Essay On The Social And Cultural Status Of Women During World War I

1934 Words 8 Pages
The social and cultural status of women saw a marked transformation during the First World War. The jobs left empty because of men joining the military needed to be filled, and the many women who lived in England were to be the ideal replacement. As the minimum wage for women was originally much lower than that of men, it was also saving companies money by employing women. Throughout the course of the war trade unions lobbied to change this with some success. The First World War saw extensive steps being made towards a goal of the improvement in the equality of women. Because men from all labour fields were leaving to join the military, women were given access to jobs that had previously been limited to only men, such as engineering and ambulance driving. The war also saw an inversion of gender roles, as women were holding the position of heads of families while the fathers and husbands were away. Though things could never revert completely to the way they had been before the war, the end of the war also brought about a return of the traditional gender roles. Many of the women who had spent the whole …show more content…
Although there were some gains in the status of women brought about by the war, the return of men from the homefront often pushed women out of their jobs. Most of those who were allowed to keep their jobs were not receiving equal pay and did not have access to the skilled labour force. The mood after the war was very much a feeling that all of the gains women had made were quickly lost. Women had gone from having larger amounts of freedom and equality, and many felt this was taken away from them at the end of the war. Suffrage, all though not given fully until 1928, was considered by some to be an attempt to make up for the fact that women’s equality in British society was seemingly slipping

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