During the First World War women’s work and status began to change. Women were actively recruited to do war work and many others volunteered. Women’s branches of the British armed services were not created until 1917.
Images of women were used in propaganda campaigns to recruit men to fight. Some women tried to shame men into enlisting by giving them white feathers.
A minority of women opposed the war for moral, ideeological and religious reasons.
At the end of the war it was clear that women and their work had been vital to the war effort.
It was only after World War I that women (those over the age of 30yrs) were even given the vote.
A Woman's Place is in the Home
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!
With many men away, women became solely responsible for major decisions in the running of the household, often for the first time in their lives.
These decisions were complicated by shortages in food, fabric and materials. Keeping a household running smoothly in wartime involved even more work than during peacetime.
You Have No Right: Protest and Equality
• the women who gave white feathers to men who did not appear to be serving in the forces during the First World War
• women who refused to contribute to the war effort - conscientious objectors - in both the First and Second World War
• women pacifists
• women who campaigned against nuclear weapons through the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Greenham Common
• women who campaign for peace - for example, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan in Northern Ireland.