International Women’s Day – Women in WWI Resources

A woman stoker

A woman stoker maintaining the furnace in a large factory. Published in ‘Women’s War Work in maintaining the industries & export trade of the United Kingdom’ by The War Office. Public Domain.

It’s International Women’s Day and we have a range of resources to provide some new perspectives on women and World War I. Those familiar with the site may have noticed we do not have a theme entitled ‘women’s experience’. This decision made by our academic steering group challenges the notion that the experience of a sex should be confined within a set theme, but rather permeates across all aspects of the War. It also allows for more fluid discussions on gender, the family and sexuality. You can use our resource library to find contributions by our community and also selected resources from elsewhere on the web, or use our library classifications to browse particular categories. Below we have highlighted the top open resources in our collection available for download, sharing and reuse:

Surplus Women (Article | Podcast)
Dr Rosemary Wall, University of Hull, explores how the deaths of 700 000 British men affected the lives of the country’s women following the First World War. With over 1/2 million more unmarried women in 25-34 age group, many women applied to the Overseas Nursing Association to increase their chances of marriage.

The She-Soldiers of World War One (Article)
Combatant women in the First World War.

Wartime Art and Grief (Podcast)
German women and the aesthetics of loss portrayed through art during the First World War. Presented by Dr Claudia Siebrecht, Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Sussex.

Europeana 1914-1918: Women (Collection)
Explore resources contributed by the general public, libraries and musuems from across Europe.

Changing lives: gender expectations and roles during and after World War One (Article)
Considering the roles of both men and women during World War One, Susan R Grayzel asks to what extent the war challenged gender roles and to what degree society accepted them. Article on The British Library: World War One portal.

Combat Gnosticism and the Woman Poets (Article)
Tim Kendall applies James Campbell’s renowned article to the Women Poets of World War I.

Women and gender roles (Teaching Pack)
Aimed at ages 11+ this teaching pack from The British Library provides a lesson to introduce some of the roles that women played to contribute to the war effort across a number of different countries.

Women in War (Film Collection)
A selection of short films licensed for free educational re-use to the First World War Poetry Digital Archive.

Cite : International Women's Day - Women in WWI Resources ( by Kate Lindsay ( licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales (

Reuse : Web link

About Kate Lindsay

Kate Lindsay, University of Oxford is the Director of World War One Centenary: Continuations and Beginnings. She is also the Manager for Education Enhancement at Academic IT where she also led the First World War Poetry Digital Archive and public engagement initiative Great War Archive. She has eight years experience of in-depth work on World War I digital archives and educational curricula. Kate has a degree in English Literature from the University of Leeds, combined with an MSc in Information Systems from the University for Sheffield, and an MSc in Educational Research from the University of Oxford. She is particularly interested in womens' experience of War and the representation of the First World War in popular culture.
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