Women in World War I

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World War I is remembered as a soldier's conflict for the six million men who were mobilized and for the high military casualties compared to civilian deaths. However, it was also a total war, where the entire nation's population was involved. Everyone contributed to the war efforts from civilians working in factories making uniforms, guns, tanks and ammunition, to families with men at the front. Probably the most prevalent group that contributed a major role in World War I, were women. They took on many responsibilities not only at the home, replacing men in offices and factories but also serving in the arm forces. More that 25,000 women served in Europe in WW I, they helped nurse the wounded, and provide food and other supplies to the military. They served as telephone operators, entertain troops and adhered to the expectations that were pressured on them from society. Their actions in World War I eventually led to the passing of the 19th amendment. When all the men were across the ocean fighting a war for world peace, the home front soon found itself in a shortage for workers. Before the war, women mostly depended on men for financial support. But with so many gone to battle, women had to go to work to support themselves. With patriotic spirit, women one by one stepped up to do a man's work with little pay, respect or recognition. Labor shortages provided a variety of jobs for women, who became street car conductors, railroad workers, and shipbuilders. Some women took over the farms, monitoring the crops and harvesting and taking care of livestock. Women, who had young children with nobody to help them, did what they could do to help too. They made such things for the soldiers overseas, such as flannel shirts, socks and scarves. Many factories became short-handed and had to hire women to cover the jobs. The factories were very dangerous and unhealthy, and the women were only getting paid half the wages of men. The women were not unionized because...
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