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In some ways women were respected during the period 1890-1918 as supported by source A which states that men are ‘sometimes rivals for the same jobs women wanted to do’. This suggests that more women were becoming more able to start working outside the home and in at the same standard as men,, we know this is true because as the men were sent off to fight in the war there was a shortage of men therefore the government turned to women to solve the problem; meaning women were gaining respect. Source D further backs up that women were respected during this time period. The source shows a woman carrying a shell, working to produce weapons after the munitions crisis of 1915. The source also suggests that women were prioritising the war effort over campaigning for the vote, this is shown by the quotation; ‘what’s all this cackle about votes?’ I don’t know- or care, we are too busy now’ this would have caused the suffrage women to gain respect as even though they felt very strongly about their right for the vote they still put the country first; some argue that this is why the women were finally given the vote after the war as a reward for all of their efforts. Added to this source B further backs up that women were respected during this time period as one of the things the women were campaigning for were the laws for children shown by ‘ the laws on divorce, children and many other issues are all unfair to women’; this was respected by many in society as bringing up a child was a very important role during this period.
However there are some limitations to the respect during this time period, for example source C, suggesting that any woman with a different opinion to men is unattractive, unladylike and crazed; this is shown by the women in the picture wearing ties and waving umbrellas in the air. And the quotation calling the sufferers ‘sly’. The quotation ‘the house that man built’ further shows disrespect as it suggests that woman should have no say in the house of parliament and the laws that are being passed. Secondly source E is a limitation to the quotation ‘ women were respected during the period 1890-1918’ as it tells of the terrible working conditions that the women were made to work long hours while breathing ‘poisonous varnish’ leaving them ‘unconscious’ we know this is true as the munissionets were nicknamed canaries due to all the dangerous chemicals turning their skin yellow, we also know that the conditions were not safe for people to be working in due to the huge explosion in Silvertown resulting in many deaths. We also know that the women were not respected during this period as the suffragettes were arrested and force fed on many occasions on top of this they were not given the vote until 1918 along with many other people in society.
In conclusion I believe the women were not respected during this time period due to the terrible conditions they were working in and the way the women were being depicted in propaganda. I believe the women were only respected at this time when the country was in desperate need of help during the munitions crisis when there were not enough men left to fix the national crisis.
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