Australian Women In World War 1 History Research Essay

642 words - 3 pages

Extended Response ~ Women in World War 1
Many Australian women were interested in participating in WW1 and helping the soldiers who were fighting. This led to many women joining organisations or putting themselves forward as either a volunteer or to work in an occupation that paid lower wages just because they were female. Two of the most common roles that women took up were nurses volunteering to be shipped overseas and taking up male dominated occupations. These women were dreadfully mistreated and many were thought to be incompetent in completing everyday jobs simply because men usually completed them. Women who were paid to work received very low wages compared to male co-workers and those who volunteered as nurses were met with harsh working conditions and expectations.
As more men left to fight in the war, businesses had no choice other than to hire women to work for them. When the idea was first mentioned, people were against it due to the fact that the recently vacated positions were considered ‘men’s work’ and that women were unable to complete them efficiently. When women were eventually able to work, they were only hired to fill the positions of those who were overseas fighting in the war. By the end of the war, so many women had been hired that there were very few occupations with no female employees. Even though these women were performing the exact same tasks as the males, they were paid significantly lower wages than those that the men received. This began the earliest fights for equal pay. Whilst these women may have been receiving lower wages than their male co-workers, there was also a positive side. As the war neared an end and male soldiers began to return home, there was fears that employers would begin to hire more women than they did males as women had become cheaper labour. Without these women many industries would have gone out of...

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