Women in the Military in World War II

Whenever the World War II is mentioned, the general perception that comes to the mind of many is the key role that men played. The role played by women during this era is not adversely mentioned and yet it was quite significant. As a matter of fact, it is believed that the role played by women contributed to the outcome of both the First World War and the Second World War. There are many positions that women occupied in the military during the Second World War. This discussion looks at the various roles played by women during this era and the impact it brought about.During the Second World War, there were very many casualties most of whom were wounded in the war. The role of the women was therefore very important in nursing the wounded soldiers and ensuring that they had enough food and water. The military also had a large group of women serving during World War II. Statistics indicate that during the Second World War, there was 100,000 women in the navy, 140,000 in the army, 23,000 in marines and 1000 in the air force[1].It is important to note that the role by women in the Second World War elevated their position later in the society. Prior to the Second World War, women in most societies of the world were looked down upon and they were not allowed to take a participatory role in most activities. However, during the Second Word War, it dawned on many societies that women were equally important and they were equally capable just as their male counterparts.It all began in the First World War. Most men left for the war. This meant that women had to take up jobs previously left for men so that they could take care of their families and also take care of their husbands who had gone to take part in the war. It was also during the First World War that an acute shortage of manpower was experienced considering that a great number of men were away fighting. Naturally therefore, women took up all the jobs that had been reserved for men as a crisis measure as most industries were at the verge of collapsing. It was unfortunate however that after the First World War, most women who had got into formal employment lost their jobs to give way to men who were back from the war[2].When World War II took place women now came on board, with great confidence, knowing that they were capable of handling jobs previously taken by men. By the year 1945, more than two million women were actively involved in all the industries that were concerned with war. A good number was working in the military while others were employed as nurses to take care of the casualties. By the time the Second World War was getting midway, it became apparent to many societies that having women on board was not a favour to women, but instead it was a necessity. They could not do without women[3]. It was however clear that even at such a time of need, the chauvinism that many societies held towards women was still evident. This is because, even though women were brought on board during this war and were allowed to play a participatory role, they did not receive treatment equal to their male counterparts. The women who faced discrimination mostly were those working in the military at the time. Besides having to contend with false accusations of promiscuity by their male counterparts, they could also be deliberately left out from main commanding tasks[4].However, after the World War II, significant changes were evident. Women were no longer treated as junior of men. They not only received equal treatment but also they got to lay their hands on jobs previously reserved for men.I view the role played by women in the Second World War as being very significant because it contributed to the liberation of women from male chauvinisms. Traditionally, in almost every society, a woman was viewed as lesser human beings who should be only engage in domestic chores. A woman was never supposed to compare herself with a man and attempting to compete with a man was a no go zone. It was not until that time when all men folk were not available as most of them were badly wounded and could no longer work that the importance of women in the society was recognized. I therefore feel that the participation of women in World War II was the kick off point for the liberation of women in the society[5]. In the world today, women hold high ranking posts and some even have become presidents and leaders of governments. If it were not for the role played by women in this particular war, the wrong perception held by the society about women and their abilities may be would not have been dispelled. Because of their great participation in the war, the position of the woman in the society was elevated. The World War II and the roles played women during this year are thus important for every woman in the society today.