women in World war 1

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Prior to the First World War women's role in society in western countries was generally confined to the domestic sphere (but not necessarily their own home) and to certain types of jobs: 'Women's Work'. In Great Britain for example, just before World War I, out of an adult population of about 24 million women, some 1.7 million worked in domestic service, 0.8 million worked in the textile manufacturing industry, 0.6 million worked in the clothing trades, 0.5 million worked in commerce and 0.26 million in local and national government (including teaching).[1] The British textile and clothing trades, in particular, employed far more women than men and could be regarded as 'women's work'.[1] While some women managed to receive a tertiary education and others to go into non-traditional career paths, for the most part women were expected to be primarily involved in 'home duties' and 'women's work'. Before 1914, only a few countries had given the right to vote to women, and apart from these countries women were little involved in the political process. More than any previous wars, World Wars I hinged as much on industrial production as it did on battlefield clashes. With millions of men away fighting and with the inevitable horrendous casualties, there was a severe shortage of labor in a range of industries, from rural and farm work to city office jobs. During World War I, women were called on, by necessity, to do work and to take on roles that were outside their traditional gender expectations. Women took on jobs that were traditionally regarded as skilled men's work. However, women undertaking jobs during the war lost their jobs at the end of the World War I. ========================================= In World War I, for example, thousands of women worked in munitions factories, offices and large hangars used to build aircraft.[1] Of course women were also

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