World War 1: Female Factory Workers

The Great War Tried, Tested and Transformed Lives of Women

By Kelly Cheung

Before The Great War

Before the war, women like us were employed as servants, nurses, teachers, housekeepers, and etc. nothing particularly stressful or painful. If we were married, our husbands were against us working outside of home. This was because they were afraid that the cheap pay we got from working would cut their wages. So that had stopped us from working and exercising out human right to do what we had wanted.

Tried (1914-1918)

When our husbands had gone to fight in the war, there were many vacant job spots left. Also new jobs were created as part of the war effort, for example there was a high demand for tanks and ammunition to be made. It was soon seen that we, women, were needed to help out in factories since there were not enough volunteers.

Click here to view my archive of artifacts about this time period in Canadian History that has affected women's rights.

Examples of Different Factory Jobs

Tested (1919 -1924)

During the Great War almost everything was benefiting in improving the rights of Canadian women. This almost stopped when the men came back home. To them everything had changed, their job was taken and we were wearing pants! They expected us to step down from working at factories but the job was so exhilarating, we were finally doing something that was considered a man’s job. Even though some things have changed like the fashion, other things have stayed the same like respect for women. Throughout, these years have been a period of improvement.

Click here to view my scrapbook of memories about this time period in Canadian History to see how women tested new things out to improve their rights.

Transformed (1925-1929)

In the 1920’s often referred to as the roaring 20’s, Canada was transformed. In this half of the roaring 20’s, war is long gone and the new modern age is here! Canada was finally being treated as something separate from Britain. As females our rights were once again extended, since now we were able to run in the Senate. Also lots of new technology was being created like cars. Nearing the end of the roaring 20’s, in 1929 the stock market had dropped severely and it had a big impact on the world. Canada has changed so much since the Great War, and I am sure it will change even more.

Click Here to view the memories I collected from this time period, they helped me see just how much Canada has changed since the Great War