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The Role of Women During World War II - Research Paper Example

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Women of the 21st century have proven to be exemplary multi-taskers of our era. A breed of sex who can pull double shifts as daughters, wives, mothers, and career women without batting an eyelash…
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The Role of Women During World War II
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Download file to see previous pages However, the high adulation that women have today as the equal of men did not always exist. The Suffragette era saw women fighting to have equal rights and opportunities with their male counterparts. But just like everything else in this world, time and circumstance forced a change in that point of view. When World War II rolled along, the United States government saw shortage in the workforce that has never been equaled since. The only solution to that problem at the time? Hire women to do the job of men. They were the most viable option. They were, the only option. Although the government and the business sector had qualms about hiring women in the workforce, most specially women who were mothers with little children, the existence of huge government contracts in the industrial field of automotive, aviation, and other sectors developed a shortage of workers due to the high volume of men leaving the workforce in order to join the war time efforts of the country. Coupled with the men leaving for war was the fact that the country was gripped by the Great Depression which forced some men out of jobs. With the lessened financial drawing power of the head of the household, most wives and mothers saw it fit to do their part in helping to support their family. So off to work they went. Women became such a huge and integral part of the workforce that the statistics from that era proves that they held important jobs and more than made up for the lack of men in the workforce. Doing jobs that were once reserved only for the brawn of men prior to the changes that wartime brought about (“Women in World War II”): The entry of married women into the work place caused their percentage of total female employment to grow 28% from 1929 to 1940, particularly women in the 25 to 44 age group increased 13.8%. In total, 50% of the women in the nonagricultural labour force were employed by the clerical and service sectors of the economy, they encompassed the majority of urban working-class women. It did not come as a surprise to many that the women who entered the workforce did so successfully during the time. The great sex divide among men and women of the era had the women forcibly relegated to the background, staying at home to tend to the needs of the family. Proir to the war, any woman who was seen as part of the workforce was frowned upon and shunned by men. However, just like all mindsets, the time was ripe for the change in the mindset of the working man when it came to the working woman. The forced expansion in the labor workforce offered the female sector of society a boost in their campaign for equal rights. The government got a boost from the entry of the female workforce who became the backbone of the American economy during the simultanuous battles against Hitler in Europe and Japan in Asia. World War II afforded the women a chance to sieze an opportunity to work in new jobs, learn new skills, and explore new opportunities (“Partners in Winning the War: American Women in World War II”). Although women were truly a “secret weapon” for the country during the war, the traditionalists in society could not help but worry about what repercussions their serious entry into the workforce would have on the American family dynamic. More specifically, what effect would having a working mother have on the children of the time? Their worry was based on the traditional point of view that saw the women as the beacon of light and guidance in the home without whom its younger members would fall astray. Although there was a small percentage of juvenile delinquency during the time, most of the children of the era knew that there was a battle raging overrseas and their mothers were part of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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