Women in WWII Hailey Sundblom. 5th hour. Miss Edmonds.

Women before war had a few common tasks. They were to stay home and take care of the kids, keep the house clean, and tend to their husbands needs. Women were not to do any hard, laborious tasks like having a job. As soon as America got into the war, many men from all communities had to leave to fight. This left factories, businesses, and other important areas worker-less. Women stepped up and overcame the norms to help run things in America. Thanks to women, shipyards and munitions were also taken care of while the men were gone.

With so many men going off to war, surely some of them are to get wounded. Around 8,000 nurses a part of the Nurses Corp were stationed in Hawaii to help with the attack on Pearl Harbor. By the end of the war, about 80,000 nurses were in the Nurses Corp. Their jobs were to help instruct men on correctly assessing injured men in combat and help the wounded.

People did not like the idea of a woman being associated with the military. They thought someone who was feminine and pretty should not handle a gun. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, opinions changed. Congress authorized the use of women in the military for as long as the war was going on as well as a few months afterwards.

In order to be a part of the winning side of the war, we needed to create war winning technology. Women played a huge part in creating successful the atomic bomb and continuing research on nuclear fission. With the war, copious jobs were open for researchers, chemists, and engineers. Most of the time, those women were over qualified because the education opportunities that came with the war.

A large number of women’s auxiliary organizations formed spontaneously to volunteer services to the military and civilian civil defense organizations. American Women’s Voluntary Services were trained to operate ambulances, put out fires, and provide emergency medical aid. Council of Defenses were urging everyone to be involved with the war effort by buying war bonds are volunteering services.

One of the most iconic propaganda recruitment tools was a picture of a women named Rosie holding her sleeve up showing her muscles. This was the governments way of getting women to go for jobs and join the military. This poster gave women a sense of confidence to go for what they wanted.

After the war, in the early 50's, many employers still operated a Marriage bar. This meant that married women were prohibited from certain occupations like teaching and clerical jobs. Those working were sacked upon marriage. But throughout the 1950's and 60's it became more common for married women to work for wages. Up until the 80's, women were struggling to get equal pay for the exact same work as men.






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