The Changing Role Of Women Essay

1549 words - 7 pages

Today, women are an integral part of all organizations, and contribute to the world just as much as men. Many of the most influential women throughout history are Americans; however, these women have had to fight against society, and struggle against the odds in order to gain the freedom and power they have today. There have been many events which have helped to aid them in their progression, and one of the biggest was World War II. American women played very important roles in World War II, and thus the war played a major part in advancing their empowerment. World War II brought many positive changes to the role of women within the United States, and allowed them to show the world that they were truly capable of doing much more than believed possible during those times. From bravely taking over jobs designed for men, to the aiding soldiers in battle fields, these valiant women were able to reconstruct their image, and bring a positive change in their roles.

After the disastrous bombing of Pearl Harbor, the United States declared war on Germany, causing all men to leave their jobs and fight for their country. Women were then needed to carry on jobs in order to help with the war effort, as well as to make ends meet. Within six months of the bombing, approximately 750 000 women sought well-paid jobs in defense plants; however only one-tenth were accepted, as men seeking work was still the priority. Nevertheless, as more men were being called to war, employers were forced to hire a larger number of women. This was the first step in the uprising of enormous social changes in America. Women employment rates rose rapidly, increasing from about twelve million to more than 18 million throughout the duration of war, and nearly twenty million by 1945. By the end of war, more than 35% of the labour forces were women. From this point on, women had were practically doing everything; from saving food for soldiers, to driving trucks full of war supplies to troops, they had to manage it all. While most women were eager to work, there were still many challenges faced in getting women into and used to the workforce. The challenges were put aside with the promise that women working were a temporary fix for wartime. The employers treated the women unfairly, teasing them and paying them less than they were said to receive. This resulted in the hardening of women, causing them to show the men that they would not tolerate improper behaviors which resulted in employers to take them seriously. The first women to answer the call of work in factories were blue-collared women who were already in the labour force during 1940. But as the wartime shortages continued to hit the women on the home front, going into the workforce became a crucial aspect in their lives. In conjunction with the wartime shortages, there continued to be labour shortages as well, causing the government to target single mothers and housewives for staffing. Recruiting housewives to work...

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