Canadian Women At War: Improving Lives Years Ago Equals Today

2431 words - 10 pages

In the early 1900s, many Canadian women were treated with no respect, no rights and were treated as outcasts. Furthermore, these women lived with no equality and were treated as if they had no value. Nevertheless, the lives of Canadian women improved substantially many years later and now, Canadian women are treated with complete fairness all over the country. These improvements that are seen today have taken numerous years to come to fruition, however, many of these essential improvements occurred during the World War II time period. As the men left to fight in the War, a new opening had been created for women all throughout Canada and this eventually led to the numerous improvements. Therefore, the lives of Canadian women improved during the World War II time period as they were allowed to partake in military activities, got better jobs and were given more rights and more respect throughout Canada.
To start off, the ability to take part in military activities, both on the home front and overseas, was one of the major improvements for Canadian women during World War II. Firstly, during the World War II Canadian War effort, numerous Canadian women enlisted to serve their country and participate in combatant and non-combatant roles. These large enlistment numbers were seen as “45,000 women enlisted during the war (21,000 Canadian Women's Army Corps, 17,000 Royal Canadian Air Force - Women’s division and 7,000 Women’s Royal Naval Services)” (CBC.ca, 2012). Through the context of this quote, it is seen how women fled to the chance to serve for the military and how they were accepted. These high numbers in enlistment and acceptance show that Canadian women were starting to be more perceived as equal as they got to partake in these roles. Moreover, the amount of women enlisting would be learning new skills and going to new places which would result in more experienced females in Canada. Therefore, not only would Canadian women benefit from these high enlistment numbers but the enlistments would also help Canada as it would give the country more skilled workers and soldiers during and after the war. The quote also shows how women were not stereotyped as “nurses” but instead had three different divisions in which they were enlisting for. The ability to enlist in three different categories of land, air and naval services showed that women were starting to be included into all forms of military and not just one. Additionally, the ultimate goal of Canadian women in the war was to serve overseas as they wanted to see more of the action and get closer to the “actual” war. A former Canadian Women’s Army Corps member explains “Getting overseas was the ultimate for everyone – to get over closer to the action. Of course, we didn’t know what it was really like. It was just the excitement and adventure of it all. We weren’t even thinking of the dangers. Just like the men. They were the same. Getting overseas was what it was all about.” – Former CWAC member,...

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