When America achieved victory in August of 1945 millions of people celebrated. The war was finally over and millions of men would finally be able to return to their homes. However, when the fighting stopped, the war machine, which had mobilized millions of women to work, ceased. No longer was there a need for women to leave their husband and children to work eight hours in a factory, they could once again stay at home and take care of their families. But for some women this just wasn’t enough anymore. The development of wartime economy had given women more freedom than they had ever had before.
Though they did face some discrimination in the workforce it was minimal compared to that which they were privy to in pre-world war II times. For the first time, women were able to experience some sort of social and economic mobility. Suddenly women were faced with choices, and by exercising these choices they were able to explore their own individuality and independence. With the war over and the break up of the war machine women who were urged to go to work to support their country were now in jeopardy of losing their jobs.
(Campbell, 1984) But the future of women’s place in the workforce did not depend solely on the state of the post war economy, in fact much of it would depend on the women themselves. For the past three years women were subjected to long hours, little benefits, low-cost and low-quality child care facilities, not to mention almost unprecedented physical demands, it was possible, that for many women losing their job was a blessing. The fact was that only time would tell how women would react to the postwar period. (Hartmann, 1982)
Yet there were some women who elected to stay at work. They enjoyed their new found independence, and the income they had brought in was either important to their own livelihood, in the event that they were single, or their families. According to Karen Anderson in her book Wartime Women, Women, who worked in defense centers during the years of 1944-1945, responded to a survey conducted by the Women’s Bureau in which 75% of them said that they planned to continue working. (Gluck, 1984) One thing is for certain the effects of World War II would be felt for years to come.
Women had experienced new opportunities, a sense of independence, and were experiencing their own individuality. Though some of the women that continued to work after the war did receive wage cuts and some even received demotions, they had made progress. The war allowed women to make decisions, and it gave them a chance to fight for their rights. And there is no doubt that the consequences of the World War II (the discrimination, job cuts, and wage inequalities) led to the development of many of the civil rights movements of the 1950’s.
(Campbell, 1984). They were not happy in leaving their but instead struggle of achieving their rights and recognized their potential to be able to lead. Women after World War From the earliest times in American history, women have played pivotal roles in creating, expanding, and sustaining what has become the American Spirit. These women did not speak in one voice, nor did they support the same outcomes. Still, their courageous actions and steadfast determination in the face of great opposition is part of a common heritage.
It is the Spirit of America. This illustration of woman is exceptive from the Articles of Speeches in Feminish. com: The story of American women is the story of women working together to form a more perfect union, expanding the idea of representative government and democratic principals for all generations. Today, I would like to tell you about a woman whose remarkable lives testify to the tenacity and determination in creating a spirit of possibility and purpose. Their lives and work span much of the 20th Century.
Their actions celebrate the importance of community and service; of family and tradition; and of living a life with heartfelt purpose. Collectively, they have been honored by every echelon of government including five US Presidents. In America and throughout the world, her achievements have been recognized by countless organizations and universities. Together they have helped pave the way for a greater sense of possibility in America of the 21st Century. The 2002 woman was born within 20 years of each other – from 1910 to 1930.
During this time, the world changed dramatically. The modern world participated in the First World War, and America faced the repercussions of that War and Prohibition, as well as the beginnings of the Great Depression. These were decades of extraordinary hardship and rapid change. Yet, the lives of the women we honor today testify to the many ways in which individuals triumph over adversity. Their stories express the rich complexity of the American experience.