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Social Impact of Ww2

In: Historical Events

Submitted By saracens1997
Words 389
Pages 2
Impact on women and women at war

• With younger women directed to factories, and older women encouraged to volunteer in organisations such as the Women’s Voluntary Service, women played a key role in the war

• From 1940 women were directed into sectors of the economy where there was a shortage of labour (eg. shipyards, docks, factories and hospitals)

• By the end of 1943, 50% of all factory workers were women

• Also, by the end of 1943, 80% of married women were working as well as playing their role in the household

• Average earnings for women almost doubled from 1938 – 1945

• Over 500,000 women served in the auxiliary branches of the armed forces

• Women employed in industry, commerce and the armed forces rose by 50% to 2 ¼ million by 1943

• Overall, 1 ¼ million men and women volunteered in the war by July 1940

• The National Service Act (December 1941) conscripted unmarried women into the Force’s Auxiliary Corps

• However, despite the war giving women more money, greater status and independence, it did not bring around equal pay

• After WW1 most women gave up their wartime jobs, however after WW2 a much higher percentage of women kept their jobs

• Moreover, sexual relationships flourished / increased over the war period

Social levelling and breaking down of class barriers

• One of the main aspects of WW2 was social mobility

• Conscription was introduced in September 1940 (men aged 18 to 41)

• By mid 1941, the army, navy and air force had 3 million members

• Over a million of these were volunteers

• By 1944, the size of the armed forces had risen to 4.5 million

• This was in addition to the 500,000 members of the female services

• It wasn’t just UK troops, with 1.5 million overseas troops stationed in Britain

• The war widened people’s social horizons however there was also an increase in petty crime, broken marriages and ethnic violence

• Unemployment, still over 1 million in 1939, fell by 50% during the period 1939 – 1942 and had virtually disappeared by 1943

• 20,000 young men were directed into coal mining as the “Bevin Boys”

• There were some strikes, but fewer than 2 million working days were lost

• This (1940 – 45) was compared to the 5 million during WW1

• Moreover, trade union membership rose (6.3 million to 8.9 million)

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