Canadian Women and the Second World War

Topics: World War II, World War I, Gender role Pages: 3 (1179 words) Published: March 23, 2012
Canada Women and the Second World War

The changing roles of women throughout history has been drastic, and none more so than the period during and after World War II. The irrevocable changes that occurred once the war started and women went to work were unprecedented. In the end, the changing role of Canada’s women during the War was the beginning of a chain reaction of events that have forever changed the Canadian workplace and also that of men’s archaic views on the capabilities of women in general. Many look back to the period during the war in which women were encouraged to get out of the kitchen and go to work, and wonder how a five year period could be so instrumental in forever changing the norms of society? Two authors, who attempt to sift through a mountain of information and provide a clear picture in response to this question, are Jeff Keshen and Ruth Roach Pierson. Both authors paint a slightly different picture from the piles of papers, minutes, war diaries and publications that covered that pivotal period during World War II where so many Canadians women found their voice and their freedom from domesticity.

Canadian Women and the Second World War
Ruth Roach Pierson’s essay is written with purely the perspective of women in mind, and the article itself is geared towards a female audience. The writer briefly describes the conditions of Canada at the onset of the war and the societal views of the role of women. Although there are no quoted references sited for this essay, there was a vast amount of alternative reading where I am sure one could draw numerous conclusions. Even with the lack of references, I did find this essay the most compelling especially, given the current climate of women in the work force. Ruth Roach Pierson describes in great detail the plight women faced during the war, when they were encouraged by the government and the needs of their families to get out and help support their families financially while all of...


References: 1. Pierson, Ruth Roach. Canadian Women and the Second World War. Ottawa: Canadian Historical Association 1983, Historical Booklet No. 37, 3-29. (Online at: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/cha-shc/index-e.html ).
2. Jeffrey Keshen, “Revisiting Canada’s Civilian Women During World War II,” Histoire Sociale/Social History Vol. 30 #6 (Nov. 1997): 239-266.
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