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The impact of the
 war on women
Key points
  Before the war, the most common
 employment for a woman was as a
domestic servant. However, unmarried
  women...
Key points
When war broke out in August 1914,
the idea of women working was met
     with resistance due to the
  widespre...
Suffragettes,
 who had been
  agitating for
 female rights,
  stopped all
    militant
action in order
 to support the
   ...
Key points
   Much of the opposition to female
participation in the workforce came from
trade unions. Due to this,the empl...
Key points
The shell shortage crisis in 1915 began to change the
 situation. Women were taken on to work in munitions
  fa...
Key points

The introduction of
conscription in 1916
 led to an increase
  in the number of
women employed in
  all sector...
Key points
Many women were paid good wages,
especially in munitions factories, but
in most cases they were paid lower
    ...
Key points
Women became more visible in the
world of work. They were seen to be
       doing important jobs.
The armed forces also employed women and an
estimated 80,000 British women worked for the armed
        forces, 250,000 wo...
Women were in great demand for the ‘caring’ side of
   employment and became nurses in the First Aid
Nursing Yeomanry, and...
Voting
Women over 30 were granted the
right to vote in 1918 with the
Representation of the People Act.
The significance of ...
The impact of the war on women’s
  lives and experiences in Britain

New Roles for Women:
  Long term nature of the war de...
Early 1915: women were employed as
nurses, ambulance drivers, postal workers,
bus conductors, police women and fire
fighters...
Women served as nurses from late 1914

  Women’s Land Army – formed in 1916
to attract women to work on the land ->
food p...
After the War The Impact on Women’s Lives:
   Women were expected to give way to men returning
   from the forces and retu...
After the War The
 Impact on Women’s Lives:
  Women no longer needed escorts to maintain
their reputations
  New sexual fr...
Lasting
                                        impact
  Women retained some of the social independence they had
acquired ...
Lasting
                                        impact
  Women retained some of the social independence they had
acquired ...
WWI women
WWI women
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WWI women

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HSC Modern History, WWI and its impact on women in Britain

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WWI women

  1. 1. The impact of the war on women
  2. 2. Key points Before the war, the most common employment for a woman was as a domestic servant. However, unmarried women were also employed in what were seen to be suitable occupations e.g.teaching, nursing, office work.
  3. 3. Key points When war broke out in August 1914, the idea of women working was met with resistance due to the widespread belief that “women’s place as in the home”.
  4. 4. Suffragettes, who had been agitating for female rights, stopped all militant action in order to support the war
  5. 5. Key points Much of the opposition to female participation in the workforce came from trade unions. Due to this,the employment of women had not increased significantly before the middle of 1915. In July 1915, a ‘Right to Work’ ,march was organised by a leading suffragette, Christabel Pankhurst.
  6. 6. Key points The shell shortage crisis in 1915 began to change the situation. Women were taken on to work in munitions factories. The government did a deal with the trade unions, known as the Treasury Agreements. The unions agreed to accept female labour in place of men ‘for the duration of the war’.
  7. 7. Key points The introduction of conscription in 1916 led to an increase in the number of women employed in all sectors of the economy.
  8. 8. Key points Many women were paid good wages, especially in munitions factories, but in most cases they were paid lower rates than men. Improved wages did permit greater independence for some women.
  9. 9. Key points Women became more visible in the world of work. They were seen to be doing important jobs.
  10. 10. The armed forces also employed women and an estimated 80,000 British women worked for the armed forces, 250,000 worked in agriculture
  11. 11. Women were in great demand for the ‘caring’ side of employment and became nurses in the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, and drivers and clerks in Voluntary Aid Detachments.
  12. 12. Voting Women over 30 were granted the right to vote in 1918 with the Representation of the People Act. The significance of the war in helping women attain the vote may be overstated. It is more likely that female suffrage was an extension of democratisation of western societies as occurred earlier in New Zealand and Australia.
  13. 13. The impact of the war on women’s lives and experiences in Britain New Roles for Women: Long term nature of the war demanded that women play a new role in the economy As the total war of attrition demanded the mobilisation of all of society’s resources, many women moved into traditional male roles The first organised attempts for women to do ‘war work’ was rebuffed Recruitment drives of 1914 and 1915 changed official attitudes. Absence of men began to impact on various industries.
  14. 14. Early 1915: women were employed as nurses, ambulance drivers, postal workers, bus conductors, police women and fire fighters Mid 1915: women were employed as tram conductors, drivers, lift attendants, milk deliverers, shell makers, shop floorwalkers, railway cleaners, bookstall clerks, window cleaners, ticket collectors and dairy workers Late 1918: more then 7 million women employed in ‘war work’ Largest single employer for women was the Ministry of Munitions
  15. 15. Women served as nurses from late 1914 Women’s Land Army – formed in 1916 to attract women to work on the land -> food production had become a priority Woman’s Armed Forces – in the war zone women drove ambulances, operated food canteens, entertained soldiers, worked as cooks, waitresses, clerks, typists, telegraphists, telephonists, packers, drivers and mechanics
  16. 16. After the War The Impact on Women’s Lives: Women were expected to give way to men returning from the forces and return to pre-war ‘women’s work’. The assumption that ‘a woman’s place is in the home’ returned Different impact on different social classes Young working class women were largely the ones who moved into traditional male working class jobs - > significant impact on their social and economic independence Middle and upper class women tended to do more volunteer work or join one of the uniformed services -> gave them “war experience” but had less of an impact on their place in society
  17. 17. After the War The Impact on Women’s Lives: Women no longer needed escorts to maintain their reputations New sexual freedom For practicality in the workplace and due to a shortages of fabrics, skirts became shorter, women wore trousers, bras replaced the corset There were significant changes in fashion: women wore short hair, smoked and wore make up in public
  18. 18. Lasting impact Women retained some of the social independence they had acquired during the war The change in women’s fashion became more or less permanent Employment: little permanent change – in most cases, women had to give up the “male jobs” they had taken on. Secretarial work was one area that women retained but at less pay than men who had previously done these jobs In 1919: being female or married was no longer allowed to disqualify someone from holding a job in the professions or civil service.
  19. 19. Lasting impact Women retained some of the social independence they had acquired during the war The change in women’s fashion became more or less permanent Employment: little permanent change – in most cases, women had to give up the “male jobs” they had taken on. Secretarial work was one area that women retained but at less pay than men who had previously done these jobs In 1919: being female or married was no longer allowed to disqualify someone from holding a job in the professions or civil service.

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