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Examine An Aspect Of Australia's Involvement In World War 2 By Researching Women's Role In War.

1065 words - 4 pages

Examine an aspect of Australia's involvement in World War 2 by researching women's role in war.It is a common belief that women in Australia did not contribute much to the war, and were left at home knitting socks for the men, fighting for their country. This however was not true. Instead, women were working in many different areas, helping to sustain their country's needs. As stated in the Labour Digest, "Never before have women experienced such opportunities for showing what they can do."Many women contributed to many other aspects in the home front, as well as out in amidst the war. There were around 70000 women, who served in auxiliary services, 6000 of these serving overseas. Women also had more responsibility in the workforce, filling existing jobs traditionally for women as well as "men's'" jobs that had been vacated when the men all went to fight in the war. Amidst these new responsibilities, women still had to keep up their family life, with a newfound public expectancy for women to produce more children, and be able to support them on their rations. They also had to maintain social dignity within the wartime, with debates over their apparel and their dating habits.The three major women's organizations that formed when women were allowed to join the armed forces in 1941 were the Women's Auxiliary Australia Air Force (WAAAF), the Australian Women's Army Service (AWAF), and the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS). Women who joined these services aided the men by performing in areas involving transport, signals and communication, and clerical areas. This freed many men from these jobs, allowing them to contribute overseas instead. In 1942, another organization was formed and this was the Women's Land Army (AWLA). This organization transported the women to work in agricultural areas, harvesting crops and managing livestock to produce the food needed to sustain the country.The only women's service, which was allowed to be performed overseas, was the Nursing Corps. These nurses played a vital part in the war, with camps set up for the men to recover from the many injuries and diseases obtained from the conditions that they were put in. These men were very thankful to the nurses and as Private Jack Clarris said, "When in hospital they do anything and everything for you bar eat your meals." The nurses also had to suffer in war conditions, constantly in danger from enemy attack. They were very brave and dedicated women, doings their best for their country.As many men left for the war, there were many jobs vacated. Due to this, the government started to encourage women and girls to enter the work force, and take the jobs traditionally undertaken by men. Many women started working in areas involving factories and munitions plants, doing "real work". However, even though women were undertaking the men's jobs, they were not paid as much as much as the men. This led to fears in some trade unions who were scared that women would permanently...

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