The impact of the war on women Downloaded from www.SchoolHistory.co.uk
Key points Before the war, the most common employment for a woman was as a domestic servant. However, women were also employed in what were seen to be suitable occupations e.g. teaching, nursing, office work.
Key points When war broke out in August 1914, thousands of women were sacked from jobs in dressmaking, millinery and jewellery making.They needed work – and they wanted to help the war effort.
Key points Suffragettes stopped all militant action in order to support the war effort.
Key points At first, there was much trade union opposition and the employment of women had not increased significantly before the summer of 1915. In July 1915, a ‘Right to Work’ ,march was organised by a leading suffragette, Christabel Pankhurst.
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’.
Key points The introduction of conscription in 1916 led to an increase in the number of women employed in all sectors of the economy.
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.
Key points Women became more visible in the world of work. They were seen to be doing important jobs.
Key points The armed forces also employed women, but the jobs were mainly of a clerical and domestic nature.
Key points 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. VAD’s
After the War 1 Women were expected to give way to men returning from the forces and return to pre-war ‘women’s work’. 2 The assumption that ‘a woman’s place is in the home’ returned. 3 The percentage of women at work returned to pre-war levels. 4 More women than before worked in offices.
After the War 5 Shorter skirts and hair became fashionable. 6 Women went out with men without a chaperone. 7 Women smoked and wore make-up in public for the first time. 8 In 1919: being female or married was no longer allowed to disqualify someone from holding a job in the professions or civil service.
The End Of My Presentation.