Monday, 6 April 2015

Employment of Aberdeen Women

From the Aberdeen Journal, 6th April 1915.



Over 200 applications have been received at the Aberdeen Labour Exchange from women who are willing to relieve men of military age from their everyday occupation during the war so that the men may join the forces of the King.  It would appear, therefore, that the women of Aberdeen and the surrounding district are realising the importance of offering to do the work so that the men may be released to safeguard the Empire, and in reality to protect the homes of the country.  Women who are willing to help in this great task of endeavouring to augment our military forces to the utmost extent, with as little interference as possible with the ordinary affairs of the nation, are offering themselves both from the east end and the west end.

A number of women of independent means are included among the applicants, and it is quite evident that the burden is not going to be put on the working class alone.  A proportion of the applicants, of course, are from working women who are meantime out of employment and would be glad to obtain a situation.  Women, however, who have never found it necessary to work for a living have sent in their names as willing to undertake, for instance, such work as light machining in engineering or armament factories.  A number of married women who were formerly in employment have offered to return to their previous occupations so that more men might go to the assistance of their husbands who are meantime in the trenches.

A glance over the cards of applications shows the variety of occupations in which the woman are willing to help.  A number are anxious to be trained to take the places of postmen, and others would relieve commercial travellers or salesmen.  One or two women who have motor cars of their own would be willing to act as drivers of motor cars.  One lady, who is meantime home on holiday from India, is included among those willing to serve in this capacity.  Others are ready to do field and outdoor work on the farms so that the crops may be secured, and many have declared themselves willing to be trained for anything that may be required.  Almost in every case they have stated that they will be ready to give up the work immediately the war is over, so that those whose legitimate occupations they have been temporarily following may be reinstated.

Although the number on the register has been thus rapidly increasing, there seems still to be a feeling of doubt as to who should register.  It should be clearly understood that every woman who can help, no matter how well-off she may be, or how few may be the hours that she will be able to work, is desired to register her name as willing to assist in the great crisis of the nation. ...

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