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Women's Role During World War 11

1577 words - 7 pages

Women’s Role During World War II

During World War II, thousands of women in various nations were deeply involved in volunteer work alongside men. Before World War II, the women’s role was simply to be a wife to her husband, a mother to her children, and a caretaker to the house (Barrow). As World War II raged on, women made enormous sacrifices for their family, and also learnt new jobs and new skills. Women were needed to fill many “male jobs”, while men went off to fight in the war. Women served with distinction in The Soviet Union, Britain, Japan, United States, and Germany and were urged to join armed forces, work in factories, hospitals, and also farms to support the soldiers fighting the war. During this time, women took on the dual responsibility of managing the home and fighting actively in the battlefield.

Soviet Union

The women of Soviet Union had shown great heroism during the years of World War II. Soviet law gave Soviet women access to participate actively in every sphere of the states’ duties and recognized them as full and equal citizens of the country. Large numbers of Soviet women took the places of men in traditionally masculine jobs. They skillfully performed the jobs that had long been viewed as the exclusive domain of men
(Clayton). There were well-qualified women drivers, mechanics, farmers, and factory workers. During World War II, Soviet Union was the first country to allow women to fly combat missions (Clayton). They were able to return fire and even drop bombs on enemy territory. As leading combatants, they flew dangerous missions, and helped fight to defend places like Belarus, Ukraine and other republics of the Soviet Union.

Young Soviet women not only played an important role in combat, but also worked at home and on the farm replacing their fathers, brothers, husbands, and friends who went to the front. The Russian women were more intimately involved in their country’s defense and frontline than women from other combating nations (Nazemroaya). By 1943, about 8% of Red Army personnel were women, which meant that almost one out of ten people in uniform was a woman. At World War II’s end, in 1945, young women composed 70% of all young Communist soldiers (Nazemroaya).

Germany

In Nazi Germany, during the reign of Hitler, women had a specific role of being mothers and raising their children at home, while their husbands worked. Hitler strongly believed that women should not work, but rather get married at a young age to a racially pure German and have lots of children. In 1933, Hitler passed a Law of Encouragement of Marriage that encouraged newly married couples to have as many children as possible (“The Role of Women in Nazi Germany”). Unlike other countries that encouraged women to go into combat, Nazi Germany forced women into a childbearing role to produce the next wave of male soldiers. During World War II, the young boys were groomed to become soldiers, while young girls were groomed to become mothers....

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