Impacts On Australian Women Roles In World War 1 Essay

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Often World War 1 has been described as a milestone for advancement in women’s roles within Australian society. Through this essay, evidence will be explored and used to support this statement. World War 1 had a massive effect on all facets of human life and one group for whom it was described a true turning point, were the women of the war. Women faced dramatic change in advancement of their roles through employment and their position in society, as a result of the war. These aspects were significantly altered on different levels with women’s roles and status’ being improved. Firstly, World War 1 saw multiple changes in women’s employment, rights and their position or status in society. The roles of Australian women of the early 1900’s suffered definite change during the events of 1914- 1918. Pre- World War 1 saw women uphold a very limited employment and societal position. Their roles generally consisted of being mostly a stay-at-home wife to their husbands and tend to traditional household chores. In this era, these household chores were tedious in comparison to the modern day. Modern conveniences, brought about by technology, were not available, and in turn household chores were large, time consuming tasks. It took an incredible amount of time to cook, clean, do laundry, sew clothes, take care of the children etc. prior to the First World War, women’s work was generally confined to the domestic sphere, although not necessarily their own homes. Whilst a small amount of women managed traditional career paths, for the most part, women were expected to be primarily involved with ‘home duties.’ When the war started, it was uncommon for many women to have jobs, apart from domestic serving. Only 21% of the female population of Australia were in the workforce in 1914. (On the Home Front - World War I, 2006) This was until the war had impacted upon these figures.

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