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From the kitchen to the war plant: The women of World War I

“Our Armies have been saved and victory assured by the women in the munition factories,” declared British Minister of Munitions Edwin Samuel Montagu in August 1916. Although the war would not be over for another two years, his assessment of the situation would have been just as accurate at the end of 1918. The Great War was a catalyst for change in many aspects of Europeans’ lives, and one of the most notable among these was the view of women’s role in society. This was because, during the war, woman had to make up for the absence of their husbands and sons, which resulted in masses of women entering the workforce. But while the sole task of a military-aged man was to fight, women were still expected to fulfill their traditional duties as housewives. By the end of the Great War, they had proved that they were more than capable of rising to the challenge in a time of crisis.

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