Women at Home

"Mrs. Consumer," Consumer-Welfare Committee Advertisement 1942

To ensure that women were doing their part inside the home, the Consumer-Welfare Committee created the "Consumer's Pledge," a skip of paper that housewives were asked to sign to pledge being waste-free and conservative in order to help the country's economy.

Whether every woman wanted to or not, not every single woman could leave the home and enter the workforce. However, this predicament did not limit their ability to make their contributions known.  Commodity shortages were a major repercussion of the United States’ entry into the war, leaving the country to ration.  With many men on the battlefield, women were put up to the task in order to control the flow of goods.  Along with limiting their consumption of goods and purchasing war bonds, the government encouraged women to grow produce in their own backyards.  These gardens were coined as “victory gardens,” and rightfully so: the success of the United States’ war effort was its ability to keep its economy afloat, and this couldn’t have been accomplished without the consistent effort of housewives across the nation.

Additionally, although some women could not afford to make themselves available for 40+ hours a week to work in the war plants or enter the military, women also took up jobs that tied up the odds and ends that millions of men left behind.  Women became postal service workers, bus drivers, cashiers, and farmers, to name a few. 

In order for the everyday life of the country to maintain its peace and remain calm, women had to take on new roles on the homefront to ensure that its day-to-day functions went uninterrupted.