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The Impact of World War II on Women By: Courtney Thompson, Courtney Reale , Megan Swinimer, Stacey Wilson, Karen Castellan. We CAN Do It!!. (Singularity, 2008). Agenda. A brief history of where the world was during the Second World War Womens status and how it shifted during this time - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


The Impact of World War II on Women

The Impact of World War II on WomenBy: Courtney Thompson, Courtney Reale, Megan Swinimer, Stacey Wilson, Karen Castellan.We CAN Do It!!

(Singularity, 2008)Megan


-Ask the audience.What do you think of when you hear World War 2?

(If they mention men.)What do you think the women did?

This presentation will show you a womens perspective of the War.


Singularity. (2008). Rosie the Riveter. Singularity New York. www.singularitynyc.com/Rosie-information.html

1Agenda A brief history of where the world was during the Second World War

Womens status and how it shifted during this time

Womens body image and how it was affected by the War

(NWHM, 2007)Megan

During the presentation we will cover


NWHM. (2007). Partners in Winning the War: American Women in World War II. National Womens History Museum. Retrieved September 15, 2013, from http://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/partners/25.htm

2A Brief HistoryWorld War II (1939 1945)Men leave for the WarWomen answer the Governments call Women join all aspects of the military: The Army, The Air Force and The NavyPatriotic campaigns stress the need for women to enter the workforce

(PBS, 2007)Karen

1939 Start of World War II Many men went off to war. Women had to take their place on the home front. all three services in the military were open for women to join - the army, air force and navy. In 1943, the shortages of women in the factories and on land lead to the government stopping women joining the armed forces. They were given a choice of either working on the land or in factories.Women answered the governments call to join the work force and fill traditionally male jobs that were left vacant. These women who wore hard-hats and overalls represented a radical departure from the traditional feminine ideal of housewife and mother.Although Canadian women were not allowed into combat during the Second World War, they did just about everything else.The government funded daycare centres so that women would be available to work.In all of these countries, food, fabric and other staples were rationed. The war also started recycling as womens organizations collected paper, glass, metal, rubber, rags and bones to be recycled into war supplies.

In May of 1945, WWII ended. Women at the end of World War Two found that the advances they had made were greatly reduced when the soldiers returned from fighting. Returning service men had to be given their prior jobs back, if they wanted them and society basically expected that the women should move aside for the men. Those women, who had found alternate employment from the norm for women, lost their jobs.


Trueman, Chris. (n.d.). Women in World War Two. History Learning Site. Retrieved September 15, 2013, from http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/women_WW2.htm

The History Channel. (n.d.). American Women in World War II. A & E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved September 15, 2013, from http://www.history.com/topics/american-women-in-world-war-ii

Docstoc. (2011). Women and Minorities in WWII. Online slideshow. Retrieved September 15, 2013, from http://www.docstoc.com/docs/104961949/Women-and-Minorities-in-WWIIMarkville Secondary School.(n.d.). WWII: The Home Front. Powerpoint presentation. Markham, Ontario. Retrieved September 15, 2013, from www.markville.ss.yrdsb.edu.on.ca/history/history/WWIIHomeFront.ppt PBS. (2007). The War: Good Work, Sister Poster. Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved September 15, 2013, from http://www.pbs.org/thewar/detail_5105.htm

3In the Beginning.Rosie the Riveter Video(Youtube, 2009: User DurerDrew)Karen

This short video clip features Rosie the Riveter, an iconic War image of the American woman during the time of the World War. Our brief presentation will focus on the impact that the Second World War had on women.


Youtube. (2009). Rosie the Riveter by The Four Vagabonds. Youtube video sharing site, User - DurerDrew. Retrieved September 13, 2013, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CQ0M0wx00s 4Status and How It ChangedPrior to the war-Typical housewives Minorities

During the war Women Step up ~18 million join the workforce

After the war Return of the housewife

(Parker, 2009)Court T

Before the War:Majority of working women were the lower class or minorities.Many believed that the middle class women would be lowering their standards if they decided to enter the work force.Before the war started, women were the typical housewife. Cleaning, shopping, taking care of the kids, and making sure that dinner was on the table for their husband before they got home from work.During the War:

Once the United States joined the war, 12 million women began in the workforce. By the end of the war it was up to 18 million. Not all women were in factories and war plants; many had other clerical or female occupations. At the beginning of the war the lower class women who were already in the work force received the jobs. Married women and mothers with children under fourteen years were expected to stay home. Later on the women with children of six years were joining the work force.The men were suspicious of the working women and did not provide them with any positions of authority. The womens needs were thought of second to the mens needs.

After the War:

Although the women were not prominent in the work force anymore, there were lasting effects. Women proved that they were capable of working, and over the next few decades they were more prominent in the workforce.The women also helped with rebuilding after the war. Many women had saved much of their wages which helped with down payments and rebuilding after the war and into the 1950s.When the war ended, most of the women lost their war effort jobs and went back to being housewives. The world needed to regain money lost from the war, so the women that still worked were paid less, and forced to become consumers in society. Some women still went to college, but marriage was still the most prominent goal for women. This led way for the 50s housewife.


Zinko, Carolyne. (2007). WWII meant opportunity for many women, oppression for others. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 15, 2013, from http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/WWII-meant-opportunity-for-many-women-oppression-2501118.php#page-3

National Archives at Atlanta. (n.d.) World War II: Women in the Work Force during World War II. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved September 15, 2013, from http://www.archives.gov/atlanta/education/resources-by-state/wwii-women.html

National Historical Park. (n.d.). Rosie the Riveter: Women Working During World War II. Online Exhibit. Retrieved September 15, 2013, from http://www.nps.gov/pwro/collection/website/rosie.htm

Author Unknown. (2009). WW2: the role of women in the Second World War. The Telegraph. Retrieved September 15, 2013, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/6099415/WW2-the-role-of-women-in-the-Second-World-War.html

Amusing Planet. (2009). Women in World War 2. Amusing Blog User Kaushik. Retrieved September 15, 2013, from http://www.amusingplanet.com/2009/11/women-in-world-war-2.html

Parker, Alan. (2009). Women and War. Toronto Sun. Retrieved September 15, 2013, from http://blogs.canoe.ca/parker/news/women-and-war/

5Womens Fashion through the 1940sFrom drab to fab!

(Sammy Davis Vintage Fashion, 2012)Stacey


Sammy Davis Vintage Fashion. (2012). 1940s Fashion Trends for 5 Modern Looks. Retrieved September 13, 2013 , from http://sammydvintage.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/463px-We_Can_Do_It-edited-21.png

6Pre War and Post War FashionThe 1940s saw two distinctive styles in womens fashion.From the beginning of the decade until the New Look in 1947

Clothing during this time were of plain and solemn colours. Most outfits were of a solid black, navy, or other dark colours

Pants: A new wardrobe for the working woman

Even during hard times, femininity never left

(Towntalk, 2012)Stacey

During the beginning of the 1940s there were Government restrictions and a shortage of materials used to make clothing. The more important materials like nylon and wool were saved to make items for the Army and its soldiers. At this time Japanese silk was banned in the U.S because of the bombing at Pearl Harbour. This to led to the beginning of more synthetic fabrics we are used to today, such as Rayon.

It was also at this time that pants and shorts became acceptable for women to wear. With the women taking over for the men and their jobs, pants became a staple for the new and modernized 40s woman. While the 1920s had brought the trend of slender women, the 1940s brought back womens curves.

Even in suits or factory overalls, hair curls and bright redlipstick kept the look feminine. Jackets were shorter and tailored, while the cinched waist look became popular, helping to narrow the hips and showingoff a trim waist. The clothes were simple and practical, but women still managed to look attractive even during the lean years of war.


Monet, Dolores. (2012). Fashion History Design Trends of the 1940s With Pictures. HubPages. Retrieved September 13, 2013, fromhttp://hubpages.com/hub/Fashion-History-Design-Trends-of-the-1040s

1940s.org. (n.d.). Womens Fashion. Retrieved September 13, 2013, from http://1940s.org/fashion/women/

Towntalk. (2012). 1940s Day and Allotment Demonstration Event Page. Towntalk. Retrieved September 13, 2013, from http: