Previously published in Examiner
Part 3 of the Rosie the Riveter Series
The Impact of World War II on Canadian and Montreal Women
World War II changed the face of Canadian society just like it had done for America. Canadian women also stepped up to take the place of men in the factories and to do their part for the war effort. We too had our own version of Rosie the Riveter. Canadian women worked from homes, worked in ammunition factories, and joined the military. We did everything we could to keep our land free and to help the allies defeat the Nazi war machine.
Canadian women joined the workforce during World War II doing men’s work
Canadian women worked in factories all over the country including Montreal and worked beside the men that remained at home. There were vacancies for factory workers because most of the able bodied men went to war and this allowed for women to assume their places to keep the war effort alive.
Canadian women rose to the occasion and they too, like their American sisters did an excellent job, doing the work that was once considered the work of men. They drilled, and soldered, and a became Canadian, “Rosie the Riveter.” Women once again showed the world that we can do anything. Rosie the Riveters, American, Canadian and Montrealers alike, challenged the status quo and brought new light on defining the role of men and women in wartime society.
Due to the wartime climate women were no longer confined to the home to do women’s work. A great majority of women went out and worked side by side with the men, performing long grueling hours of manual labour in a factory and they did it well. Not only was this manual labour done with the hands, they also performed jobs such as welding which required skill and training.
Canadian and Montreal women did it all
The work women did during wartime was not limited to munitions factories where they manufactured weaponry they also worked building ship and aircraft parts. There was also a shortage of farmers and women did the heavy labour that men did during peace time. Canadian women also drove streetcars, buses and taxis. They did whatever was needed to keep Canada going due to the shortage of available men.
To be continued