Segments in this Video

Women on the Home Front (02:12)


Athens and Sparta recognize the role of women as the mothers of soldiers. "The Iliad" recounts the sacking of Troy. Medieval society perceives women as part of the idealized family that needs protection.

Victimization and Support (05:55)

Many civilians die in the English Civil War. Experts discuss the role of women during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. In the American Civil War, the home front becomes indistinct, civilians suffer, and families are targeted. Women away from the battles operate businesses.

World War I (03:14)

Thousands die at Passchendaele; hear "The Veteran." Women on the home front perform various tasks, some organized by governments. Arms and munitions are a critical area of production. In Britain, the class system defines the type of work women perform.

Women in Uniform and Agriculture (03:27)

During WWI, women volunteer for the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, encountering hostility. As the war continues, women work in farming and timber. Some English traditions continue despite battles abroad; class division remains.

World War II (05:27)

The government revives the Women's Land Army. Women maintain homes under difficult circumstances and rationing increases; Edna Groves and Joan Moor recall bombings in London.

Conscription of Women (03:15)

In 1941, the British Parliament passes the second National Service Act; women can choose civil defense, auxiliary services, or industry. Joan Durham and Ivy Davy recall working at a munitions factory.

Auxiliary Service (06:14)

Social class plays a role in the selection process. Mary Soames recalls volunteering for the W.R.N.S. The A.T.S. recruits women from the widest range of backgrounds. Lettice Curtis recalls serving with the A.T.A. Some women in Anti-Aircraft Command return enemy fire.

Brevity and Black G.I.s (03:32)

Dancing is popular during WWII. Durham and Davy recall the arrival of American soldiers. Some British citizens see black soldiers as exotic; the U.S. War Department produces "The Negro Soldier."

Post-War Society (02:28)

The male-dominated societies of Britain and America try to return women to domesticated roles; most American women are happy to comply. America experiences a time of prosperity while austerity continues in Britain. War changes women's self-perception.

Women's Voices (04:01)

The rise of feminism gives women confidence. In 1981, a group begins protesting the use of Greenham Common as an American air base for storing missiles.

Falklands War (03:58)

Linda Kitson recalls capturing images on paper and experiencing hypothermia. Her book reveals what it was like in the midst of combat.

Female Attitudes (04:50)

The events of September 11, 2001 redefines the American home front; women support the War on Terror. Some women risk their lives to report conflicts around the world.

Credits: The Home Front (00:27)

Credits: The Home Front

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The Home Front

Part of the Series : Women at War
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



An abiding image of the home front is of a brave woman shielding a child in an idyllic cottage doorway, but what really happens when the men go to war leaving the women behind? Since the tribal horrors of assault and massacre, women have carved out an important wartime role, often having to fight their own male establishment as well as the official enemy to do so. They have taken men's jobs in factories and on the land, often providing food in time of famine. They have worked as entertainers in the many organizations allied to the armed forces. More recently, they have led protests against war. How successful have women been in destroying the "no job for a women" labels of many occupations and how successful have they been in holding on to these roles when the guns fall silent? Historians, activists and those who were there chart the wartime activities of women and assess the broader social effects of women's changing roles on The Home Front.

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: FPT210796

ISBN: 978-1-64867-971-1

Copyright date: ©2003

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.