Kvinder i første verdenskrig

Kvinder i første verdenskrig


Kronikartikler - Kvinder og WWI - Introduktion

Stadig i dag, når kvinder er ansat som professionelle soldater ved en række statslige væbnede styrker, har vi en tendens til at tro, at krig er menneskets eksklusive forretning. Dette er tydeligvis usandt og har altid været det, da krig ikke kan reduceres bare for at bekæmpe, og kamp er alligevel ikke længere menneskets eneste provins.

Første verdenskrig er af stor betydning for at forstå sammenhængen mellem kvinder og krig i ordets brede betydning - ikke kun krig som kamp - fordi den skærer sammen med afgørende udviklinger i feminismens historie. Da kvinder (og jeg her hovedsageligt vil henvise til britiske kvinder) fik afstemningen i 1918, men begrænset til dem over 30, tilsyneladende som en måde at takke dem for deres enorme bidrag til krigsindsatsen, menes WWI at have været en positiv begivenhed for feminisme, med alle de modsætninger dette medfører.

Vi skal kun tænke på på den ene side de sorgkvinder, der udholdt under hele krigen på grund af slagtningen på forsiden af ​​mænd, de elskede, og på den anden side af det feministiske forsvar af pacifisme, for at forstå, hvor bitter denne sejr var over anti-suffragistiske strømme må have været.

Sara Martin, Universitetet i Barcelona, ​​Spanien

Lørdag, 22. august, 2009 Sara Martin

"Plugstreet" var britisk slang for at beskrive den belgiske landsby Ploegsteert.

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Første verdenskrig: Kvinder i krig

Efterhånden som krigen skred frem og flere og flere mænd blev påkrævet for at opretholde den britiske hær på marken, truede en mandskabskrise på hjemmefronten. Dette problem blev stort set løst ved at mobilisere kvinder til at erstatte de mænd, der var gået til kamp.

Kvinders rolle i at sikre sejren kan ikke undervurderes, en af ​​grundene til at Tyskland tabte krigen i 1918 var, at det aldrig lykkedes hende at mobilisere sin kvindelige befolkning fuldt ud.

Selvom kvinder havde arbejdet i nogle brancher i mange år, førte Første Verdenskrig kvinder ind på arbejdspladsen i en skala, der aldrig før var vidne til. Ikke kun dette, men i mange tilfælde kom disse kvinder fra middelklassen, der aldrig tidligere havde oplevet manuelt arbejde.

Den mest almindelige beskæftigelse for kvinder før krigen var tjeneste i hjemmet. Dette var kvinders arbejde ’s arbejde ’, dårligt betalt og betragtes som ringere end mænds arbejde og#8217. Det blev også forventet, at kvinder ville opgive arbejdet, når de var gift.

Sygepleje var stort set det eneste område, hvor kvinder kunne opleve krigen ved fronten

Efter indførelsen af ​​militær værnepligt i marts 1916 blev det afgørende at mobilisere kvinder til at udfylde hullerne på fabrikker, marker, transport og andre vigtige områder.

På markerne beskæftigede kvindens landhær over 260.000 kvinder som landarbejdere, en vigtig rolle, da allierede handelsskibe, der bragte forsyninger fra udlandet, blev truet af tyske U-både til søs.

Kvinder, der bor i landet, blev også opfordret til at arbejde sammen med Department of Agriculture for at dyrke og bevare mad. I 1915 udnævnte sekretæren for Agricultural Organization Society (AOS), John Nugent Harris, canadiske Madge Watt til at oprette Women ’s Institutes (WIs) i hele Storbritannien. Women ’s Institute -bevægelsen var startet i Canada i 1897, og fru Watt brugte sin egen erfaring med Metchosin Women ’s Institute som en model for dem i Storbritannien. Det første W.I -møde i Storbritannien fandt sted på Llanfairpwllgwyngyll på Anglesey, North Wales den 16. september 1915.

De kvinder, der meldte sig frivilligt til at arbejde i industrien, blev ofte sendt et stykke hjemmefra. Der var stor debat om effekten af ​​denne type arbejde på unge kvinders moral, især da mange var væk fra deres forældre for første gang i deres liv, og de havde penge fra deres løn at bruge.

Kvindelige lagerarbejdere på fabrikken hos Charles Macintosh and Sons Ltd i Manchester, 1918

Desuden led mange ammunitionspiger dårligt helbred af de kemikalier, de arbejdede med. De fik ofte øgenavnet ‘ canaries ’ på grund af deres gule hud, forårsaget af udsættelse for TNT. Omkring 400 kvinder døde af overeksponering for TNT under første verdenskrig. I midten af ​​1917 anslås det, at kvinder producerede omkring firs procent af al ammunition.

Et andet område, hvor mange kvinder var ansat, var transport. Kvinder arbejdede som konduktører (og lejlighedsvis chauffører) på busser, sporvogne og underjordiske tog.

London General Omnibus Company busleder, 1918

Mellem 1914 og 1918 tog anslået to millioner kvinder job, der tidligere var blevet besat af mænd, en stigning fra 24 procent af kvinderne i beskæftigelse i juli 1914 til 37 procent i november 1918.

Krigen førte utvivlsomt til kvinders sociale fremskridt og også til den politiske belønning ved afstemningen, der blev givet til kvinder i Storbritannien i 1918. Gennem deres krigsarbejde begyndte kvinder i Storbritannien at overvinde fordomme og nedbryde sociale tabuer.


Featureartikler - Kvinder og WWI - Bibliografi og nyttige links

Evans, Richard, Kammerater og søstre: Feminisme, socialisme og pacifisme i Europa, 1870-1945 (Sussex: Wheatsheaf Books, 1987), s. 66-90.

Goldstein, Joshua S, udvalg fra kapitel 2, 5 og 6 af Krig og køn: Hvordan køn former krigssystemet og viceversa (Cambridge University Press, 2001) i Kvinderne fra første verdenskrig

Bibliografi: Kvinder og 1. verdenskrig

Ackelsberg, Martha A, Frie kvinder i Spanien: Anarkisme og kampen for kvinders frigørelse. Bloomington og Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1991

Addams Jane og Alice Hamilton, Kvinder i Haag (Klassikere i kvindestudier). Prometheus Bøger, 2003

Alberti, Johanna (red.) Ud over valgret. Feminister i krig og fred, 1914-1928. London: Macmillan, 1989

Bard, Christine, Les Filles de Marianne: Histoire des f minismes 1914-1940. Paris: Fayard, 1995

Barlow, Adrian, Kvinderforfattere og krigen 1914-16. I Den store krig i britisk litteratur. Cambridge: C.U.P., 2000. 26-29

Berkman, Joyce, Feminisme, krig og fredspolitik: Første verdenskrigs tilfælde I Elshtain og Tobias red., Kvinder, militarisme og krig: Essays i historie, politik og social teori. Savage, MD: Rowman og Littlefield, s. 141 󈞨., 1990

Boak, Helen, Kvinder i Weimar Tyskland: Frauenfrage og den kvindelige afstemning. R. Bessel og E.J. Feuchtwanger (red.), Social forandring og politisk udvikling i Weimar Tyskland. London: Croom Helm, 1981

Bourke, Joanna, En intim drabshistorie: Ansigt til ansigt drab i det tyvende århundredes historie. London: Granta Books, 2000

Braybon, Gail & amp Penny Summerfield, Ud af buret: Kvinders oplevelser i to verdenskrige. London: Methuen (Pandora Press), 1987

Braybon, Gail, Kvindearbejdere i første verdenskrig: Den britiske oplevelse. London: Croom Helm Totowa, N.J .: Barnes & amp; Noble, 1981

Brown, Carrie, Rosies mor: Glemte kvindelige arbejdere under første verdenskrig. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2000

Buck, Claire, Britiske kvinders skrivning af den store krig. I Vincent Sherry (red.), Cambridge Companion til litteraturen fra den første verdenskrig. Cambridge: C.U.P., 2005. 85-112

Byles, Joan Montgomery, Krig, kvinder og poesi, 1914-1945: Britiske og tyske forfattere og aktivister. Newark: University of Delaware Press & amp London: Associated University Presses, 1995

Capel Martenez, Rosa Mar a, El Sufragio Femenino en la Segunda Republica Espa ola. Madrid: Direcci n de la Mujer de la Communidad de Madrid, 1992

Kardinal, Agnes, Tre skuespil fra første verdenskrig af kvinder. Wolfgang Gortschacher og Holger Klein (red.). Moderne krig på scene og skærm (Der Moderne Krieg Auf Der Buhne). New York: Edwin Mellen, 2000. 305-316

Cohen, Debra Rae, Omlægning af hjemmefronten: lokalisering af medborgerskab i britiske kvinders store krigsfiktion. Boston: Northeastern University, 2002

Condell, Diana og Jane Liddiard, Arbejder du for Victory? Billeder af kvinder i første verdenskrig. London: Routledge, 1987

Cooke, Miriam & amp; Angela Woollacott (red.), Gendering War Talk Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1993

Cooke, Miriam, Kvinder og krigshistorien. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996

Cooper, Helen Adrienne München & amp; Susan Squier (red.) Arms and the Woman: War, Gender and Literary Representation. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989

Culleton, Claire A, Arbejderklassekultur, kvinder og Storbritannien, 1914-1921. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2000

Daniel, Ute Margaret Ries (oversætter), Krigen indefra: Tyske kvinder i første verdenskrig (Legacy of the Great War S.) Oxford og Gordonsville, VA: Berg Publishers, 1997

Darrow, Margaret H, Franske kvinder og første verdenskrig: Krigshistorier om hjemmefronten (Legacy of the Great War S.). Oxford og Gordonsville, VA: Berg Publishers, 2000

Davis, Belinda J, Hjembrande brænder: Mad, politik og hverdagslivet i Første Verdenskrig Berlin. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000

Elshtain, Jean Bethke & amp; Sheila Tobias, Kvinder, militarisme og krig: Essays i historie, politik og social teori. Savage, Md .: Rowman og Littlefield, 1990

Elshtain, Jean Bethke, Kvinder og krig. New York: Basic Book, 1987

Enloe, Cynthia, Bliver kaki dig? Militarisering af kvinders liv. Boston: South End Press, 1983

Gallagher, Jean, Verdenskrigene gennem det kvindelige blik. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000

Gavin, Lettie, Amerikanske kvinder i første verdenskrig. Boulder, Co: University of Colorado, Department of Fine Arts, 1997

Goldamn, Dorothy (red.) Kvinde og første verdenskrig: Det skriftlige svar. London: Macmillan, 1993

Goldman, Dorothy med Jane Gledhill og Judith Hattaway, Kvinderforfattere og den store krig. New York: Twayne Publishers og London: Prentice Hall International, 1995

Goldman, Nancy Loring (red.), Kvindelige soldater: Stridende eller ikke -stridende? Historiske og nutidige perspektiver. Westport, Conn .: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1982

Goldberg, Nancy Sloan. Kvinde, din time lyder: Kontinuitet og forandring i franske kvinders store krigsfiktion, 1914-1919. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2000

Goldstein, Joshua S, Krig og køn: Hvordan køn former krigssystemet og viceversa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001

Grayzel, Susan R. (red.) Kvinders identitet i krig: køn, moderskab og politik i Storbritannien og Frankrig under første verdenskrig. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1999

Griffiths, Gareth, Kvinders fabriksarbejde i første verdenskrig. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 1991

Gubar, Susan & amp; Gilbert, Sandra, (1989) Ingenmandsland: Kvindeforfatterens sted i det tyvende århundrede. Vol. 2: Sexforandringer. New Haven og London: Yale University Press. Kapitel 7: Soldaterhjerte: litterære mænd, litterære kvinder og den store krig, s. 258-323

Gullace, Nioletta, Vores Søns Blod, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004

Hanley, Lynn, Skrivekrig: Fiktion, køn og hukommelse. Amherst: University of Massachussets Press, 1991

Hewitt, Linda, Kvinder Marinesoldater i Første Verdenskrig. Washington, DC: History and Museums Division, hovedkvarter, US Marine Corps., 1974

Higgonet, Margaret (red.) Sygeplejersker ved fronten: Skrivning af sårene under den store krig. Boston: Northeastern University Press: 2001

Higonnet, Margaret (red.) Lines of Fire: Kvinderforfattere fra første verdenskrig. New York: Plume, 1999

Higonnet, Margaret R. Jane Jenson, Sonya Michael & amp; Margaret C. Weitz, Bag linjerne: Køn og de to verdenskrige. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987

Holton, Sandra Stanley, Feminisme og demokrati: Kvinders stemmeret og reformpolitik i Storbritannien, 1900-1918. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986

Isaakson, Eva (red.) Kvinder og det militære system. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1988

Kennedy, Kathleen, Ulojale mødre og skæve borgere: Kvinder og undergravning under første verdenskrig . Indiana University Press, 1999

Khan, Nosheen, Kvindepoesi fra første verdenskrig. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1988

Klein, Yvonne (red.) Beyond the Home Front: Women's Autobiographical Writing of the Two World Wars. Houndmills: MacMillan, 1997

Kulhman, Erika A, Underkjoler og hvide fjer: Kønsoverensstemmelse, race, den progressive fredsbevægelse og debatten om krigen, 1895-1919 (Bidrag i kvindestudier). Greenwood Press, 1997

Lee, Janet, Krigspiger. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005

Marlow, Joyce (red.) Virago Book of Women og den store krig. London: Virago, 1998

Marwick, Arthur, Kvinder i krig. London: Fontana Original, 1977

Maurine Weiner Greenwald, Kvinder, krig og arbejde: Første verdenskrigs indvirkning på kvindelige arbejdere i USA. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990

Mitchell, David, Monstrøst regiment: Historien om kvinderne i første verdenskrig. New York: Macmillan, 1965

Ouditt, Sharon, Fighting Forces, Writing Women: Identity and Ideology in the First World War. London og New York: Routledge, 1994

Proctor, Tammy E, Kvindelig intelligens: Kvinder og spionage i første verdenskrig. New York: New York University Press, 2003

Pugh, Martin, Politikere og kvinders afstemning, 1914-1918, History, 59, 1974, s. 358-374

Pugh, Martin, Kvinde- og kvindebevægelse i Storbritannien 1915-1959. London: MacMillan, 1992

Raitt, Suzanne & amp Tate, Trudi (red.) Kvinders skønlitteratur og den store krig. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997

Scates, Bruce Rae Frances & amp Frances Raelene, Kvinder og den store krig (Kvinder i australsk historie S.) Cambridge: C.U.P., 1998

Schneider, Dorothy og Carl J. Schneider, Into the Breach: Amerikanske kvinder i udlandet i første verdenskrig. New York: Viking Press, 1991

Skinner, Richard, The Red Dancer: The Life and Times of Mata Hari. New York: Ecco, 2003

Smith, Angela K, Den anden slagmark: Kvinder, modernisme og første verdenskrig. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000

Tate, Trudi, Modernisme, historie og første verdenskrig. Manchester: MUP & amp; New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998

Thom, Deborah, Dejlige piger og uhøflige piger: kvindelige arbejdere i 1. verdenskrig (Social & amp Cultural History Today S.). London: I.B. Tauris, 2000

Tylee, Claire M, Den store krig og kvinders bevidsthed: Billeder af militarisme og kvindelighed i kvinders skrifter, 1914-1964. London: Macmillan, 1990

Tylee, Claire, Maleness Run Riot: Den store krig og kvinders modstand mod militarisme. Women's Studies International Forum, bind 11. No3. s. 199-210, 1988

Tylee, Claire (red.) Kvinder, den første verdenskrig og den dramatiske fantasi: Internationa Essays (1914-1999). London: Edwin Mellen Press, 2000

Vellacott Newberry, Joanne, Suffragister mod krigen, History, 62, 1977, s. 411-425

Wall, Richard og Winter, J. M. (red.) The Upeaval of War: Family, Work and Welfare in Europe 1914-1918. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988

Wheelwright, Annie, Amazoner og militærpiger: Kvinder, der klædte sig ud som mænd i jagten på liv, frihed og lykke. London: Pandora, 1989

Wiltsher, Anne, Farlige kvinder: Feministiske fredskampagner fra den store krig. London: Pandora, 1985

Woolf, Virginia, Tre guineas (1938). London: The Hogarth Press, 1986

Woollacott, Angela Af deres liv afhænger: Ammunitionsarbejdere i den store krig. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994

Zeiger, Susan, I onkel Sam ’s service: kvindelige arbejdere med den amerikanske ekspeditionsstyrke, 1917-1919. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004

Lørdag, 22. august, 2009 Sara Martin

En Adrian hjelm var en fransk reguleringshjelm opkaldt efter dens designer.

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Ti bemærkelsesværdige kvinder fra første verdenskrig

Vi modtog en medieudgivelse fra MyHeritage.com om 10 bemærkelsesværdige kvinder fra første verdenskrig, hvis bidrag stort set er glemt i dag, og vi følte, at vi var nødt til at dele denne liste med vores læsere. Vi vil også tilføje listen til navnene på Maria Bochkareva, en soldat i den russiske hær, der rekrutterede omkring 2.000 kvinder, hvoraf omkring 250 så handling på den østrigske front, og kosakken Maria Yurlova, der tjente i Armenien mod tyrkerne. Mange andre navne kunne også tilføjes. Fotos leveret af MyHeritage.com medmindre andet er angivet.

Julia Hunt Catlin Taufflieb (1864-1947). Socialit og filantrop født i Maine, hun var den første amerikanske kvinde, der blev tildelt franskmændene Croix de Guerre og Legion d’honneur, for at konvertere Chateau d ’Annel til et 300-senges hospital nær frontlinjen. Hun tilbød brug af slottet til Storbritanniens Lord Kitchner, selvom hendes ven Rudyand Kipling, i august 1914, men området blev hurtigt overrendt af den indledende tyske offensiv. Hospitalet blev oprettet i 1917, da området blev generobret af de allierede magter, og hendes handlinger fik andre amerikanere i Frankrig til at tilbyde deres boliger til krigsindsatsen. Hun blev gift med Emile Adolphe Taufflieb, der havde kommanderet i Frankrigs#3717 Army Corps.

Mary Borden (1886-1968). En Chicago-født arving, romanforfatter og digter, der boede i England i 1914, også hun blev tildelt Frankrig ’s Croix de Guerre for at bruge sine egne penge til at etablere en mobil hospitalsenhed på Vestfronten. Hun fungerede som sygeplejerske indtil krigens slutning, og hendes oplevelser erindres levende i hendes skrifter.

Helen Fairchild (1885-1918). En sygeplejerske fra Pennsylvania, der bemandede en enhed på vestfronten ved Passchendaele i Belgien, døde hun efter at have været opereret for et mavesår. Hun huskes på grund af hendes mange breve hjem, der bevarede detaljerne om en sygeplejerskes liv i krigen.

Dr. Elsie Inglis (1864-1917). Denne skotske læge og suffragist var drivkraften i grundlæggelsen af ​​Scottish Women ’s Hospital Unit i 1914, som til sidst opererede over et dusin hospitaler fra Frankrig til Balkan. Hun tjente i den første, etableret i Serbien, og blev en krigsfange for en tid. Hun organiserede derefter og ledede SWH i Rusland. Allerede alvorligt syg, da hun blev evakueret til England i november 1917, døde hun i Newcastle meget kort tid efter hendes hjemkomst.

Flora Sandes (1876-1956). Hun var en britisk sygeplejerske i Serbien, der meldte sig som en serbisk hærsoldat under serbernes ’ hårde tilbagetog fra Central Powers ’ offensiven i 1915. Først som frivillig i St. John Ambulance blev Sandes den eneste britiske kvinde, der officielt tjente som en soldat. I 1916 blev hun alvorligt såret af en granat i hånd-til-hånd-kamp. Hun modtog den højeste udsmykning af den serbiske militær, Order of the Karađorđe ’s Star, blev forfremmet til rang som sergentmajor og, efter krigen, til kaptajn.

Evelina Haverfield (1867-1920). Hun var en britisk suffragette og hjælpearbejder og var medstifter (sammen med Decima Moore) af Women's Emergency Corps. I 1915 meldte hun sig frivilligt til at slutte sig til de skotske kvindehospitaler i Serbien som sygeplejerske. Efter krigen arbejdede hun på et serbisk børnehjem, hvor hun døde af lungebetændelse i 1920.

Edith Wharton (1862-1937). En amerikaner, der levede i selvpålagt eksil i Frankrig, da krigen brød ud, var den berømte romanforfatter en af ​​de få udlændinge, der fik lov til at rejse til de franske frontlinjer under WWI takket være hendes indflydelsesrige forbindelser til den franske regering. Hun turnerede på militære hospitaler og slagmarker. I 1916 udnævnte Frankrig hende til en Chevalier of the Legion d’honneur som anerkendelse for energisk fundraising til flygtninge, og Belgien gjorde hende til en Chevalier af Leopolds orden. Efter hendes død i august 1937 ledsagede repræsentanter for den franske krigsveteranforening i Saint Brice kisten til hendes begravelse.

Mildred Aldrich (1853-1928). Journalist, redaktør og forfatter fra Providence, Rhode Island, flyttede hun til Frankrig i 1898, hvor hun arbejdede som udenlandsk korrespondent og oversætter. I 1914 overså hendes hus floden Marne. Hendes krigstidsskrift og breve til hendes amerikanske venner om det første slag ved Marne udgør hendes bog En bakketop på Marne (1915), den første af fire bøger bestående af hendes breve fra krigen. Hun skrev på forhånd til Gertrude Stein, før krigen begyndte, “Det vil være den blodigste affære, verden nogensinde har set-en krig i luften, under havet såvel som på den, og udført med den mest effektive menneskeslagtning maskiner nogensinde brugt i kamp. ” Frankrig mente, at hendes bøger påvirkede Amerika til at deltage i krigen og tildelte hende Legion d’honneur i 1922.

Dame Helen Charlotte Isabella Gwynne-Vaughan (1879 - 1967). En fremtrædende engelsk botaniker og mykolog, i 1917 blev hun udnævnt til kontrollør for Women's ’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) i Frankrig, en organisation hun hjalp med at oprette. Hun blev den første kvinde til at modtage en militærkommandør af det britiske imperiums mest fremragende orden i 1918. Hun tjente som kommandant for Women's ’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) fra september 1918 til december 1919. For sine krigstidspræstationer var hun lavede en Dame of the British Empire (DBE).

Edith Cavell (1865-1915) var en britisk sygeplejerske, der sluttede sig til Røde Kors ved krigens udbrud. Hun reddede soldaternes liv fra begge sider og behandlede alle uden fordomme. Anholdt af tyskerne for at have hjulpet 200 allierede soldater med at flygte fra Belgien til Holland, blev hun dømt til døden og henrettet i oktober 1915. En statue til minde om hende i nærheden af ​​London ’s Trafalgar Square er kun et af mindesmærkerne, der blev rejst til hendes minde.


Canadiske kvinder og krig

Canada har været involveret i forskellige krige siden begyndelsen af ​​sin koloniale historie. Ligesom karakteren af ​​disse krige har ændret sig over tid, så har deres virkning også på canadiske kvinder. Kvinder har deltaget aktivt i krig, fra sygepleje og fremstilling af ammunition under første og anden verdenskrig til canadiske kvinders stigende engagement i militæret.

Signalerne Marian Wingate og Margaret Little fra Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service på arbejde i St. John's, Newfoundland, april 1945.

Krig har påvirket canadiske kvinders liv på forskellige måder afhængigt af deres geografiske placering og race og økonomiske status. Konflikter før 1900-tallet havde stor indflydelse på kvinder i Canada, især oprindelige kvinder, hvis samfund kunne blive fordrevet og ødelagt af koloniale militærer. Kvinder blev interneret i Canada i krigstid - det vil sige tilbageholdt og indespærret - fordi deres baggrund kunne spores til fjendtlige stater.

Flytning af japanske canadiere til interneringslejre i det indre af British Columbia, 1942. Fællesskabskøkken på en japansk canadisk interneringslejr i Greenwood BC, 1943.

Mens nogle kvinder er blevet traumatiseret dybt af Canadas krige, har andre indirekte haft gavn af dem. Kvinder har ofte antaget traditionelt mandsarbejde i krigstid - et mønster, der i nogle tilfælde har bidraget til at fremme kvinders rettigheder.

Nyt Frankrig og Britisk Nordamerika

Kvinder, der fulgte med de franske og engelske militærstyrker i det 17., 18. og 19. århundrede lavede mad, vaskede, syede og plejede de syge og sårede. Nogle beskyttede deres ejendom mod plyndringer og forberedte ammunition, mad og medicin.

Madame La Tour forsvarer modigt fortet mod d'Aulnays angreb (tegning af C. W. Jefferys, høflighed Library and Archives Canada).

I midten af ​​1600-tallet tog Acadia, konen til Charles de Saint-Étienne, Françoise-Marie Jacquelin (bedre kendt som Madame de La Tour), kommandoen over sin mands koloniale hærkorps i hans fravær og forsvarede Fort La Tour mod en rival milits (se Borgerkrig i Acadia). Tilsvarende i 1692 spillede den 14-årige Marie-Madeleine Jarret de Verchères en afgørende rolle i forsvaret af Fort Verchères mod Haudenosaunee-raiders. Under krigen i 1812 gik Laura Secord berømt mere end 30 km for at advare det britiske militær om et forestående angreb.

Under modstanden mod nordvest i 1885 blev kvinder for første gang officielt optaget i militæret som sygeplejersker (se Sygeplejersker). Civile sygeplejersker ledsagede også Yukon Field Force under Klondike Gold Rush i 1898 samt det canadiske kontingent i den sydafrikanske krig (1899–1902).

Miss Minnie Affleck, sygeplejerske med det første canadiske kontingent, sydafrikanske krig, 1899-1902

Udvidelse af kvinders roller i krigstiden i det 20. århundrede

I det 20. århundrede kombineres faktorer som afstanden mellem konflikter og restriktive ideer om kvinders evner kombineret for at forhindre direkte deltagelse af kvinder som kombattanter. Ikke desto mindre organiserede kvinder under både den første og anden verdenskrig for hjemmeforsvar, udstyrede sig i uniformer og uddannede sig i geværskydning og militære øvelser.

På en skadestation rydder sårede canadiere en sygeplejerske med en hund bragt ud af skyttegravene, oktober 1916 Sygeplejersker til prinsesse Marys Royal Air Force Nursing Service taler med sårede soldater, Beny-sur-Mer, Frankrig, 16. juni 1944 Sygeplejersker leverer medicinske forsyninger på Royal Canadian Naval Hospital, St. John's, Newfoundland, ca. 1942

De to første kvindetjenester blev oprettet som hjælpestoffer til flyvevåbnet og hæren i 1941. Omkring 50.000 canadiske kvinder meldte sig til sidst ind i flyvevåbnet, hæren og flåden. Mens medlemmerne af Royal Canadian Air Force Women's Division i første omgang blev uddannet til gejstlige, administrative og understøttende roller, kom de til sidst til at fungere som faldskærmsrigere, laboratorieassistenter og inden for elektriske og mekaniske fag.

Canadian Women's Army Corps (CWAC) Pipe og Brass bands forbereder sig på at deltage i en march forbi i Apeld oorn, Holland, 13. august 1945, i slutningen af ​​Anden Verdenskrig Lance-korporal A.W. Hartung med Pipers Flossie Rose (i midten) og Mona Michie fra Canadian Women's Army Corps (CWAC) Pipe Band, Zeist, Holland, 25. august 1945 Signalerne Marian Wingate og Margaret Little fra Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service på arbejde i St. John's, Newfoundland, april 1945.

Det canadiske kvindelige hærskorps fulgte den samme vej, idet medlemmerne startede som kokke, sygeplejersker og syersker, men senere blev chauffører og mekanikere. Det tredje kvindemilitærkorps, Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS, eller “Wrens” uformelt), blev oprettet i 1942. Voksende bureaukrati fra krigen åbnede vejen for kvinder som officielt anerkendte medlemmer af de væbnede styrker uden for sygepleje, og mange kvinder i tjenesten opnået beskæftigelse i gejstlige stillinger som stenografer, tavleoperatører og sekretærer.

Valgret

I 1917, midt i den enorme rekonfiguration af arbejdsmetoder på hjemmefronten, vandt bevægelsen for kvinders stemmeret en stor sejr med passage af Lov om valg af krig, der gav nogle kvinder stemmeret ved føderale valg. Valgret på dette tidspunkt var begrænset til kvinder, der arbejdede i de væbnede styrker og hustruer, mødre og søstre til soldater i udlandet. Samtidig er imidlertid Handling tilbagekaldt stemmeret fra canadiske borgere med fjendtlig fremmed fødsel, der blev naturaliseret efter 1902. I dag ser de fleste historikere på Handling dels som et resultat af kvinders voksende tilstedeværelse i det offentlige rum og dels som et skridt fra premierminister Robert Borden for at styrke valgstøtten til hans regering (se Valg af 1917).

Krigsroller på hjemmefronten

En anden vigtig rolle for kvinder i krigstid, især Anden Verdenskrig, bestod af kodebrydning og spionage. Den canadiske regering rekrutterede blandt andet medlemmer af Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service og Canadian Women's Army Corps til at bryde kodede meddelelser. De arbejdede i British Columbia, Nova Scotia og Ontario, herunder på Camp X.

Veronica Foster, kendt som "The Bren Gun Girl", poserer med en færdig Bren -pistol på John Inglis & amp Co. -anlægget, maj 1941. Operatøren, Clémence Gagnon, ser en maskine, der kortlægger asbestfiber, Johns Manville -fabrik, Asbest, Quebec, juni 1944.

Kvindelige værftsarbejdere går ned ad en sti, der vender tilbage til arbejdet efter en 30-minutters frokostpause i værftets cafeteria, maj 1943.

Mens nogle få kvinder havde produceret ammunition på fabrikker under den sydafrikanske krig, gik de under første og anden verdenskrig massivt ind i ammunitionsindustrien. Ifølge Imperial Munitions Board arbejdede omkring 35.000 kvinder på ammunitionsfabrikker i Ontario og Quebec under første verdenskrig. I 1943 var cirka 261.000 kvinder involveret i produktionen af ​​krigsvarer, der tegner sig for mere end 30 procent af flyindustrien, tæt på 50 procent af de ansatte i mange pistolanlæg og et klart flertal i ammunitionsinspektion.


Kvinder arbejdede også for at sikre en blomstrende indenrigsøkonomi. Under den første og anden verdenskrig producerede og bevarede de mad, der skaffede midler til at finansiere hospitaler, ambulancer, vandrerhjem og fly og frivilligt deres tjenester i og uden for landet. Mange kvinder sluttede sig også til sådanne public service -organisationer som Federated Women's Institutes of Canada, Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, Young Women's Christian Association og Canadian Røde Kors Selskab.

Uanset den konventionelle rolle for kvinder i den sociale orden, krævede krig det fulde omfang af Canadas menneskelige ressourcer. På samme tid sikrede den midlertidige karakter af kvinders bidrag under første og anden verdenskrig, at deres krigsindsats ikke udfordrede det etablerede system, og at de vendte tilbage til konventionelle kvindelige roller, efter fjendtlighederne sluttede. I krig var kvinders arbejde vigtigt, men i fred kunne det bruges.

Kvinder i de canadiske væbnede styrker

På trods af kvinders bidrag til Canadas militære indsats i det 20. århundrede fik de først fuld adgang til de væbnede styrker i slutningen af ​​1980'erne. Canada åbnede kun alle militære stillinger for kvinder i 1989 (bortset fra ubåde, der indrømmede kvinder i 2001). I 2001 udgjorde kvinder 11,4 procent af de canadiske væbnede styrker (CAF).


CAF-rekruttering og fastholdelse af mænd og kvinder faldt i begyndelsen til midten af ​​2010'erne- og medlemskab på heltid og deltid faldt ikke under mål. Rekrutteringen af ​​kvinder stagnerede, og kvinder forlod deres stillinger med en lidt højere hastighed end mænd. Som svar etablerede CAF en rekrutterings- og fastholdelsesstrategi, der søgte at øge antallet af kvindeligt personale med en procent årligt med et mål om at nå 25 procent repræsentation inden 2026.

I februar 2018 var 15,3 procent af CAF -personalet, 4,3 procent af kamppersonale og 17,9 procent af alle CAF -officerer kvinder. Af de 14.434 kvinder, der tjente, var 7.408 i hæren, 2.856 i Royal Canadian Navy og 4.160 i Royal Canadian Air Force. Et år senere var 4,8 procent af kamppersonale i den regulære styrke og primærreserve kvinder. I februar 2020 udgjorde kvinder 16 procent af CAF-personalet: 19,1 procent af betjentene og 15,1 procent af ikke-bestyrelsesmedlemmer. Andelen af ​​kvinder var højest i flåden (20,6 procent), tæt fulgt af luftvåbnet (19,8 procent). Kvinder udgjorde 13,5 procent af den canadiske hær i 2020.

Seksuel forseelse i CAF

Selvom det canadiske militær aktivt rekrutterer kvinder, har det i nogen tid kæmpet med en kultur af kvindehad og seksuel vold. En undersøgelse fra 2014 af Maclean's bladet fandt ud af, at fra 2000 modtog militærpolitiet i gennemsnit 178 klager over seksuelle overgreb om året, hvilket eksperter mente repræsenterede en brøkdel af det samlede antal seksuelle overgreb. From 1999 to 2013, the average number of soldiers court-martialled for sexual assault each year was 8, with an average of 2.5 soldiers found guilty per year (se Military Justice System).

An external review of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment in the military was conducted by former Supreme Court of Canada justice Marie Deschamps from July to December 2014. Published on 27 March 2015, the External Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces found that “there is an undeniable problem of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the CAF, which requires direct and sustained action.” The report made 10 recommendations to help address the issue, including: acknowledging the problem establishing and implementing a strategy to “effect cultural change” and, forming an independent centre to handle claims of sexual abuse and misconduct.

In response, the CAF agreed to the recommendations and established Operation HONOUR, an operational approach to the elimination of harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour, in August 2015. As well, Canada’s chief of defence staff, General Jonathan Vance, issued an order to all CAF personnel prohibiting behaviours that “perpetuate stereotypes and modes of thinking that devalue members on the basis of their sex, sexuality or sexual orientation.”The Sexual Misconduct Response Centre, a support centre for CAF members affected by sexual misconduct, was established 15 September 2015. The centre is led by a civilian executive and operates within the Department of National Defence and outside the CAF chain of command.

In November 2016, Statistics Canada released a review of sexual misconduct in the CAF. According to the review, over 25 per cent of women in the regular force claimed to have been victims of sexual assault since joining the CAF. That number reached over 37 per cent among women with 15 or more years of service.

In the wake of the Statistics Canada review and the publication of three Operation HONOUR progress reports, 77 members of the CAF were released from duty in April 2017 and another 29 that November. According to the third Operation HONOUR progress report, military police received 288 reports of potential offences of a sexual nature between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017. Of those, 21 cases were deemed unfounded — meaning police determined that no laws were violated. The unfounded rate accounted for 7.3 per cent of complaints, which was down from nearly 29 per cent between 2010 and 2015.

Of 267 sexual misconduct cases in 2016–17, military police laid 64 charges, which led to 30 court martials with 27 guilty verdicts.

According to Statistics Canada, approximately 900 members of the regular force (1.6 per cent) and 600 members of the primary reserve (2.2 per cent) reported that they were victims of sexual assault in 2018. These numbers were similar to those reported in 2016. Women were far more likely to report being victims of sexual assault. Moreover, more than half of women (and about 40 per cent of men) in the CAF believed that inappropriate sexual behaviour was a problem in the military. However, the 2018 survey also revealed some positive developments. Nearly half (45 per cent) of the regular force and primary reserve felt that Operation HONOUR had been very effective in combatting sexual misconduct in the armed forces. Awareness of the problem had increased, particularly among those who had not been victims themselves.

Women and the Anti-War Movement

Canadian women have impacted warfare as much as warfare has impacted them. Some have significantly affected the character of the Canadian military by climbing its ranks and promoting its activities, while others have joined pacifist and anti-war movements that have sharply criticized the military. Many Canadian women have undertaken leading roles in the struggle against war. This was especially the case during the First World War, when women across Europe and North America organized for peace on an unprecedented scale.

Yet the war also had a very divisive impact on Canadian women. A number of mainstream women’s organizations, such as the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) and the National Committee of Women for Patriotic Service (NCWPS), openly or tacitly supported the war. Other women contested the war at its outset but became increasingly convinced of its necessity. Prominent suffrage leaders Nellie McClung, Emily Murphy and Flora MacDonald Denison, for instance, all held to their longstanding pacifist beliefs when war broke out in 1914, but later changed their position as they became convinced that Germany’s attacks on Britain could only be stopped through military defeat.

In 1915, prominent American reformer Jane Addams organized the Women’s Peace Conference at The Hague. Addams had invited the NCWC and the NCWPS, but both declined. A handful of Canadians did ultimately attend as independent delegates, including Julia Grace Wales and Laura Hughes. The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom was founded by women active in the women’s suffrage movement in Europe and North America who attended the conference at The Hague. These women wished to end the First World War and seek ways to ensure that no more wars took place.

In the subsequent century, the alignment of the pacifist movement and nationwide women’s activism was never again quite as strong as it was during the First World War. Nonetheless, Canadian women did play a leading role in the struggle for nuclear disarmament in the 1960s, which gave birth to the Voice of Women (now the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace). In the early years of the 21st century, thousands of women across the country also mobilized to prevent Canada’s involvement in the 2003 United States-led invasion of Iraq.


Women in the First World War - History

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Women and the First World War

Many historians argue that the First World War was a watershed for women in Britain. In reality, the development of women's political and economic rights between 1914 and 1918 was more complicated than such arguments allow. Some writers indeed contend that the emancipatory effects of the Great War have been vastly over-stated.

On the eve of war, the position of women in British society was largely unfavourable. In the workplace, 'women's work' - most commonly, domestic service - was poorly paid and considered separate from, and inferior to, 'men's work'. Women were still expected to give up work once they were married, to revert to their 'natural' roles of wife, mother and housekeeper.

Despite or because of this situation, Britain was home to the most active feminist movement in western Europe: the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), founded in 1903 by Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst and better known as the Suffragettes. But many politicians, including prime minister H H Asquith, remained reluctant to support women's suffrage actively, using the WSPU's violent methods to justify their position.

Women's response to war

The response of women to the outbreak of war in August 1914 was mixed. A small number adopted a staunch anti-war position and later worked with the conscientious objectors' movement. A much larger minority threw their patriotic weight behind the Allied cause. The Pankhursts reined in the WSPU's militant campaign, arguing that the military triumph of a 'male nation' such as Germany would be 'a disastrous blow to the women's movement'. Government propaganda made great play of patriotic women who harried their 'cowardly' menfolk to enlist in the armed forces.

The majority of British women, however, fell somewhere between these two extremes, viewing the war as an inevitability for which they now had to make sacrifices.

New opportunities

The Pankhursts rightly saw that the war would provide new employment opportunities for women. Just 2,000 had been employed in government dockyards, factories and arsenals in July 1914, but by November 1918, this figure had risen to 247,000. The number employed in the transport industry expanded by 555% to roughly 100,000. In other areas such as agriculture, banking and the civil service, there were smaller, but still noticeable, increases. At least one million women were formally added to the British workforce between 1914 and 1918.

Throughout the war, however, both the government and the press tended, for propaganda reasons, to exaggerate the extent to which women took over men's jobs. Actual female dentists, barbers and architects - all of which were featured on war savings postcards - were extremely rare. Most male-dominated professions remained closed to women. Even in areas where they were employed in large numbers, such as munitions and transport, they were often treated as inferior, stop-gap replacements for enlisted men. Moreover, women's wages, routinely portrayed as 'high' in the wartime press, remained significantly lower than those of their male counterparts.

Many women did find their wartime labour experiences in some way 'liberating', if only because it freed them from woefully paid jobs in domestic service. But the comment made in 1918 by the women's suffrage campaigner Millicent Fawcett - that 'the war revolutionised the industrial position of women' - should be treated with caution.

Reward and backlash

The Representation of the People Act (February 1918) was widely portrayed as a 'reward' for the contribution of female labour to the war effort. However, while the Act granted the vote to all men over 21 (subject to a six months' residency qualification), only women over the age of 30 were given the same privilege.

Further proof of the limits of the wartime march towards sexual equality was provided by the post-war backlash against women's employment - in particular, against the continued employment of married women. As soon as the conflict ended, the number of women working in munitions factories and transport fell away rapidly. Ex-servicemen reclaimed the jobs that had been performed by women during the previous four years. Moreover, even in long-standing bastions of female employment such as the laundry industry, women now found themselves in competition with disabled ex-servicemen.

As in France, the idea of women returning to their 'rightful' domestic place was a prominent theme in post-war Britain. Many of their undoubted advances between 1914 and 1918 were thus only partial or temporary.

'The Employment of Women
on Munitions of War'
Udskrift

Further research

The following references give an idea of the sources held by The National Archives on the subject of this chapter. These documents can be seen on site at The National Archives.


Criticisms and controversies

Yet Edith Smith’s appointment was controversial. The Home Office advised that women could not be sworn in because they did not count as ‘proper persons’ in the eyes of the law. It had long been established that they could not vote in parliamentary elections or serve on juries for the same reason. In Grantham, however, the Chief Constable and Watch Committee continued to give Smith their full support because they thought her work was vital given the very particular problems that the town faced as a result of war conditions.

If Edith Smith’s appointment annoyed those who opposed women’s rights, her work was also controversial within feminist quarters. In the years before the war, suffragettes such as Nina Boyle of the Women’s Freedom League had argued that women police were needed so that female victims of crime might receive fair and sensitive treatment in courts and police stations. However, the Annual Report that Smith wrote at the end of her first year suggests that her work focused on the regulation and control of the ‘prostitutes’ and ‘frivolous girls’ who flocked through the streets of Grantham at night attracted by thousands of servicemen stationed in the town’s two army camps.

This phenomenon of ‘khaki fever’ had cemented the argument for the deployment of women police. Smith ensured that young women who engaged in ‘unseemly conduct’ were placed on a ‘Black List’ and barred from the town’s theatres and cinemas. A total of 100 ‘wayward girls’ and 50 ‘prostitutes’ were cautioned, whilst a further 40 women were convicted of prostitution-related offences by the town’s magistrates as a result of her work. The Annual Report states that ‘fallen women’ had left town because ‘the policewoman was such a nuisance’.

Smith also provided information for ‘husbands placing their wives under observation during their absence’, effectively acting as an official spy for servicemen concerned about spousal fidelity. It was this emphasis on the moral regulation and oppressive surveillance of women that led other feminists, such as Boyle, to sever their ties from the movement to promote the employment of policewomen.


Tak skal du have!

The telephone transformed military communications in the First World War. For the first time, commanders could communicate directly with front-line officers hundreds of miles away. All it took was a lightweight wire connection and the help of an operator.

When the United States entered the war, the army’s Signal Corps consisted of 55 officers and 1,570 enlisted men &mdash most of whom maintained telegraph wires. It was easy enough to build up the Signal Corps to meet the new demand for telephone connections. The Army recruited fourteen Bell Battalions, staffed entirely by AT&T employees and their supervisors, whose job was to install and maintain telephone equipment alongside the advancing American army.

General John Pershing soon realized operators were the weak point in the system. Hastily trained enlisted men were not only ham-handed at managing the switchboard, but few of them could communicate with their counterparts in the French telephone system. Adding trained operators to the system wasn’t as simple as recruiting more men from AT&T. Eighty percent of American telephone operators were women. If the Army were going to use the telephone, they needed to recruit women.

Pershing placed a request with the U.S. Department of War for one hundred uniformed female telephone operators who spoke fluent French. More than 7,600 trained women operators applied for the first hundred positions.

Called “Hello Girls” by the soldiers, they made Army communications possible. Pershing referred to them as “switchboard soldiers who accepted hazard, without reservation, to serve their country.” Like the soldiers with whom they worked, they risked their lives. Unlike those soldiers, they were not considered part of the army.

The original advertisement sent out by the Signal Corps in response to Pershing’s request called for women to serve overseas in the Army, and it is clear that most of the women believed they had enlisted. But Army regulations clearly required soldiers to be male &mdash a ruling left over from the Civil War, when women enlisted disguised as men. Without the loophole that allowed Daniels to hire female yeoman, the Hello Girls were were technically civilian contractors. They did not receive any of the benefits extended to soldiers during or after the war. They even had to pay for their own uniforms.

When peace came, the Hello Girls were stunned to discover the Army did not consider them part of the military. Congress finally recognized the Hello Girls as World War I veterans in 1979 &mdash too late to do most of them any good.

The employment of women in the American military in World War I was seen as a desperate measure in a war to end all wars, one that would never need to be repeated. And yet, as they left the service for their peacetime lives, the female yeomen and Hello Girls held open the possibility of return. As Yeoman (F) E. Lyle McCleod wrote after her discharge:

Ingen! I ain’t a yeomanette no more

And though I hate the very thought of war,

If Uncle Sam should ever say,

“I need ten thousand girls today,”

Would he get ’em?

Well, I’ll say! Og mere.

And in fact, 20 some years later, Uncle Sam did call for ten thousand girls, and more. During World War II, they came in WAVEs &mdash and WAACs, and SPARs, and WASPs &mdash and showed that the modern history of women in the military was only just beginning.


Women and the First World War

During the First World War (1914-1918), the role of women in Britain was massively altered and the women’s sphere was enlarged in every direction. Some historians mark the First World War as a watershed moment in women’s history when women were looked at less as fragile creatures and more as robust figures. A single blog post is not enough to explore all the contributions of women during the Great War, but we have combed through The British Newspaper Archive and pulled out highlights to present an overview.

Women entered into various roles to help the war effort. They were employed in factories, docks, the transport industry, farms, arsenals, and banks: areas which were formerly reserved for men. Women joined military service through the auxiliary forces, and nurses were sent to the front lines for medical support. There were also some unconventional women who created their own roles.

An officer in Flanders said

‘When victory is ours it will have been won by three things – the Tommies, the imagination that created the Ministry of Munitions, and the patriotism of the women’.

Beskæftigelse

Once war broke out, women were called on to take up not only the positions left by the men who enlisted but also positions in new munitions factories. Munitions were the more dangerous work because of the daily exposure to toxic TNT and risk of explosions.

After long exposure to TNT, workers risked toxic jaundice. This dangerous substance seeped into their skin and would cause headaches, digestive troubles, and more. The explosive would turn the workers’ hair and skin yellow, which is how munitions workers gained the nickname ‘canaries’.

An excellent resource for exploring the work of women during the Great War is the Illustreret London News‘ section ‘Women and the War’. It was a weekly series which began in 1916 by cutting down the words of Lloyd George who stated that ‘the women are splendid’. The author stated that men’s perpetual astonishment that ‘the hand that uses the powder puff can also help to rule the world‘ was not a compliment. Each week the series provided updates of women working across the country and abroad.

While visiting a factory in Clyde, the King witnessed a woman plate-cutter using the mixed-jet cutter.

In Evesham, women were sent out to the farms to assist with agricultural work. This group of ‘Brownies’ – so ‘nicknamed because of their earth-brown breeches and smocks’ – were photographed filling a barn.

In Newstead Abbey, women trained as wood-cutters in order to prepare timber.

At the City of London Mental Hospital Fire Brigade at Dartford, women joined the fire brigade after its regular members joined the military services.

Nurses

Nurses were mobilised across Britain at newly created military hospitals and on board hospital ships. They also staffed hospitals and casualty clearing stations on all the fronts. They worked with the Red Cross, Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service, Voluntary Aid Detachment, Territorial Nursing Service, and other nursing services. Nurses witnessed first hand the horrific effects of war by treating battle wounds and combating diseases.

Military Service

As the war continued far longer than anticipated, it became evident that more men were needed on the battlefields. For each man that was pulled to the front, someone needed to take his place. In 1917, the British government began to create a women’s branch of the military for the various forces.

Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC)

The WAAC was established in 1917 and was the women’s unit of the British Army. In 1918, it became Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps. Women were recruited to work as messengers, typists, cooks, and even carpenters.

The Sphere provides photographs of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in France. The photographs show the huts that they lived in on the camps as well as women at work in the advanced motor transport depot.

Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS)

The WRNS became known as the Wrens. They were first established in 1917 and disbanded in 1919 after the war ended. Then they were revived for the Second World War. Women were employed in various duties on shore hitherto performed by naval ratings such as cooks, clerks, wireless telegraphists, weapons analysts, electricians, and air mechanics.

Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF)

The WRAF was founded in 1918 and employed women as mechanics and drivers. It was disbanded in 1920 but reinstated in 1939 for the Second World War. The WRAF was given the nickname ‘Penguins’ because they were like the birds since they did not fly.


Women’s employment rates increased during WWI, from 23.6% of the working age population in 1914 to between 37.7% and 46.7% in 1918 (Braybon 1989, p.49). It is difficult to get exact estimates because domestic workers were excluded from these figures and many women moved from domestic service into the jobs created due to the war effort. The employment of married women increased sharply – accounting for nearly 40% of all women workers by 1918 (Braybon, 1989: p. 49) .

But because women were paid less than men, there was a worry that employers would continue to employ women in these jobs even when the men returned from the war. This did not happen either the women were sacked to make way for the returning soldiers or women remained working alongside men but at lower wage rates. But even before the end of the war, many women refused to accept lower pay for what in most cases was the same work as had been done previously by men. The women workers on London buses and trams went on strike in 1918 to demand the same increase in pay (war bonus) as men. The strike spread to other towns in the South East and to the London Underground. This was the first equal pay strike in the UK which was initiated, led and ultimately won by women.

Following women’s demands for equal pay , a Committee was set up by the War Cabinet in 1917 to examine the question of women’s wages and released its final report after the war ended (Report of the War Cabinet Committee on Women in Industry, Cmd 135, 1919, p.2).

This report endorsed the principle of 'equal pay for equal work'. But their expectation was that due to their ‘lesser strength and special health problems’, women's 'output' would not be equal to that of men. Despite evidence that women had taken on what were considered men's jobs and performed them effectively during the war, this did not shift popular (and government) perception that women would be less productive than men. The unions received guarantees that where women had fully replaced skilled men they would be paid the same as the men - ie would receive equal pay. But it was made clear that these changes were for the duration of the war only and would be reversed when the war ended and the soldiers came back.


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