WOMEN IN WORLD WAR I

THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN WORLD WAR I

INTRODUCTION:

During World War I, with vast numbers of men either enlisting or conscripted to fight in the various forces, women stepped up to take their place as workers. There were many jobs that women had, including cooks, nurses, making clothes and shoes or making medical supplies to be sent over. Women were also mainly in the war because if it was not for them then the soldiers would not have any supplies. So women played a great role during the war.
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WOMEN' S SUPPORT:

Women were the biggest support during World War 1. During WWI (1914-1918), large numbers of women were enlisted into jobs vacated by men. New jobs facilities were also created as part of the war effort like in munition factories, transport industries, nursing etc.

WOMEN IN MUNITION FACTORIES:

Women in WWI were brave and hardworking. Over 890,000 women – teenagers, wives, mothers, even grandmothers – joined the factories left by men. They filled the gaps left by volunteers and men who had gone for the war.

Women working in munition factories are called munitionettes. They produce 80% of the shells and weapons used by the soldiers. The high demand for weapons resulted in the munitions factories becoming the largest single employer of women during 1918.

WOMEN ASSISTED AS NURSES

More than 3,000 nurses served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC), including 2,504 overseas.

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Canadian military nurses were trained nurses before the war. Nurses were all women between the ages of 21 and 38. The eventual average age was 24, and almost all were single. Many of the nurses had brothers or fathers serving in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

WOMEN AS TRANSPORTERS

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One of the areas of employment where new opportunities opened up for women was in transport. Women began working as bus conductresses, ticket collectors, porters, carriage cleaners and bus drivers.

RISKS FOR WOMEN

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1. Women workers whose job was to fill the shells can be exposed to TNT, an explosive, which turned the skin into yellow.

2. The lifting of heavy shells and operating machineries could be back breaking and extremely risky.

3. With heavy machines operating, workers shouting at each others and moving heavy shells and equipment around the factories were often deafening places to be.

4. Despite of such a long, tiring working day, women workers didn't have enough breaks.

5. From relatively minor injuries to more serious incidents and even death, the munition workers risked their health and often their lives while carrying out their jobs.

6. Of the 2,504 Canadian nurses who served overseas, 56 were killed from enemy fire,

disease or drowning from water.

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WOMEN'S RIGHTS

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BEFORE WW1

Before WW1, women's rights were different from now. Women were the motherly figure and take care of the family. Women in working class had to work in any job to contribute to the household income but they were not allowed to work in particular jobs like being in government because they were considered to be appropriate only for men. Women did not even have the right to vote because men considered them superior to women.
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DURING WW1

During WW1, women's rights started to move forward. They took places of men who went to war. During the war, there was a conscription crisis that convinced politicians to allow a limited amount of women, who had family members at war, to vote.
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AFTER WW1

After WW1, some women were more appreciated then before the war. When the men returned from war, women were strongly encouraged to leave work places but they realized that they are equal to men and can protest against it. This time period was positive because it was the start of women' rights.
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CONCLUSION

In conclusion to all this, women performed a magnificent job during world war 1. Women took men’s work and impressed them with their abilities of taking heavy work and doing it with efficiency. Women were not considered much before war but world war 1 was the chance for them to prove themselves and from where they got the right to vote.

women in ww1