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Women And Industry: The Role Of Women During World War Two In Ontario, Canada, 1939 45

1629 words - 7 pages

While the men are away the women do not play. As men left to serve in World War Two, women were left to occupy the frontlines of the working force. They had to take over the industrial production for the war effort and the daily jobs that were not nearly as relevant to the war. In the essay I will be writing about the empty job positions left behind while men when to war across seas and the demand that was put on women to fill the positions. Once women entered the working force there was a conflict between the home and work life, while women when to work there was an abundance of jobs that distracted women from the lives they were living before. Women were seen as doing a duty to their ...view middle of the document...

Almost half of the men in Ontario would leave for the war efforts, leaving a large gap in the working force. Not only did half of the men leave but also the primary men that would have been working the labor-intensive jobs left. The men that were left behind in Ontario were either to young or to old and did not reach the cut off ages of the war. Ontario now needed individuals to fill the positions that were left from the men going to war. The events of the war were escalating and there was now a push on women to move into jobs that were traditionally viewed as male’s job.
As men left over seas it was left up to the women to step in and fill the spaces that were left by the males in the job fields. The push on women was more oriented towards the single women, while married women were encouraged to contribute to the war effort through volunteer organizations that helped the war effort. The majority of married women did not abide by social conformity, many did go out and get jobs during World War Two. The demand on women to go and find work appeared to be hitting all regions of Canada. In a release of the Hamilton Spectator in August 12, 1943 there was an article directed at women about the Canadian Pacific Railway having a shortage of manpower at the yards, which lead officials to take out the article in the paper. The article arises awareness that there are less males on staff and that they are willing to hire a number of girls. In another article from The Globe and Mail, the call is put out to women in Ontario to join the working class to help save the crops of Ontario. “The provincial Minister of Agriculture Hon, P.M. Dewan, appeals for 4,000 to 5,000 volunteers, housewives and unemployed girls, to take on the job”. The article strains the fact that they will be doing a great duty for their country and that in the process they will be making sure there are eatable crops for what was then the present and the future. Both news articles show that with almost half of the male population gone from the war that there was a push from all sectors to get women involved. Each position needed to be filled and the only logical place left to get workers was from females.
When more women started entering the work force because of World War Two, the standards of “masculine” and “feminine” started to shift from the ideal standards that there once was. It was a time where women were leaving the household and venturing into masculine work settings. Now that a majority of the male population had gone to war there was an obvious relevance on the women in the work field now. With husbands and loved ones gone to war there was more pressure put on the women and the household. Women had to take full responsibility for working and providing for her family and also worry about taking care of a home and the wellbeing of her family. All women that went to work were not all married with children, the work force also had single women. Many women had to deal with...

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