WWII: A Milestone or Pebble Regarding Women in the Workforce

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Most believe that World War II benefited women in the workforce. But did it really? World War II created war-related jobs and caused a large amount of men and voluntary enlistees. During World War II women played a part in the workforce in a way that was unpredicted in the U.S. history. The two pre existing factors of moral rights and society’s stereotypes collided with one another as the traditional female gender roles were diminished from war opportunities. Two arguments arise from this upset of social norms: a milestone for women’s experience and a lack of immediate and long-lasting change in gender roles after war. World War II served as a milestone for women in work. One aspect that World War II brought change in society’s gender roles. There was the shortage of manpower needed to fill the jobs created by war. As men were enlisted into the war, men were forced to leave their current jobs which left open opportunities for the women to fill these positions. During the war men had two options in the direction that they wanted to move: battling in war, or higher end jobs that were being abandoned due to the war. Either way, men were leaving jobs that needed to be filled in some way. This gave opportunities for women to fill these open positions in the workforce. In the book The Paradox of Change:American Women in the 20th Century, a man named William Chafe asserts that the female work force increased by 50% throughout World War II (121 Chafe). Not only were women gaining jobs at home, but the war created jobs that women would be able to pursue The United States Employment Service said that 80% of the jobs in war could easily be filled by women (Cafe 122). Before World War II, women were seen as stay at home mothers. Not only d... ... middle of paper ... ...men at work. Although women had unequal pay, and and there were many reasons behind World War II not serving as a significant role in the change of women’s rights, the ideas that were mentioned previously are more significant than the opposing sides ideas. This goes to show that women truly had more rights and there was a significant change after the war. The two ideas of female gender roles and women’s rights collided throughout world war II. Due to the rising need of jobs being filled while men went to war was the basis of the new workforce for females. As time went on females rights evolved, and WWII was the basis of this progression. This is why World War II is considered a “milestone” in the womens workforce. Due to all of the changes in World War II women now have the ability to work in any profession they want, and have the same rights as men.

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