Women at work: the roles of women during the war
Before the World War I, women typically played the role of the homemaker. Women were judged by their beauty rather than by their ability. Their position and status were directed towards maintaining the annual duties of the family and children. These duties consisted of cleaning and caring for the house, caring for the young, cooking for the family, maintaining a yard, and sewing clothing for all. Girls were said to follow their mother’s footsteps so it wasn't as important for them to go to school. Some woman did work in professions in the 18thcentury. They were, doctors, lawyers, preachers, teachers, writers and singers. But by the early 19thcentury woman were limited to factory labor and domestic work. The only professions the women were then allowed to do were writing and teaching. The British textile and clothing trades were regarded as 'women's work' as they employed far more women than men. World War I
When men start leaving their jobs to serve their country in war overseas, women replaced their jobs as bank clerks, ticket sellers, elevator operator, chauffeur, street car conductor, railroad trackwalker, section hand, locomotive wiper and oiler, locomotive dispatcher, block operator, draw bridge attendant, and employment in machine shops, steel mills, powder and ammunition factories, airplane works, boot blacking and farming. Many of these women were married, and some were mothers whose husbands or older sons had gone to front. As a matter of survival, women had to work for paid employment for the sake of their families. The war actually created more domestic jobs because many women who worked in factories and outside their homes were not able to care well enough for their children. Women were also seen as vital resources for wartime aids, and various wartime slogans such as “You should aid nation in the war” and “Everyone has to be a helper” emphasized patriotism and created the environment...
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