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The Rise Of The Number Of Women Employed In Britain In Mid 1915

705 words - 3 pages

The Rise of the Number of Women Employed in Britain in Mid-1915

The number of women employed in Britain increased dramatically as of
mid-1915. There was a multitude of reasons for this which I will
explore during this essay. I shall be looking in particular at the
great shell shortage of May 1915 and the women's campaigns to be a
part of the war effort. I shall also look at some of the other
opportunities made available for women then and the reasons behind
them.

The main contributory factor to women's employment was the 'Great
Shell Shortage' of May 1915. On the Western front levels of ammunition
for troops was falling critically low, rendering many of them useless
on the battlefield as it had got to the extent where many soldiers
actually ran out of bullets amidst a fire fight. The decision to
employ women in munitions factories was blatantly the right choice to
make and so it was made by the newly appointed Minister for Munitions
David Lloyd George who was desperate to increase production of
ammunition and other equipment. With an army of 2.5 million men
volunteered already by late 1915 an immense amount of ammunition and
equipment was required to keep supply levels up, more and more were
employed to provide them, as the war neared its conclusion, around
900,000 women were employed in munitions factories. There was a
national register of names of women who were ready for war related
work.

Another important reason as to why numbers of women employed in
Britain rose in 1915 was marches for women's rights organised by the
suffragettes. In an attempt to capture the patriotism involved in war
and utilise it for their own benefit they modified their previous
'right to...

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