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About this sample
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2 pages /
During the Second World War, Canadian society changed drastically—especially when it came to the roles of women and how their trailblazing impacted the future of women’s rights today. Instead of working as homemakers, women began to support the war effort by serving in the military and doing jobs traditionally held by men. These new roles and responsibilities were enthusiastically embraced by women and they contributed a great deal to the success of Canada’s “Victory Campaign”. Working in factories across the country, they built parts for military machinery, manufactured ammunition and drove buses, taxis and streetcars. This level of female participation in the workplace was a first for Canada and thousands of women were proving they had the skills, strength and ability to do work in fields men previously dominated.
The various jobs taken up by women during wartime proved to be just as essential as those of the soldiers—they sewed clothing, gathered materials for scrap collection drives and helped displaced people by providing essentials and setting up refugee centres. These tasks were often assigned women who joined war relief camps, which were established to improve the morale of the troops overseas. They were supplied with packaged chocolate, sewing kits and razor blades in canvas bags called “ditty bags”. Women also developed a great reputation for fine precision work in electronics, optics, and instrument assembly because of their smaller physical size and manual dexterity. Along with factory work, many women tended to the farm when the men in their family enrolled with the military. They had to drive tractors, plow the fields, put up hay and haul grain to elevators. And when they weren’t busy keeping everything in order, they would plant “victory gardens” to supply much-needed fruits and vegetables communities all across Canada.
Though many were happy with the immense progress being made, Canadian women wished to play a more active role on the frontlines as the war raged on. Eventually, they petitioned for the government to form military organizations for women. In 1941-1942, they were finally able to serve in uniform, marking the start of military inclusiveness in Canada. In fact, more than 50 000 women served in the armed forces during that time, surprising even those who fiercely opposed their beliefs. Now, women are allowed to work in every strand of Canadian military, proving just how significant these events were to modern day feminism and equality.
Elsie Gregory MacGill “Queen of the Hurricanes”Though America found a fictional rolemodel in “Rosie the Riveter”, Canada had a real life hero for people to look up to. Elsie Gregory MacGill was not only the first woman in the world to graduate as an aeronautical engineer but was also the first female aircraft designer ever before. She worked for Fairchild Aircraft Limited during the war and in 1940, her team’s design and production methods were turning out more than 100 Hurricane combat aircraft per month. This made her a legend among most engineers across Canada, and although she was a women, people began to respect her work immensly. MacGill became a symbol of Canada’s miraculous economic wartime transformation and was even the subject of a comic book called “Queen of the Hurricanes” that was devoted to her achievements.
The Bren Gun Girl Along with Elsie Gregory MacGill, the Bren Gun Girl was the inspiring and symbolic working woman who laboured in factories to help the war effort. Her name was Veronica “Ronnie” Foster and she was described as “a Canadian icon representing nearly one million Canadian women who worked in the manufacturing plants during World War II.” She posed as model in propaganda posters while working for John Inglis Co. Ltd and producing machine guns in Strachan Avenue in Toronto, Ontario. The work she and other women did on the production lines eventually became to main focus of the shoots.
In conclusion, Canada’s contributions during the war years wouldn’t have been nearly as successful if it weren’t for the toil of women in the factories, the workmanship of female farmers or the dedication of women who served in the armed forces. The achievements and sacrifices of not only women, but all Canadians during the Second World War have provided our country with a proud and long-lasting legacy that will continue into our future.
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