The First World War in a 'women's town': Dundee 1914-1922

Tomlinson, J. (2022) The First World War in a 'women's town': Dundee 1914-1922. Women's History Review, 31(2), pp. 173-197. (doi: 10.1080/09612025.2020.1864886)

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This article re-examines long-standing arguments about the impact of the First World War on women’s lives by using the unusual, distinctive case of Dundee. By the late nineteenth-century Dundee had acquired the reputation as a ‘women’s town’. This designation was highly problematic, but it was based on the reality of the unusually high proportion of women employed in the city’s key industry, jute. This distinctive starting point meant that the direct impact of the war on women’s employment was noticeably smaller than elsewhere in Britain. Most women continued to be employed in jute. Nevertheless, despite this relative stability in the distribution of employment, there is evidence of substantial enhancement of women’s civic and political engagement, up to and in the immediate aftermath of women’s parliamentary enfranchisement in 1918. In the general election of 1922, in a city with a majority of women voters, Winston Churchill was defeated as a Liberal Party candidate.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Tomlinson, Professor Jim
Authors: Tomlinson, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:Women's History Review
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1747-583X
Published Online:08 January 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor and Francis Group
First Published:First published in Women's History Review 31(2):173-197
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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