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When World War II started, the men had to leave for the military. The women had to
take care of their families themselves. Some women took night jobs to be able to raise
their families. The average woman slept up to five or six hours a day. For the mothers
who were war workers, life was very difficult because balancing between work and
family life. Some women had to quit their jobs to take care of their children.
. 19 million women were employed however this had a negative impact as they were
given a very low pay. --Some women also helped out in the army but this was made
difficult due to the fact that males felt undermined and weak.--women at the end of
World War Two, found that the advances they had made were greatly reduced when
the soldiers returned from fighting abroad.--At the end of World War Two, those
women who had found alternate employment from the normal for women, lost their
jobs. --The returning soldiers had to be found jobs and many wanted society to return
to normal. --Therefore by 1939, many young girls found employment in domestic
service - 2 million of them, just as had happened in 1914. Wages were still only 25p a
week.--When women found employment in the Civil Service, in teaching and in
medicine they had to leave when they got married.
Evacuation: Young mothers with young children were evacuated from the cities
considered to be in danger.. As young children were normally taught by females,
many of those who went with the children were women. The fact that women were
seen to be the people who taught the youngest was something that had been going on
Factory Work:Many women decided that they would work in a factory. They worked
in all manner of production ranging from making ammunition to uniforms to
aeroplanes. The hours they worked were long and some women had to move to where
the factories were. Those who moved away were paid more.
Skilled women could earn £2.15 a week. To them this must have seemed a lot. But men
doing the same work were paid more.
In fact, it was not unknown for unskilled men to get more money than skilled female
workers. This clearly was not acceptable and in 1943, women at the Rolls Royce
factory in Glasgow went on strike. This was seen as being highly unpatriotic in time
of war and when the female strikers went on a street demonstration in Glasgow, they
were pelted with eggs and tomatoes (presumably rotten and inedible as rationing was
still in) but the protesters soon stopped when they found out how little the women
were being paid .The women had a part-victory as they returned to work on the pay of
a male semi-skilled worker - not the level of a male skilled worker but better than
before the strike.
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In the army, women joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS). Like soldiers, they
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World War II's effect on women made a large impact. Women were, for the first time,
experiencing a sense of independence.…read more