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Social sciences

History

Grade 8

Changing ideas and technology:

The first world war

Module 11

The changing roles of women during the first world war

Activity 1:

To a)discuss the changing roles of women during the first world war,

And b) compare the results of the first world war with conditions today

[lo 1.3, 2.3, 3.4]

READING 1

The First World War was bigger in scope and caused a lot more destruction than any previous war. Heavily armed soldiers fought on land, at sea and in the air for four years. About 8 million soldiers died on the battlefield.

At home the civilians were also aiding the war effort. War supplies needed to be produced and transported to the soldiers in battle. To prevent this, big cities were bombed from the air. Large portions of France, Poland and Belgium, where some of the most important battles were fought, were completely destroyed. Women working on the farms and whose fields were bombed from the air, had to care for themselves, their families and the wounded while still producing enough food to feed the war effort.

Mines and factories were damaged beyond repair. Underfed women and children in the factories had to produce the necessary war supplies and provisions. Many combatants were left destitute by the war and returned to ravaged houses and businesses. The majority of the soldiers were left unable to work, due to poor circumstances and medical services on the battlefield. The traditional roles of the woman as housekeepers, teachers, and nurses were replaced with the roles of businesswomen and farmers.

By 1918 millions of civilians were dying of famine or illness. Then the Great Flu Epidemic broke out. More than twenty million people (more than those who died in the war) died of the flu.

The traditional role of the woman as supporter of the fighting man changed to that of women of the battlefield of survival. Women had to take over the role of breadwinner to support husbands and sons who returned from the war physically or mentally crippled.

READING1 (b)

The most serious social problem facing us today in South Africa is HIV/AIDS. Many children today are born with HIV/AIDS and large portions of the community die from it. The cost of caring for AIDS patients and provision of care to AIDS orphans and victims of AIDS come to millions of rands. As with the First World War, this war has already spread around the globe. HIV/AIDS can be described as a pandemic.

Assignment:

Study source a and complete the table

SOURCE A

AIDS CONCEPTS:

HIV: refers to a deficiency in the human immunity system

AIDS: refers to the immunity deficiency syndrome

EPIDEMIC: the circumstances in which a specific illness spreads quickly

PANDEMIC: refers to the spread of a specific illness at an alarming speed over large areas of the earth

IMMUNE SYSTEM: refers to a person’s ability to fight an illness

Let us compare the statistics from three countries. The numbers are rounded off. In 1997 the total population of South Africa was 43 336 000. Approximately 360 000 people died of AIDS, while in Ethiopia, with a population of 60 148 890, approximately 1 000 000 people died of AIDS. In Zimbabwe, with a population of 11 682 000 , 130 000 people died of AIDS.

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Source:  OpenStax, History grade 8. OpenStax CNX. Sep 12, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11044/1.1
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