Women Before, During And After World War One

1027 words - 4 pages

Women Before, During and After World War One


Pre war women did have working opportunities though very little
compared to men, as they were seen as weaker and that their place was
in the "home". Their employment was limited to the domestic service
(cleaning or working as a servant) and secretarial work and not manual
labour in factories or working class women often worked in the
textiles industry. Women were lower paid and were restricted to do
less skilled work, as they were considered incompetent. Working class
women also worked in the "sweated" trades producing hats and
constructing dresses. Since 1880's new technology such as telephone's
and typewriters changed women's jobs as women were used to type and
answer the phone's. Some middle class women had professions such as
teachers, as in Scotland 60% of teachers were women and they even
became doctors due to many middle class women having an education,
though these occupations were frowned on by many. At this time around
29% of women were in some kind of employment. Women were expected to
run the home and wear long skirts and not to do things that men did
e.g. smoke and drink this shows that, people's view of women and how
they were meant to behave influenced their employment opportunities.


By 1915 war had broken out and many men had gone to fight, and this
was the first time women had been given the chance to do manual
labour. At the out break of war only volunteers left for war and many
men were left to still do the work and women were could only knit
garments for the troops and fund raise to help the war effort. On 17th
July 1915 Christabel Pankhurst organised a "right to serve" march to
be able to work and help the war effort. Over 60,000 women were
involved. Later in 1916 lack of men in France caused conscription and
every man between 18 and 41 had to go to war leaving staggering job

The women's opportunities of work grew, as in 1915 there was a shell
shortage on the western front because not enough were being produced.
The government gave Mrs Pankhurst £3000 to organise women to do war
work; the government also used propaganda posters to get women to
work. A national register "women's war register" in which women
between 16-65 years registered so the government could acknowledge who
could work. Women filled all sorts of jobs, many of them dangerous and
skilled. They worked in shipyards and drove trams, buses and
ambulances. Women also...

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