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Lecture

Hist 260 -- Feb 01 2011.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIST 260
Professor
Selena Crosson
Semester
Winter

Description
History 260 February 1, 2011 Canadian Women and WW2: On the Homefront  Canadian women contributed greatly to Canada’s war effort  The queen made a special call to the women of Canada, calling them to make their efforts 1 Women and the Peace Movement o The interwar peace movement was split by the war as a few became committed pacifists but most supported a “just war” o Women still worked in the churches, the League of Nations Society, The National Council of Women and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and other organizations o Most groups emphasized inter-nations arbitration and conciliation as the best way to achieve world order o Some supported human rights for Jews, interned Japanese Organizing Women on the Homefront - Traditional voluntary “sacrificial labour” o Women extended charitable work to the war effort. They knitted socks, scarves, and mitts, wrote letters, prepared parcels for Canadians overseas o Helped displaced persons providing cloths, food, setting up refugee centres o Women’s organizations - Community and “family” values remained but increasing individualism was emerging - Federal civil service expanded, employing many women. This area becomes one of the most unionized sectors of women workers - At war’s end most women were “retired” (fired) Women mobilized to defend the home front  Women enlisted to ration save, re-use, knit, write letters, plant, “Victory” gardens, temporarily take on men’s roles  Public acclaim for housewives and mothers Homefront Aboriginal women o Women worked in war industries, service and increased reserve agricultural production o Women maintained the homefront as men volunteered in large numbers History 260 February 1, 2011 o In 1942 opposition member John Diefenbaker noted in the House of Commons “in Western Canada the reserves have been depleted of almost all physically fit men” o Women’s service groups raised funds for red cross and other war charities o After the war women coped with the returns of under-appreciated First Nations 2 soldiers returning to prejudice lack of veterans benefits and “second-place” citizen status o Some men brought home British war brides Quebec women win provincial vote [1940] - Last province to give women the provincial vote - Activist used education, the media and public demonstrations, to change public opinion - They lobbied parliamentarians at the Quebec Legislative Assembly The business of war  Industry developed mostly in central Canada  Regional disparity intensified  East cost disadvantaged  North opened to settlement and industry for the first time  Women are going into untraditional jobs  When Canada declare war on Sept 20 1939 about 600,000 women workers [of 11 million]  By 1944 about 1,200,000 not including part-ti
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