The First World War is one of the first conflicts, which called for the participation, and mobilization of all people, fighters as much as non-fighters. So, at the announcement of the war, men and women are going to answer present. The society and the economy of every country are going to be upset. Indeed, the life of women before 1914 was very constrained. Few worked. Their role in society was generally confined to domestic tasks and certain types of jobs. But, from 1914 onwards, women contributed massively to the war effort: in fields, factories, and hospitals. Women played then a major role in the economy of their country. Thus, women's work and status began to change. This war was in fact perceived by women as an opportunity to gain finally access to education, to work and equality. So, why the First World War finally constituted a turning point in the life of women, and why it entitled to some degree of emancipation. For that purpose, we shall see in a first part how women mobilized during this war, then in a second part, we shall concentrate more particularly on the duties than the men expected especially from women, that is to say, comfort, love and children. Finally, we shall see the consequences of this war on female emancipation, and its fights.
[...] Ploughing was all the more difficult for them as a big part of the cattle had been requisitioned for the war and machines were not suited to their size. Therefore, at first, agricultural output dropped in France, explaining certain scarcities in 1917 and 1918.3 Nevertheless, women worked with courage to keep agriculture running which would have been impossible without them. They become in this way the first war heroes. The feminists used for that matter the image of the " peasant woman " (behind the plow) as the perfect symbol of feminine patriotism in action. [...]
[...] But, at the announcement of the mobilization, they did not meet any longer public interest for their fight. They had to switch priorities and then preferred to join the population in the war effort. So, their fight was put on hold. Nevertheless, more women joined trade unions.3 For example, in England and Wales, women's trade union membership rose from in 1914 to in 1918. Many women also supported pacifist fights. It was unthinkable at this time because it meant that they had broken up with all their education. [...]
[...] The First World War accelerated in fact their emancipation. It was what the feminist historian, Léon Abensour, claimed as he saw in the war, the ferment of feminine emancipation.7 Indeed, women faced much more freedom during the conflict. They practically took the role of men in the society, but it is necessary to know that in 1918, at the end of the war, war industries closed. Returning servicemen went back to work and women were dismissed or barred from most jobs. [...]
[...] This field of occupation, in any way, relied on knowledge and expertise, and contributed again to prove capacities and competence of the woman.1 So, World War One affected many aspects of women's daily lives. But they were not only mobilized for the war economy, but also for the morale and the comfort of the troops. It is what we are thus going to study more exactly in this part. So, how the initial status of the women was strengthened, while knowing certain turnovers in the social agreements of this time? [...]
[...] This pushes Paul Bureau, writer in the moralist review, for the life: to comment, " If the army does not want to favour the family, at the least, it shouldn't do anything to destroy it."8 The war thus ended on a situation that ironically reverses the order prevailing in 1914: those who were previously honoured, that is to say, wives are now suspected of demoralization, while those who were chastised, the prostitutes are recognized as contributing to the war effort.1 Finally, women also represented the hope of the regeneration of their countries, through maternity, their first patriotic duty. [...]
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