“Their contribution during WW1 was the main reason why women gained the right to vote in 1918.” How valid is this view? Women were treated unequally to women in the early 1900’s. Women were not respected and were not trusted to have political duties as they were thought a woman’s duties were at home to take care of the family. Many believe women’s contribution to World War 1 was the main reason women gained the vote as it was seen as a ‘reward’. When the war broke out in August 1914 women gave up their suffrage campaigns in order to help war efforts such as replacing men in their jobs whilst they were away etc.
Women played many roles in the civil war. They did not wait for the men in their lives to come home from the battlefield. Many women supported the war effort as nurses and aides, while others took a more upfront approach and secretly enlisted in the army or served as spies and smugglers. These new jobs delimitate their traditional roles as housewives and mothers and made them an important part of the war effort. Two of the important women in the civil war were, Clara Barton and Harriet Tubman.
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. Before the First World War, The majority of women stayed at home and their priorities were looking after the family and the house. Women were seen as the property of their husband. The variety of women’s jobs was very narrow and most women had never had a proper job in their lives. During the war, asso many men were involved in fighting, countless women had a job whether it was working in a munition factory, driving an ambulance or working for the transport of London.
They began to take up jobs that would be considered unsuitable for women before 1914, such as working in munitions factories and other war industries. Many women volunteered to work overseas as nurses or ambulance drivers. They also drove buses, streetcars, and worked on police forces and civil service jobs. They were also needed for agriculture. Almost all jobs men did before they left to fight in the war were now a women’s job.
The lives of women on the Home Front were greatly affected by World War I The lives of women were greatly affected by the war, mainly in a positive way in the long run. Before the war upper-class women did not work, in contrast working class women worked in professions such as maids or working in factories as a way to provide for their families. Statistics show that as many as 11% of women worked as domestic servants before the war. The war also helped the social status of women dramatically in a positive manner as well as giving women the chance to work in a greater variety of jobs, although after the war they were expected to return to their original traditional housewife role. When the war broke out in August 1914, thousands of women lost their jobs in dressmaking, millenary and jewellery making.
Who had the greater impact on nursing in the Crimean War- Florence Nightingale or Mary Seacole? Even though I believe that Mary Seacole is the better nurse and she helped more soldiers, I think that Florence Nightingale had a bigger impact on nursing because for one, she did run a big team of nurses in a hospital and set up a nursing school after the war but two, Mary Seacole had no way of impacting nurses because she was bankrupted after the war and she worked on the front line. Florence Nightingale had formal nurse training and went to help the soldiers in the Crimean war because she was invited to head the nursing staff there through the influence of powerful friends: Sidney Herbert (secretary at war at the beginning of the Crimean conflict) and his wife Elizabeth. Nightingale was to be accompanied by a team of 38 nurses who were picked by a committee who was careful to keep a religious balance among the volunteer nurses. On the other side of the world, Mary Seacole learnt about nursing from her mother which was informal unlike Florence Nightingales training.
They include the work of the suffragettes’ who caused chaos and grabbed the spotlight away from the suffragists’ after a group of women decided it was time to make a militant stand. Also woman’s work war work was a massive contribution to them gaining the vote, it showed that woman could work just as well as the men could and respect was gained. Women worked on the front line as bearers for the injured soldiers, this showed tremendous bravery and strength they also worked in the medical areas helping men recover or heal from their injuries. Finally the changing attitudes of the government and society helped women with their stand, the women’s persistence was important, they showed heart and character in continuing to maintain their support, time and effort to gain
Some joined the Land Army and others worked in the factories producing weapons. As a result, women became more self-confident and they realized that they could be efficient and skilled workers so some social attitudes towards women changed. When, in 1945 the men returned home after the war had ended and took back their previous jobs, 75% of the women workers returned home. Most men continued their pre-war attitude that women should maintain their traditional role by staying at home and looking after the children. In 1947 when women were asked whether married women should return home, 58% said that women should return to their domestic duties.
Secondly, the women kept the country going by sustaining the country’s labor needs. Thirdly, they provided munitions that were essential for the soldiers in the battlefield. Lastly, during war time, some British women chose to volunteer as nurses, cooks and helpers to assist male soldiers in the army. It is through these ways that British women held crucial roles during the war even though they did not directly participate in it. As soon as the war broke out, the women of Britain suspended their campaign for the franchise, and boosted recruitment among the country.
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.