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Women in WW2
Transcript of Women in WW2
Common Rhyme for Women:
"Take hold of kettle, broom and pan, Then you’ll surely get a man
Shop and office leave alone,
Your true life work lies at home."
Most women accepted the ideals expected of them, however few rejected them.
Women in WW2
Women in WW2
Throughout the war the women in Nazi Germany, the USA and Soviet Russia all dealt with different ideals and expectations.
Primary Roles of an Aryan Woman:
In Hitler's eyes, there is no reason for a woman to have to work. Her only job in life is to be a housewife and have many children (preferably boys).
Sophie Scholl, Christopher Probst and her brother Hans were leaders of The White Rose, a non-violent resistance group against the Nazi. Sophie, along with Hans, were both executed after posting leaflets against the war at the University of Munich.
An Aryan mother was expected to have as many children as possible. To encourage this, medals were given out on Motherhood Day to mothers who had the most children.
Silver- six children
Gold- eight children
The Law for the Encouragement of Marriage stated that all couples who married would get a loan from the government of 1000 marks. For every child the couple had, 25% of the loan
could be kept by them. If a couple had four children no fine would have to be paid.
The Encouragement of Marriage
The Impact of this Law
This encouraged young couples to have children and women to become mothers
Overall Impact on Women
More traditional roles were valued even after the war, and the german culture still expected women to be housewives.
Women in the USA
Women at Work
Women's participation in the labor force rapidly grew to fill jobs left by men fighting overseas. The jobs varied from taxicab drivers to factory workers who made bullets and airplanes for the war.
In 1943 the amount of female electrical workers went from 100,000 to 374,000 in one year. The heavy industry workers went from 340,000 to over 2 million.
Glamour Girls of 1943 (1943)
Although some men feared there would be no one to care for their children or thought it would be embarassing, there was no great resistance against women entering the labor force.
To make sure children were still taken care of while the women were at work and men at war, most work places offered daycare.
Women After The War
Once the men returned from the war, the majority of women were laidoffed because of the need for war materials decreased and the men who returned from the war were looking for jobs.
Impact on Women's Rights
Women's entrance into the labor force didn't have much of a lasting influence on women's rights until much later in history. Almost as quickly as they entered the labor force the exited and returned to the traditional expectations of being housewives and mothers. It wasn't until the Civil Right's Movement that gave women a greater motivation for equality.
Women in Soviet Russia
By November 1941 Germany had invaded Russia and was on their way to Moscow, the Soviet Air Force was grounded. They called Marina Raskova, an aviatrix, to form together a group of women pilots to fly missions of harrasment bombing against the Germans.
The 588th Regiment
The 588th Regiment was composed mostly of women. Their first flight consisted of three planes and was on June 8th, 1942. This attack was so sucessful the Germans nicknamed them Nachtexen, "The Night Witches".
The 588th Regiment flew thousands of missions non-stop for months at a time.
50% of the labor force was women, in the United States it was only 41%. It was vital that women found work outside of the home due to the rejection of women's dependency of men. The new ideals led to the change of Marxism history in which all of mankind had the potential for true freedom, instead of just men. This also changed the traditional family structure of the Soviet Union as more and more women wanted to join the labor force.
Men still lacked respect for women in the labor and the air force. Eventually the Soviet Union formed three regiments only for women.
Article 35 of the Marxist-Leninist constitution
"Women and men have equal rights in the USSR. Exercise of these rights is ensured by according women equal access with men to education and vocational and professional training, equal opportunities in employment, remuneration, and promotion, and in social and political and cultural activity, and by special labor and health protective measures for women, by providing conditions enabling mothers to work." (Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, Constitution, Article 35)
Even though men and women had the same rights to participate in the the work force the traditional attitudes towards women changed very little after the war.
"Hitler Youth." Learning About the Holocaust: A Student's Guide. Ed. Ronald M. Smelser. Vol. 2. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2001. 97-99. World History in Context. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
"Women During World War II." Women in America. Woodbridge, CT: Primary Source Media, 1999. American Journey. U.S. History in Context. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
O'Brien, Mary L. "Women and the Soviet Military." Women and the Soviet Military. Hood College, Jan.-Feb. 1982. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.
Dowdy, Linda. "The Night Witches." Aviation - The Night Witches. N.p., 2007. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.