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How far did women contribute to the war effort in the Great War?

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Presentation on theme: "How far did women contribute to the war effort in the Great War?"— Presentation transcript:

1 How far did women contribute to the war effort in the Great War?

2 Learning objective – to be able to evaluate the role of women during the First World War. I can describe some of the ways women contributed to the war effort. Grade D I can begin to evaluate the role that women played on the Home Front. Grade B I can explain the impact of the role of women during the First World War. Grade A

3 Starter – Name the three most important areas of the Home Front you think women needed to fill because of shortages of men during the Great War. Explain your answer.

4 What was the reaction of the suffragists and suffragettes to the start of the First World War? Both the suffragists and suffragettes suspended their campaigns at the start of the 1914 and campaigned for recruiting men to join the army. One campaign led by women, called The Order of White Feather, gave white feathers to men they thought should be volunteering for to serve in the army. The government released all suffragettes who were imprisoned.

5 What was the ‘Right to Serve’ Campaign? In July, 1915, the suffragettes launched a demonstration called the ‘Right to Serve’ Its objective was demanding that women should be able to work in munitions factories as there was a huge shortage of workers – by 1916, there were 2 million fewer workers than before the war in factories. This was despite a register being taken by the government from March 1915, which recorded women willing to work in factories. Although, employers were very reluctant to employ women due to union reaction and fearing women did not have the necessary skills required.

6 How did the government encourage factory owners to employ women? By 1916, production reached crisis point as more munitions were needed in the face of falling numbers of available workers. The government took the lead by employing women, almost exclusively, in its own munitions factories set up by David Lloyd George. By the end of 1918, almost 800,000 women were employed in munitions factories. They were able to complete these jobs as skilled as men.

7 How dangerous was the work completed by women in munitions factories? The work completed by women was tiring and dangerous, especially as shifts became longer as the war went on. In 1916, medical reports publicised that women handling TNT explosives suffered from rashes, yellowing of the skin and breathing difficulties. These women were often called ‘canaries’ because of their yellow appearance. Some factories blew up in industrial accidents, such as the factory in Silvertown in 1917.

8 What was the social impact of women in the workplace on the Home Front? Pay was double compared with the typical work women did before the war. This gave women greater financial independence, particularly amongst the middle classes, many of whom have never been to work previously. Women experienced greater social freedoms, such as visiting a pub and buying their own trousers. Although women remained in the minority in the workplace and many lost their jobs when men returned – it changed attitudes and proved that women can do ‘men’s work’ successfully.

9 What other work did women complete during the Great War? 1.6 million women completed war work, such as road layers and coal deliverers. A Women’s Police Service was created to fill in for men who were policemen. In 1918, the first women’s army unit, the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps was created. 23,000 women served as nurses close to the Front. 260,000 women severed in the Women’s Land Army working on farms. Women played a role in recruiting men to fight, such as the Mother’s Union.

10 Main tasks It is 1918, and you have been asked by Millicent Fawcett to write a report to the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George to convince him the contribution of women to the war effort means that they should get the vote. Your report must include the following areas – Recruitment. Freeing men to fight. Munitions work. Tolerating prejudice. Extent of success in completing ‘men’s work’. Extension Write an job advert for a government owned munitions factory designed to attract women to work at these places. What would you include? What would you leave out? Explain your answers alongside your job advert.

11 Subheading – My Brain Draw an outline of your brain. Fill your drawn brain with all the things you have learnt in this lesson. This can be in the form of key words, drawings, bullet points, lists – anything you like so long as it summarises your learning and that others can understand it. Plenary – My Brain

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