“The when the war ended the companies shut down

“The concept of a ‘Home Front’ – when civilians are mobilised en masse to support the war effort during a conflict – dates from World War One, as far as the British are concerned.”(BBC, The Home Front, 2018). During World War One there was a massive change in roles of women. It was a time when women had greater opportunity and variety of occupations to choose from in the workforce. It allowed higher pay rates, increased independence and better working conditions. But with these new responsibilities and new stressors, many women of the time turned to alcohol. The bombings by zeppelins devastated the masses since this was the first time in history civilians were targeted to be destroyed.  Food was rationed during the war where certain foods were available on certain days of the week. Prior to the war, women were domestic servants (housewives). They did not have certain rights.  During the war, there was a need for women to work in more diverse areas, like manufacturing, munitions factories, clerical work, nurses, cooks and even pilots in order to satisfy the employment needs during the war.  During that time, the women noted several workplace injustices and eventually formed the female trade union to fight for fair practices. This was a major accomplishment because the unions of the time were all men, run by men and fought for men in the workplace.  They did not want to represent women but when the women workforce increased by such a large proportion they had no choice but to represent women. Some of the contracts and agreements or loopholes and tactics they used were  not fair.  For instance, instead of paying the women the same wage as the man for the same job they change the job expectations slightly or broke the jobs into smaller parts and assigning them to another worker, so they could pay women less.  They were successful on many fronts except wages.  Women in the workforce roughly made half the pay of a male performing the same job. Another problem of the union was that they fought for the women during the war and the contracts specifically mentioned during war.  So, when the war ended the companies shut down the child care facilities and the women no longer had jobs so they had to return home to their domestic responsibilities.  Many of the husbands and older male children died during the war.  Many women were left widows or were single and on their own, so some women were allowed to work.  But with so much of the male population wiped out during the war and such a decrease in women workers, unemployment rates soared.  Another injustice is that hospitals during the war accepted female medical student but later in the 1920’s, women medical students were rejected based on the grounds of  modesty. Initially, it was thought the war that started in August of 1914 would be over by Christmas of 1914.  There was a lot of propaganda mainly in the form of posters and over the radio to encourage voluntary enlistment to fight in the war.  The propaganda was used to encourage and con people into fighting for their country voluntarily.  People would accuse men that did not sign up on their own accord to be a coward.  Later, they had different forms of propaganda to encourage women to work and ration food.  Only four days after the war started on August 8, 1914, the Defence of the Realm Act was approved, otherwise known as DORA.  It started as just a government proposal to serve as a safety net but later grew into an organization that served to make legislation for Britain during the war in order to survive.  These safeguards included allowing the government to take over factories, land and farms, transportation links and even censor the information the public received including the radio and newspapers.  They introduced the Britain summer time, which essentially extended the workday to the daylight hours.  They were responsible for the mandatory military enlistment of all men starting at age 18 in 1916 and rationing food in 1918.  Unfortunately, the war ended up lasting five years much longer that initially anticipated. During World War One, the Germans used zeppelins to target the British civilians and raided their cities for supplies. Zeppelins were a type of semi armored bombing airships that were built by german engineers and was basically a blimp with weapons and armor. Germany used their creation, the zeppelin, as an advantage where they could be up in the sky scouting out an area.  The zeppelins were dangerous at the same time because they could drop bombs accurately. Once the area was scouted, the Germans usually would drop bombs where the British civilians lived.  They raided the land and buildings destroying them. When raiding they would usually look for supplies such as medical supplies, ammo supplies, clothing supplies, currency, and food supplies.   During the war, the food was rationed.  The government did this because they believed a man with a full stomach fights better.  The government initially had posters and leaflets to encourage people to not waste food and to use bread and meat sparingly. The German U-boats would target our food supply boats which limited the imported goods and food that was brought into Britain.  A U-boat was a submarine.  In 1917, the Germans introduced unrestricted submarine warfare and blew up many of the ferries headed toward Britain to deliver food and supplies.  Food became very expensive and lines outside food markets grew long.  So, eventually the Britain government had to give out food cards that could be used at only certain stores for certain type food items in order to ration the food they had available.  No one really starved but there were hungry at times. The stressors of the war which included new responsibilities for women in the workplace, maintaining a home and the children, men (spouses and older sons) at war, cities being bombed and lack of food all contributed to an increase in alcohol consumption in both men and women during the war.  However, proportionately women tended to turn to alcohol as a way to escape their problems more than men.  Of course, women never had this amount of stress.  They were also treated unfairly and were undercompensated, which meant less money coming in the home in order to pay the bills, maintain the property and food for any farm animals they may have had let alone having to worry about food for themselves and their children.  The animals had to be taken care of and cleaned up after.  Many times they had home gardens, which needed to be tended to.  This is another example of a stressor as it consumes time and energy to till, seed, weed and harvest the fruits and vegetables. Although there is a difference of opinion on whether the unionization and women in the workplace help women’s’ suffrage or if it was simply because in 1917, government official realized they needed to have an election and at the time the ruling or documents stated that only men could vote.  In either case, the changes that occured in this time led to women gaining the right to vote.  Initially, they limited the female voting to women over thirty and by 1928, the ruling was any women over 21 years of age could vote.As I mentioned in the opening statement:  “The concept of a ‘Home Front’ – when civilians are mobilised en masse to support the war effort during a conflict – dates from World War One, as far as the British are concerned.”(BBC, The Home Front, 2018).  The mobilized masses in Britain were the armed forces, the women workers and the unions.  World War One opened up a new realm for women.  It was a turning point for women, since this was the first time in history where the men were not the primary wage earner and the head of the family, as the women had to take on this role during the five years when they were at war.  This gave women the confidence to be able to make independent decisions and act on them.  Women learned how to juggle working, home life and disciplining the children. Women for the first time questioned their role in the family, society, workplace and sought out to be treated equally.  These important aspects of history helped lead to allowing women to work and more equal work practices.  In today’s world, there still is some wage disparity.  Women still usually make less than men but the gap in the wages between the sexes, surely is much smaller.  However, there are some jobs where they are equal.  For instance, my mom works at a unionized hospital where certain jobs are at a specific job rate regardless of sex.  But in the business world, you can see disparity.  Also, sometimes businesses will create another title for basically the same job, so the work is essentially the same but the male counterpart would make better pay.  So, it is still a work in progress.