To what extent did the First World War change the lives of women in Britain? The First World War was a time of loss, heartbreak and an endless fight for victory. It was the worst war the world had ever seen. But in amongst all of this suffering came an unexpected but positive outcome for women in Britain which had a huge effect on their lives. A wider range of jobs became available to them, they gained more independence and weren’t viewed as second citizens but most importantly, World War One lead to women in Britain gaining the vote.
World War 1 played a significant part in developing women's political rights in both positive and negative ways. World War one may have foiled the drive by women to gain political rights just as much or even more so then it helped. Pre war women did have working opportunities though very little compared to men, as they were seen as weaker and that their place was in the "home". Their employment was limited to the domestic service (cleaning or working as a servant) and secretarial work and not manual labor in factories or working class women often worked in the textiles industry. Women were lower paid and were restricted to do less skilled work, as they were considered incompetent.
Is feminism still relevant in the modern world? In the early 20th century the suffragettes played a huge part in gaining votes for women. World War One also played a large part the feminist movement as women who had previously been deemed incapable of much more than looking after children and husbands were now required to help in other areas such as the work force as part of the war effort. After World War One women were not content to revert back to their pre-war status. World War Two required women in the munitions factories and as land girls which due to the shortage of men gave, women a definite place in the working environment, and the argument of women being incapable was now of no consequence.
Women were able, furthermore, to stand as candidates in local elections by 1888, enabling women to challenge opposition views that had always denied them their rights, and the increasing roles of women in society indicated greater social acceptance. However, limitations persisted in that these responsibilities were seen as ‘domestic’ and women were still openly denied the parliamentary franchise. In addition, these crucial changes remained restricted to only middle class women, thus losing crucial support from working class women who had already established highly developed unions. Hence, the Radical Suffragist Party focused on working class women thus ‘radical’ for these views. These contributed to social reform through peaceful means and set up successful women’s trade unions which created equal rights for women in payment and working hours.
Anderson points out that despite continuing occupational sex segregation, a lack of appropriate child care, and the lingering negative attitudes regarding female employment, women persisted in gaining employment and opening doors for themselves and later generations. The necessities of wartime America undermined a somewhat sex segregated labor market and the ideas that perpetuated it. Lacking national uniformity, local municipal government and attitudes greatly influenced the breath of change. Such themes arose was mobilization where employed several rationales in convincing women to pursue employment among them patriotism, the prestige of war workers, and “a stress on women’s capacities for nontraditional work.” For women themselves, several factors encouraged them to find work. While patriotism remained one, others such as economic necessity, escape from the home, desire for social independence, and preventing loneliness or anxiety provide a few examples.
To what extent did the lives of women and young people change under Nazism? To a certain extent, the lives of women and young people changed significantly under Nazism, however many ideas that the Nazis appeared to introduce had already existed in Germany before, they were simply exaggerated and enforced. Most of the Nazi’s views on women and their roles in society were traditional and old fashioned, the opposite of the liberal ways during Weimar Germany. Nazi’s believed that the younger generations were very important for the success of Germany, and so they concentrated on educating and brainwashing them from an early age. The Nazi’s were fixed on the idea that a woman’s role was at home, being a mother and a wife.
Although women traditionally were excluded from military service and their participation in the Armed Forces was not promoted at the outset of World War II, it soon became apparent that their participation was necessary to win a total war. “ (Women in the Millitary in World War II) As a result, women played an important role in the World War II and they had a great duty to save the world and protect their countries. During World War II, the generally held belief in the United State was that women were incapacitated for several days each month and were accident-prone prior to and during the menses. But those who rebut the woman's body as military liability claims argue that menstruation does not incapacitate or debilitate most women and that "female military nurses have had
Ginia Bellafante spoke in Time Magazine, “if the women’s movement were still useful, it would have something useful to say; it’s dead because it has won” (Bellafante) Progress since the 60’s and 70’s is visible, but statistics verify that women have a long way to go. Domestic violence is a persistent problem; women still fight to maintain reproductive rights, and earn only seventy-five percent of the salary that men receive to perform the same work. Many claim that there is no longer any reason for feminism, despite all this information. Is feminism dead in today’s society? One of the main reasons feminism has lost supporters is that business have worked to over-power the image that represents feminists.
The Women’s Right Movement changed the lives of the American Women for the better, due to gaining the right to vote, access to higher education, and the opportunity to enter the workforce. Before the reform movements of Women’s right, the American women were discriminated in society, home life, education, and the workforce. Women in the 1800s could not only vote, but they also were forbidden to speak in public. They were voiceless and had no self-confidence, they dependent men, since they had little to no rights (Bonnie and Ruthsdotter). Before the reform movement, the American Women were voiceless, they had no say in society, however the reform movement will soon change that.
A professional career was almost impossible, and despite Britain’s ruler being female for most of the nineteenth century until 1901 when Queen Elizabeth died, women were second class citizens. In 1870, Queen Victoria had written, ‘let women be what God intended, a helpmate for man, but with totally different duties and vocations.’ Trint, S. History Learning Site 2010-2011. Women’s Rights. www.historylearningsite.co.uk [accessed 07122011] Women’s subordination to men meant that their prime duty was domestic. Children were an economic responsibility for women - providing food, housing and clothing until the child was independent and could go out to work to provide for the family themselves.