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.
Many women in the United States are viewed as strong and independent people. However, women are also shown to be not as powerful and equal to men, women’s voices are still not heard equally today. The blunt truth is that men still run the world. Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduated in the United States; men still hold more leadership positions in the industry and the government. It is a proven fact that “A man is selected for hire over a woman” (Yurkiewicz) while women should automatically be the ones to sit at home and be less help then a man.
However, sociologists would not all agree that this is the primary reason for the trends. Feminists would argue that changes in the position of women, for example improvements in their economic situation have had a large impact. Now, 70% of women are in paid work, compared to 49% in 1965. Subsequently, women are less likely to be financially dependent on their husbands and thus freer to end an unhappy marriage. Feminists also argue that women work triple-shifts within households, leading to conflict and leading to more divorces.
Women’s Roles in Ancient Times In the earliest human societies, it was believed that our society has been patriarchal since the beginning of civilization. This theory has been proven to be wrong in time and some cultures because there were many strong willed women who disregarded custom and rules their families with the sheer force of their personalities (Thompson 2010). Women played a large and essential role in the history of their civilization. The role of women in different ancient societies had many similarities and differences. Because women could give birth, their roles were valuable than men in some societies.
Hitler realised he needed to increase the birth rate to fundamentally strengthen the Third Reich; with a larger population would come more strength, superiority and pre-eminence. Removing women from the job market also reduced the problem of male unemployment and when women weren’t working they carried out traditional female domestic tasks such as cooking, cleaning, bearing children and nurturing the family. They would have a natural and clean appearance with long hair, no make-up and long skirts, rarely would they ever smoke or drink. Hitler knew the power of German women as demonstrated by their earlier progression so he came up with policies to undermine their well earned pride and ultimately terminate any further progression to coerce women to stay at home and have children. Propaganda was an essential device used by the Nazis to enforce ideas of the
Shorter says this indicates that industrialization offered a wide scope of opportunities outside of the home causing an increase for independence. On the other side of this debate is Louise A. Tilly, Joan W. Scott and Miriam Cohen, who argue it was not that women sought independence from their traditional settings, rather that the the age of industrialism caused women to work out of need. Thus, the rise was due more to a breakdown of tradition that included a lack of support from family, community and the church. Edward Shorter opens up suggesting that the position of women within the family underwent a radical shift starting late in the eighteenth century , proposing that their roles went from powerlessness and dependency, to independence. He points out that early on social ideology made the husband supreme over the woman in the household, his only obligation was to respect her, hers, to serve and obey him1.
Between the period 1865 to 1950 woman’s rights were developing, it was not very consistent which denies continuity in the extension of women rights and it was mostly change for woman but without consistency. Women were viewed as inferior to men which were seen as it changed over the years but there was still signs of Women were still seen as inferior and society favoring men. Politically women were successful in campaigning but It the successes were prolonged and woman has been campaigning since 1848, Seneca Falls and socially women were progressing. Economically women had to adapt to changes and struggled more than men. Socially Women had many issues such as immigrants, contraception and changing of attitude.
For example women gained the right to vote in the 20th century and rape in marriage was made a crime in the early 1990s. A liberal feminist, Jessie Bernard, sees the role of housewife as the key factor in limiting the potential of women. Bernard believes that marriage is particularly beneficial for men as they are more likely than single men to have successful careers, high incomes and high status occupations. However, wives are found to express marital dissatisfaction more frequently than men, since they gain least. The positive of liberal feminists are that in general the writers will have an optimistic view of the current position and future prospects of women in society and the family on the other hand the negatives of this view are that some of the social changes are proved to be incorrect for instance studies on the conjugal roles (the roles of the men and
In 1857, the matrimonial causes act made divorce easier and cheaper but still too expensive for the lower and middle class. Also it was only possible if it could be proved in court that a matrimonial offence had occurred. In 1923, women were granted equal rights to men in divorce which meant the divorce rates were slowly increasing and so were the lone parent families as women were able to terminate unhappy marriage. The rise in divorced really took off in 1969 where the divorce law reform act came in. This was where you no longer had to prove that a matrimonial offence had been committed, just that your marriage had broken down.
Many people say the ‘Commons are male-dominated since in 2005 only 19% of MP’s were women. However, in the early nineties the Labour Party had a massive female MP recruitment policy introduced for their party, whereby half of all Labour representatives standing for constituencies across the UK had to be women. While this was rejected in a court ruling as being unfair, it did show Labour tackling perceived sexism within Parliament. Since (statically speaking) women look after children and homes, they are more likely to be free to vote. Therefore, if a party could attract women voters by having female candidates they would have attracted a larger percentage of voters than parties focussing on attracting professional men, who would be too busy to vote.