We will take a look at the transformations and the progresses that World War I brought to women in Britain in the field of working opportunities, we will take a look at the key event for the suffrage and not clearly positive women’s situation within society, but enthusiasm among women themselves. We will see that this period was one of the most radical, but some of the changes were temporary. The first change in the lives of British women was when the war began, and the men had to leave their working positions to go and fight for their nation, it was up to women to replace them. This was the first step of a long journey. For the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century it was typical for wo... ... middle of paper ... ... not even imagine few years ago have been made.
Prior to this, traditional men and government used the excuse that women were weak-minded and to emotional to vote. But their participation in the war and them working in factories which were not designed for women, with hard work, long hours, chemicals and heavy metals, proved them to be capable. This had to be noticed by the government. Source H suggests that the war acted as a catalyst for women’s suffrage. It says people are mistaken about how much the war really did to gain women the vote.
I am going to discuss the factors for the questions above to try to decide if the war was the main factor in achieving women’s suffrage. Women decided to stop campaigning when the First World War started, so that they could prove themselves as workers in doing jobs that only men could do before, but now could not because they were fighting. The work that they did was resented by some men because they were worried that women would completely take over jobs in industry, but suffragettes were getting much more respect from the government because of the work that they were doing. The jobs consisted of work towards the war, such as work towards the munition factories. On average they were doing these jobs just as well, or sometimes better, than men were doing them before.
Beginning in the early 1900's, though, women began to want changes in society. They wanted to have a say in the decisions that were made, especially in the area of politics. They did not believe that men should be the only people allowed to vote, when they, too, were active members of society. Women's suffrage changed the face of the earth in many ways. It was the most important movement in showing the equality of men and women, and while to this day, there still may be some people that believe that women are inferior to men, the majority of people see that women are truly capable of doing anything that men can do.
Other factors were far more important, such as the suffrage movement and other reasons. Thus the war was a catalyst in which eventually the government was forced to give women the vote. The suffrage movement was far more superior in gaining the vote for women because it led the way for the emancipation. In the 1900's the philosophy of separate spheres was so strong it dictated how women were treated. Women were seen as the underlings, the inferior sex in society.
The group that tried to pass the equal rights amendment was the National Women’s Party (NWP). Although the NWP worked very hard to gain this amendment, they were not as successful as they thought they would be. Since NWP wasn’t successful there were many things that had been done by other groups. The Women Suffrage Movement had made an appearance in the women’s suffrage movement. During the civil war there was a new group that appeared.
Although not any women could vote as a result of this, it was a huge stepping stone in working their way to achieve equality. The 1918 Representation of the People Act changed the status of women a great deal, firstly it obviously allowed the women that qualified to vote, and this was a great improvement to what they could previously do before this act was passed, however now that women could vote there was a chance for many different acts to be passed that could further advance the rights of women in Britain. One of these acts that was passed from women being able to vote was the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act of 1919. This act enabled women to go in to jobs in the legal profession and civil service. This then further showed the equality between men and woman becoming closer and women were slowly but surely achieving their goals and receiving different abilities and privileges as a result of their campaigns.
They did not want women to have the authority to set laws for minimum wage, maximum hours or have safer working grounds for workers that would include women. Believe it or not the women’s movement has been going on for quite a while “the 19th Amendment was passed seventy-two years after the Seneca Falls Convention. This fact demonstrates the strong opposition that women... ... middle of paper ... ...4) This was a hindrance because just when women thought they were moving forward towards their goals people stopped voting, which led to more special interest groups and lobbies. “Nevertheless, fortified by the constitutional victory of suffrage reformers in 1920, the handful of new women in Congress embarked on what would become a century-long odyssey to broaden women’s role in government, so that in Catt’s words, they might score advantage to their ideals.” (2014) Even though many women wanted their freedom and rights, there were many women who felt they belonged in the home and to be seen not heard. “Wherever feminism reaps success or threatens the status quo, anti – feminist movements tend to arise (Chafetz and Dworkin, 37).
I think that even without WWI women would eventually have been granted the right to vote but it could have been a long time after 1918. WWI was a catalyst which speeded up the process. It earned women the respect of men and the parliament because they were vital to the war effort. It was seen that women could operate outside of the home and therefore gained the right to vote as a reward for there invaluable efforts in the war. After the war men realised that women wouldn’t go back to the roles in the home they had previously fulfilled and therefore without WWI women wouldn’t have gained the right to vote in 1918.
Women also realized that they enjoyed this taste of freedom and wanted to continue this lifestyle even after the war. World War II sparked the women’s movement, as the major role they played and the contributions they made helped to change the way women were viewed by society and create new opportunities for them. Before World War II, the role of a woman was to be a wife and mother. Most jobs were reserved for men and some states prohibited married women from even having certain jobs. There was extreme sexism that women didn’t even take note of.