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This is our war ... join the WAAC

Date: 1942
Dimensions:
Overall: 790 x 630 mm
Medium: Ink on paper with linen backing
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Poster
Object No: 00033873
Place Manufactured:Washington

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    Description
    In this poster a woman wearing military uniform is shown standing under a silhouette of Athena, the Greek goddess of war. The American Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp issued this poster to generate female recruits for World War II. Although physical combat was still seen as a man's domain women slowly began to undertake supportive roles in military units during the conflict.
    SignificanceThis demonstrates how recruitment posters began to depict women as active participants in the war instead of just passive supporters.
    HistoryAs a result of government propaganda, American women whether motivated by patriotism, independence or necessity, joined the American work force as nurses, factory workers or members of auxiliary armies. In July 1944, when the war was at its peak, over 19 million women were employed in jobs traditionally done by men.

    In the early stages of the war, recruitment posters presented women in passive and supporting roles like nursing. By the final stages of the conflict women were being shown in more traditionally masculine roles.

    Although millions of American women stepped in to serve their country, their jobs were not made easier by their male colleagues or husbands. Women faced discrimination in hiring practices, job placement and pay rates.

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