The Positive Effect of WW2 on Women

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About this sample


Words: 790 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Words: 790|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

World War 2 lasted from 1939 to 1945 with majority of battle being fought overseas. Once Australia was heavily involved, over 200,000 women joined various work forces. Whilst in the beginning women felt helpless fighting the war from home, by making this effort, it eventually meant that more men were able to be sent to the front to fight. The war took a devastating toll in every corner of the world but amongst the hardships that the women faced physically, there were some positive effects; women advanced economically whilst gaining social recognition.

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In July of 1942 one of the first female war organizations was established with an effort to ease the labour shortages of the country, the Australian Women’s Land Army (AWLA). The introduction of such an association allowed women to feel the positive effects on war occupationally resulting in an enhancement of the economical side of life with women developing economic independence. Women’s part at home meant that more men were able to be sent to war whilst the work force in Australia didn’t suffer. Initially women were declined the ability to help the war effort with the thought that men pay would be pushed down but as Australia was impacted more and supply demands grew higher the government slowly allowed their support. Women gained many skills in trades that they had never been able to be employed in before allowing for post war work opportunities. Women began working on observation posts and as anti-aircraft gunners, drivers, mechanics, and radio operators. Women not only challenged the work stereotypes that were placed around them, but they demanded equal pay as they were doing the job of a qualified male receiving less than that of a non-skilled man. This was not the first time that debates had happened over pay but this time round saw some results with an agreement in some of the work industries for equal pay across the genders based on jobs. 

The campaign of equal pay for the sexes had been going on for a little while prior to WWII but it wasn’t until late 1940 that women’s wages started to get fixed on a scale that enabled no less than 60% of a man’s wage all the way up to 100% an increasement from the average 50% pay. The WEB (Womens Employment Board) would rarely go below 90%. Even when action had been applied and some women had completed jobs better than the men, there was still prejudice against women gaining equal pay and equal job opportunity: “The suggestion to form an army of women to do the hard work of farms is ridiculous”. - The Argus, 1941. The number of paid working women increased by nearly 50% from 1939 to 1943 and made up nearly a 1/3 of the workers. Not only this but the number of women participating in the work force and ultimately in the war effort continued to increase whilst the male participation level dropped. The decrease in male workers meant more variety in the work that women did, for the few years of the war the busiest industries were those that aided the war all of which were previously male dominated. In the metal industry alone, female employment rose by over 45,000 people. The source is reliable as it is from a creditable site JSTOR. Additionally, this source was published by a university press and is unlikely to be false material. Throughout the book there are several references noted showing that it can be corroborated. My other sources for this essay also corroborate this source. The consequences of establishing such an organization are an arise of interest in the war effort resulting in more desire to help and participate in those jobs resulting in a demand for equal pay which gave women in WW2 a better economic independence.

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WW2 also impacted women positively socially as it enabled women to interact with more men as well as giving women more recognition in society. Hence, many working women describe this time as one of the happiest of their lives - lifelong friends, skills, and rights were all part of this, which made women feel that they helped win the war, the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) being almost unanimous. By joining and participating in jobs that were male dominated women began reconstructing themselves as strong multiskilled people who were not just made to do house jobs. Not only was this the case for European women but aboriginal women too. It was one of the first times that aboriginal women were encouraged and enlisted to work. Whilst the recognition did not take immediate effect the Indigenous women have now began being shown, as like the other women alongside them, a large help to the war effort. 

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The Positive Effect Of WW2 On Women. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
“The Positive Effect Of WW2 On Women.” GradesFixer, 18 Mar. 2021,
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