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What effects of WWII have on Women at home?

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tomas009 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 9, 2010 at 5:58 AM via web

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What effects of WWII have on Women at home?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 9, 2010 at 9:25 PM (Answer #1)

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One of the major impacts that the war had on women has the emergence into a professional and economic force.  As the men of the nation were off fighting the forces of oppression, women were needed to work in the factories, a la Rosie the Riveter. This helped women gain a great deal in terms of economic autonomy, as it was one of the first times in American History where women, as a group, were a major earning force.  This would be something that became vitally important to women during the social movements of the later decades.  At the same time, women were legitimized in being able to break away from being socially dictated to domestically stratified roles to their identity.  These two developments would play a large function in the emerging women's rights movement.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 9, 2010 at 6:01 AM (Answer #2)

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The major effect of this war on women at home was that it took (for many of them) their sons, husband, and brothers away and put them in danger of dying or being wounded.  This would surely have been the biggest deal.

For some women, the war led to them being able to get work in "men's" jobs.  These were jobs that had never really been open to women.

Finally, the rationing and such that was brought on by the war made some women's lives much harder as they had to make do without things that had previously been easily available.

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alohaspirit | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted April 10, 2010 at 5:17 AM (Answer #3)

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Well there are positives and negatives for women at home while their husbands were away at war. The obvious negatives are the loss of a husband, brother, and/or father. Most  men were the sole breadwinner and provided for the family, so if the wife lost her husband that could be a huge financial burden.  But at this time more women were leaving the household and working.  They worked in factories making war time products and goods for example.  WWII completely changed the family dynamic, now more women honed in on their skills and wanted to get a job and also financially support their family.  We get the big professional boom with women entering the workforce in the seventies and eighties, and today we have women in positions of power.  Loss, but empowerment.

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