited to the domestic service (cleaning or working as a servant) and secretarial work and not manual labour in factories or working class women often worked in the textiles industry. Women were lower paid and were restricted to do less skilled work, as they were considered incompetent. Working class women also worked in the "sweated" trades producing hats and constructing dresses. Since 1880's new technology such as telephone's and typewriters changed women's jobs as women
…show more content…
Later in 1916 lack of men in France caused conscription and every man between 18 and 41 had to go to war leaving staggering job vacancies.

The women's opportunities of work grew, as in 1915 there was a shell shortage on the western front because not enough were being produced. The government gave Mrs Pankhurst £3000 to organise women to do war work; the government also used propaganda posters to get women to work. A national register "women's war register" in which women between 16-65 years registered so the government could acknowledge who could work. Women filled all sorts of jobs, many of them dangerous and skilled. They worked in shipyards and drove trams, buses and ambulances. Women also built aeroplanes and airships. Farming the land 48,000 women worked on the land as part of the women's land army. Most of them had had experience in farming as on a farm, wives and children were expected to work without pay anyway. Munitions work was the occupation that most women were employed in, as in 1918 900,000 women were involved in munitions industry. The women worked with dangerous chemicals in the manufacture of shells and weapons, these chemicals turned the women yellow and women in munitions were known as "canaries" Women also worked for the army doing clerical and administrative work freeing up men to go to the front. In 1915 the marchioness of Londonderry set up the women's
Open Document