The Role of Women in the World Wars

Essay by shesaclicheHigh School, 11th gradeA+, April 2006

download word file, 6 pages 3.9

Since the creation of human's, women have never had the opportunity to be that a contributing factor in the starting or stopping of a war. Not even until recently, was it even convincing to hear of women working in a career field in the military that had the slightest chance of going into a combat zone. When you think about an image of war, what do you see? If you are like most, you see a battlefield that is filled with men fighting each other and in the distant background are the women. In centuries past, men and women have had different responsibilities. It was up to the men to get the food and to protect the family while women were in charge of taking care of the household. Over time this old adage held true, but at the outbreak of World War I, there was a need for more manpower so women were being allowed into the military to serve in certain career fields.

During the build-up for the start of America's involvement in World War I, the military was trying to solve an emerging manpower crisis. In 1917, Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels found a small loophole in the Naval recruiting regulations. He brought up the question of, "Is there any regulation which specifies that a Navy yeoman be a man?" In no time, the Navy was enlisting women into such fields as clerks, radio electricians, chemists, accountants, telephone operators, and nurses. This move also got the Army to look at their own recruiting openings. When the Army began to recruit women, they decided to take a more conservative approach by allowing just nurses as well as a small number of occupational therapists and dieticians to come in.

Many other firsts came about as a result of...