Women in WW1


Women During WWI

Before the War

-Seen for “traditional” roles and duties.

-Recognized as objects of beauty, not for what they did.

WWI Was a turning point For


Men head overseas

Women fill the void

Women are forced/welcomed into the Workforce

Help win the war (work in munitions factories)

Feed their families (earn some money)

Women’s New Roles

Emergency war jobs, phone operators, telegraphers and stenographers, Rail

Road Workers,

Military supplies

Welders, fitters, machinists, riveters

Read pg.97 “Working

A Munitions Factory”

Paid ½ men’s wages

War At Home

Woman can help fight the war at home;

– Conserve coal, fuel, food, clothing, money

– Prepare items for war (cloths, blanket, etc)

This is done through Peer and Media pressure

Knit socks, scarves, balaclavas, pillows, sheets, flannel shirts etc.


Woman’s Land


With sons and husbands away, women grouped together and were paid to farm.

Hard labour, as tractors and fuel were saved for the war effort.

Women also would raise money for the war effort.

Women on the front lines- Nurses

VAD, Voluntary Aid Detachment

FANY, Fist aid nurses Yeomanry

- drove ambulances

- bathed patients

- removed bodies

- soup kitchens

2000 women enlisted in Canadian Armed forces as nurses

1000 Canadian Women were employed by the Royal Air Force as truck drivers, mechanics and ambulance drivers.


A military hospital, taken around Christmas time in


Often overcrowded and understaffed during WWI

Not all glamorous

“We slept in our clothes and cut our hair short so that it would tuck inside our caps.

Dressing simply meant putting on our boots. There were times when we had to scrape the lice off with the blunt edge of a knife and our cloths stuck to us” Elizabeth de T’Saecales, nurse on front line

Nurse were 16+



 a hospital ship assigned to the Canadian service and full of nursing sisters was torpedoed on the night of June


234 lost their lives, including 14 Nursing Sisters another major disaster took place when the Germans bombed the Canadian hospitals at France.

All in all, 56 nursing sisters were killed during WW1


“...within 10 minutes of being struck, the Llandovery

Castle went to the bottom, and for nearly two hours the enemy submarine, in an apparent attempt to destroy all evidence of this breach of the Geneva Convention, systematically shelled or tried to ram and sink lifeboats and wreckage on which helpless victims floated...”

In Summary

WW1 turning point for women

1. Work in factories

2. Homefront war effort

3. Nurses on front lines

Women start to emerge from male-dominated society

Earn right to vote in 1918

Answer questions 1-3 on page 98

Quebec Premier, Henri Bourassa

“It is the introduction of feminism in its most noxious guise, the voter women, who would soon spon the man-woman, that hybrid and repungnant monster who wil kill the mother-women and the womanwomen.”