Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies

Using Archives to Teach Gender

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All referenced quotes presented on the sidebars in this website are taken from the book Teaching Gender with Libraries and Archives: The Power of Information, edited by Sara de Jong and Sanne Koevoets.

Poster – War Gains (Women’s History Series: 10)

By the Poster-Film Collective, 1983. Part of a series of posters on Women’s History.

This poster discusses the impact that World War II had on women. Women were needed to work traditionally male jobs during the War Effort and this led to widespread and active efforts to recruit women into factories, namely through propaganda whcih represented women as equally capable of doing “men’s work”.The poster contrasts this sudden chance in gender stereotypes with previous discourses that insisted on the idea of “a women’s place” (in the home and the private sphere), an idea which is addressed also in other posters in these series (for example, here and here).

This change liberating for many women, and childcare provisions were offered to mothers to make their dual roles more manageable. However, the end of the war meant a return to the old order (the “recall” mentioned at the bottom of the poster”), reminding us that the struggle for women’s liberation has not been linear, and has been composed both of advancements and setbacks. At the top of the poster, there is a reference to war propaganda aimed at women which played on cultural ideals of masculinity.

10 war gains

 

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To find out more about the Poster-Film Collective, click here.

Source: Feminist Archive North

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