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Women Of World War 2 Essay

1280 words - 6 pages

Women Of World War 2
When speaking of women's roles, the initial thought is the things done at home, their unpaid domestic labour. But women actually played a vital part in their country's success in world war two. The war started a new era for women's opportunities to contribute to the country. By 1945, over 2.2 million women were working in war industries, constructing ships, weaponry, and aircrafts, women also worked in factories, farms, munitions plants, drove trucks, and entered specialized areas of work that were formerly conserved for men. Thousands of women had enrolled as nurses and messengers helping on the front lines. Although they contributed, women were not impacted positively ...view middle of the document...

(worth her salt. Women at work in Australia, hale and ironmonger 1982). Another way women were discriminated were the amount of settlements offered to women by the Personal Injuries Scheme 1939. Women received 7 shillings (a former British coin and monetary unit equal to one twentieth of a pound) (dictonary.com) less than the 21 shillings men had earned in a week. Women were positioned in civil defence schemes, ambulance drivers, messengers, overnight fire watchers, and air raid wardens . Though these women were at risk from dangers like bombings, they were permitted to lower compensation to men. (http://www.striking-women.org/module/women-and-work/world-war-ii-1939-1945). To conclude, the unfairness of pay, segregation in the work field, and low defrayals offered to women proves that their roles in society were indeed not positively impacted.
Once the war ended, millions of men re-entered the labour force. It was assumed that women could not do jobs like engineering and jobs that had been considered mans work. This made it difficult for women to obtain their jobs as the returning soldiers wanted everything returned to normal. Those women that had found employment lost their jobs so returning veterans could be reemployed. Jobs were closed for women and women were methodically excluded from jobs in medicine, law, and business.(World War II: Home Front, http://www.shmoop.com/wwii-home-front/summary.html). Women without the support of a husband were often placed in difficult financial problems when government initiatives disappeared. The government introduced several measures to discourage women form seeking employment. They closed all the nurseries that had been opened during the war that allowed women with children to work. Other support services like daycares disappeared and made it quite difficult for working mothers to support their families as a women on her own had little opportunities for good professional improvement.
In the 1950s, there was an escalating trend that working women were to blame for problems like divorce rates. As marriage rates declines to 81 per 1,000 women, divorces rates reached a peak of 24 per 1,000 women after the war. Women were primarily blamed for the soaring divorce rate as that they had become more independent after having men absent for so long. ("Journal Issue: Children and Divorce" http://futureofchildren.org/publications/journals/
article/index.xml?journalid=63&articleid=408&sectionid=2781). In addition, the women that faced enforced career losses, financial trouble, and impractical accusations are more reasons to believe that they were negatively impacted.
Why women were not positively impacted by world war two can be demonstrated through stereotypes. Women after the war were still seen as homemakers. Beliefs were that women were genetically made to bear children and were put...

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