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The Second Line of DefenseAmerican Women and World War I$
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Lynn Dumenil

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469631219

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631219.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

The Second Line of Defense

The Second Line of Defense

Women Workers and War

Chapter:
(p.155) Four The Second Line of Defense
Source:
The Second Line of Defense
Author(s):

Lynn Dumenil

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631219.003.0005

This chapter explores the extent to which sex segregated labor patterns broke down during the war, especially in the railroads and munitions sectors. It also discusses the Great Migration of African Americans and the opportunities – albeit limited – that factory war work provided African Americans who had customarily been relegated to domestic and farm labor work. World War I saw the first enlistment of women in the military where they served stateside in clerical work. Even women doing traditional women’s work during World War I– clerical work or the already feminized profession of social work – found expanded opportunities with government agencies such as the Woman's Branch of the Industrial Section of the Ordnance Department and the Railroad Administration's Women's Service Section. Despite these opportunities, the permanent gains for women’s occupational advance were limited and patterns of sex segregation re-emerged as men returned from war.

Keywords:   sex-segregated labor, African American Great Migration, black women and factory war work, women and railroad work, women and the munitions industry, women in the military, clerical work, social work, Woman's Branch of the Industrial Section of the Ordnance Department, Women's Service Section

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