Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Woman’s Land Army of America was formed during World War I to provide replacement farm workers for young men called to war in the trenches. More than 20,000 city and town women, called “farmerettes,” traveled to rural American to drive tractors, plow fields, plant and harvest. Most of them had never before worked on farms.

The Woman’s Land Army of America was established by an association of women’s organizations--including gardening clubs, suffrage societies, women’s colleges, civic groups, and the YWCA. Although they were supported by Theodore Roosevelt and other Progressives, the women suffered prejudice at first by farmers and their families, who didn’t think women, especially those from the “city,” could hold up to the tough work in the fields. The WLAA was also initially held in disdain by politicians who didn’t feel the situation was dire enough to hire women to do men’s work. The women soon proved them wrong.
The farmerettes of the Woman’s Land Army of American were paid wages equal to male farm laborers, thanks to the architects of the group. They wore (gasp!) pants to work and challenged conventional thinking about gender roles. The group was disbanded after the war, but their work helped pave the way for women working during World War II.

1 comment :

  1. That is really cool. Slightly like the CCC but different. Roosevelt really was quite the president!


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