Home Front Past Paper Qs

June 2009

(b) (ii) Use Sources 7, 8 and 9 and your own knowledge.

Do you agree with the view that ‘the war changed very little for women’ (Source 7, line 38)?

Explain your answer, using Sources 7, 8 and 9 and your own knowledge. (40)


(From Ben Walsh, Modern World History, published 1996)

Two years after the war there were fewer women in work than there had been before the war. And the jobs they were allowed to do were hardly different from before the war. In some ways war actually strengthened the attitude that men’s jobs needed protecting from women, who were usually prepared to work for lower
wages. So you could say that the war changed very little for women.

(From a speech by H. H. Asquith in 1917. Asquith had been Prime Minister before the war and had
blocked a number of attempts to give women the vote. He continued as Prime Minister for the first two years of the war.)

How could we have carried on the war without women? Wherever we turn we see women doing work which three years ago we would have regarded as exclusively ‘men’s work’. When the war is over, the question will then arise about women’s labour and their function in the new order of things.


(From Rex Pope, War and Society in Britain, 1899–1948, published 1991)

A huge increase in the demand for munitions accelerated the movement of women into the engineering and munitions industries. It would be wrong, however, to overstate the extent or significance of the changes in women’s role in the labour force. Many of those taking up jobs in munitions had transferred from other employment, perhaps a quarter coming from domestic service. Very few were from the middle classes.

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