Women at War

Women at War

How far did the war really impact women's lives and women's rights?

During the First World War, women stepped into men’s jobs for the first time ever, thousands of women served abroad on the front lines, women’s football even became a hugely popular sport, and the war is thought to have strengthened their case for the right to vote. But how far did the war really impact women's lives and women's rights, or was it all 'for the duration'?

Delving into the IWM film and sound archives, we uncover some incredible true stories of the women who served and worked during the First World War.

Related content

Elsie Knocker (left) and Mairi Chisholm in Pervyse, Belgium in 1917.
IWM Q2663
Women In Wartime
5 Inspirational Stories Of Women In The First World War
From ambulance drivers to translators, women served Britain in a variety of ways during the First World War. Discover their stories now.
Shop for Machining 15-inch Shells: Singer Manufacturing Company, Clydebank, Glasgow, 1918
© IWM (Art.IWM ART 2271)
Women In Wartime
12 Things You Didn't Know About Women In The First World War
The First World War brought many changes in the lives of British women. It is often represented as having had a wholly positive impact, opening up new opportunities in the world of work and strengthening their case for the right to vote. The reality is more complex. 
Truce-thumbnail-website
First World War
The Christmas Truce of 1914
The photographs, letters and interviews in IWM’s collection tell the real story of the Christmas Truce. In this video, Head of Documents and Sound Anthony Richards explains how the truce came about, its impact on the course of the First World War and why it never happened again after 1914.