Womens Contribution to War Effor Gained Voting Rights

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“Women gained the vote due to their contribution during the war” - how accurate is this statement?

Before 1918, women did not have equal rights. For example, they did not have control in their marriages or any reasonable say in how their country was run. Women were seen as too stupid or emotional to make any rational decisions in important political matters. There is much debate over what actually improved views on women enough to allow them the vote in 1918, when the government decided that including the female vote in the electoral register would extend the franchise. The main idea is that they proved their worth by contributing relentlessly through work during the First World War when the men were away fighting. Others believe it was the work of Suffragists and Suffragettes which helped the cause.

However, the work done by women during the First World War is believed to be what caught the most attention and proved that they were just as reliable as men. Women became actively involved in a wide variety of day-to-day jobs which only men had worked before. They took over jobs such as nursing, munitions, industry, fire-fighting, drivers, and farming in the Women’s Land Army. Many people within the country were impressed and took on more positive attitudes towards those who worked - women were seen to be more trustworthy and mature, politicians saw them in a new light and had the view that they should be “rewarded” due to “proving their worth” to the nation. Historian Martin Pugh said “Male prejudice against women melted in the face of revelations about their capabilities during wartime and their contribution to the war effort”. These acts of help to the country proved that there was more to women than believed up until this point in time.

Before 1850, women had little-to-no control over any of their own affairs. It was accepted that men were the bosses of everything - they were the ones who worked in the marriage while women stayed at home, and they got...
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