Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Status of Women in the 20th Century

The Status of Women in the 20th Century
The 20th Century marked the greatest changes in the World’s history. Changes that affected the way people lived their everyday lives. There were advancements in technology, education, social status and equality. But with all this good there is always the bad. And the bad of the 20th Century was the plague of wars. There were about thirteen different wars fought in this century including World War 1, World War 2, Korean war, and Vietnam just to name a few. The results of just these wars are about 240 million deaths. While men were off fight in these wars women’s roles greatly changed .Throughout the world’s history women have been playing a game of tug a war with their equality with men. When they make advancements and start gaining they slowly end up where they started. For example the roles women played in both World Wars.
Before World War 1 most women just worked in there own homes doing duties like cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the children, although some women worked outside the house. These women that took jobs outside their homes had jobs working in factories weaving yarn and some took jobs in other families homes maintaining their households. Women taking the jobs that men once did changed the social status of women everywhere. When World War 1 began in 1914 there were many open jobs because most men were over seas fighting. As a result women began working in office building and mass production factories. In these factories women were assembling planes, guns, ammunition, bombs and other military equipment. The mind set of women in 1914 were much different than women of today.
I am sure most women were happy with working inside their homes but the women who wanted to work like their husbands didn’t because they knew that it wasn’t acceptable so they just bit their tongues. So when war broke out it isn’t that these women woke up and just decided they wanted to work, they had to. They had to work to support their families. By women taking part in the work force that helped stabilize the economy. Since women were not allowed to serve in the army many women became nurses to aid the troops. By World War 2 women were allowed to join the army. By 1944 there were about 2 million women working in factories all across the United States. At this time women could basically hold any job a man could. About 350,000 American women fought in World War Two. American women also formed groups to aid the army by not actually fighting but by performing other services to help them like the WAC (Women's Army Corps).
About 150,000 American women were in the WAC during World War II. They were the first women besides nurses to serve in the Army. The only reason why the government allowed women join the war because they were short on soldiers. A lot of the male soldiers didn’t even want the women there. They didn’t think women could deal with the pressures of war. Some soldiers didn’t want women in the army because they would take all the safe jobs, forcing some men to the front lines. But because of the roles women played the U.S was able to succeed in both wars.

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