About The War With the men oversees at war, many women and African Americans had to take over at factories and other places that were in need of employees. The home front became a place where they not only worked in factories to produce products needed for the war, but care for injured men, recruited men, and support the war from home with war bonds and boycotts
Before the war women did stereotypical jobs for women, caring for children, watching he house, and loving their husband. And of course, they did all the housework, cooking, cleaning, meals; women didn’t have many rights and they pretty much just sat in the house and kept their mouths shut. Women didn’t have paying jobs, they were said to be not as clever and not capable to do the same jobs as men
. The husband would be the money maker while the wife would stay at home and watch the kids. Before the war, a man was thought of as the only one in the marriage. A wife had to give her belongings to a husband. The man of the house could treat his wife and daughters as property. Wives could be locked in rooms, and beaten with a stick, as long as the stick was no wider than a mans thumb. Women could not file for divorce, and if they ran away from unacceptable marriage police could bring her back to her husband, and after he could imprison her. " A women’s place is in the home” is how the women remembered exactly what they had to do. Young girls were expected to follow the mother’s footsteps, so school wasn’t needed. If a man chose to send his kid’s to the poorhouse, a women couldn’t object. By the 19th century women were limited to factory labor and domestic chores. If they did have a job, they would be either a writer or teacher.
Industry Women that at one time had wanted to be stay at home wives and care for the house were now working in factories. These millions of women now were the ones making the ammunition for war and house hold items, jobs that at one time were only open to the men of America. These women not only supported the war by making the materials but by helping for the independence of women. A majority of American women became the sole provider of income for the houses.
Even though these women were employed in factories they only did small repetitive tasks and only earned small percent of the wages males doing the same job earned. The role of women in the workplace changed forever during WW1. As more men were drafted into the war, and as many of their friends volunteered, the women were called to step up to work in the factories and mined. By keeping the industry going and the fires burning at home, the women became the hero’s of the war.
Upper class women who did not need to work for the money but wanted to support the war joined organizations that helped care for soldiers, and also helped care for victims of the influenza pandemic. The ARC was one of these organizations, and it is still around today. With this organization women had the opportunity to travel abroad , but many stayed home to help with other supplies for the war. Women would roll bandages, knit socks, and work in the hospitals to take care of wounded soldiers. They also organized clubs for soldiers on leave, and drove the ambulances across the battlefields. The women helped encourage young men to join war efforts by shunning any man that did not go to war.
Nursing on the Front LineWith all the men out fighting in the war, and medicine not being very advanced, hundreds were injured daily. Nurses were brought to the front line to treat them. Being out in the war, these women were risking their lives just as much as the male soldiers out there.
They risked being hit by a bullet or even shelled by the enemy. Many of these women were killed on duty. Overall during ww1 around 300 women died. Most died from tnt poisoning, lead poisoning, or chemical disease. The chemicals would often cause you to turn yellow and lose hair, so people with this would often be called canaries.
Women were not actually allowed to fight in the war, but they were enlisted into auxiliary armies, so men could be the ones fighting on the frontlines where they were needed. For those who don’t know, auxiliary armies are supporting groups. They help without actually fighting the war. The women would do really unglamorous tasks like cooking and cleaning, storekeeping, clerical work, telephones and admin, printing and motor vehicle maintenance. They also became the main ambulance and truck drivers as men were called to the frontlines.
Even though the women were doing all this work in factories, the clubs and organizations, and even their own army, they still made time to write to their sons, boyfriends, husbands, brothers, and friends that were fighting on the frontlines of the war all over the world. The women would send them flowers from the garden, as pictured above, photographs and embroidered handkerchiefs. These women helped boost moral among troops, and these letters became essential to fighting the war.
SuffrageBefore the civil war, the womens rights movement had gained momentum, but the cause was forgotten during the civil war. During the first world war, the cause gained attention again. In 1890 a group was formed called the National American Womens Suffrage association, with supported including Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. With the new law coming to light that would cause both black and white men to be created equal, women were fighting that not only were all men created equal, but all human beings. And not only are women created equal, but women would provide a purer more maternal voice to politics. Because the women were so strong and independent on their own during the war, they gained respect from political leaders. In fact, they were respected so much that almost immediately after the war, womens suffrage was almost immediately granted.
In the USA, President Woodrow Wilson signed the US 19th Amendment, ratified by Congress in 1920, which made it able for American women to vote as a way of thanking them for their readiness to help in the war effort. the first woman elected to the House of Representatives (1917) and member of Congress (up to 1919) was the Republican feminist pacifist Jeannette Rankin, who voted both against participation in WWI and WWII.
Women of World War One By Nika Jemric and Tommi Arrington
“We have made partners of the women in thiswar; shall we admit them only to a partnership of suffering and sacrifice and toil and not to a partnerships of privilege and right?”
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