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How were the lives of women on the Home front affected by the First World War. Free essay! Download now

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How were the lives of women on the Home front affected by the First World War.

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 1400 | Submitted: 12-Feb-2009
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How were the lives of women on the Home front affected by the First World War.


Many things changed for women in the 1920’s, like fashion. In the 1900’s, women had to wear tight corsets, long dresses, hardly any make-up, so they were very pale. Also they had their hair tied under a hat. This tells me they had to dress sensibly. But in 1920, things changed. Some women started to wear short dresses, flesh-coloured tights, bangles and beads. Also they cut their into a bob and dyed it black. Lots of make-up and fake tan came into fashion. Women began to smoke and drink in public, which was very wrong and known as a ’man thing’. Source 10 backs up my knowledge because it’s a photograph of women smoking and drinking and it was taken in 1920.
Another change was women weren’t allowed, but men were. Many women weren’t happy so the NUWSS was formed (suffragists), this was a group of women who protested and made speeches to convince the government to give women the vote. Their method was useless, so the WSPU stood in. (Suffragettes). These women were violent, they smashed shop windows and often got arrested. Some were even put in prison, where they went on hunger strike. The government didn’t want them to have a martyr, so released them. To put a stop to them going on hunger strike, the government produced a policy of force feeding, the women who refused to eat got a hose pipe like tube put down their throat into their stomach, then things like orange juice or anything liquidised was poured down. Whilst this was going on, other suffragettes published a poster about this. King George V saw this and asked the government to stop this policy. So the government stopped and released the suffragettes, but there was a chance the women would be put back in prison once their health had improved.

Another change was jobs, before 1920 women worked in domestic service and the textile industry. But when men went off to war and women filled in vacant spaces, women did men’s jobs like working in munitions factories, making car tyres etc. I can prove women did this because in source 11 it talks about a woman who worked with aircraft, its reliable because it was written by Sylvia Pankhurst who was a campaigner for women’s rights at the time.
These jobs were a big change for women as they were dangerous and more physical. Some women enjoyed doing these jobs and were disappointed when they were forced to hand their notice in when the men came back and wanted their jobs back. It explains this in source 14.
Some men liked the fact that women worked with them, but some really didn’t. this was because a woman called Dorothy Poole received the full men’s rate of pay. When men knew this, they wouldn’t speak to her nor give her help. The men did awful things to show their hatred, they nailed up her drawers and poured oil in it. I know this because says in source 12. Its reliable as its as interview and was recorded at the time.

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