The Munitionettes


As we celebrate today the International Women’s Day, I propose you a topic about the Munitionettes, i.e. women employed in munitions factories during the time of the first World War. By June 1917, roughly 80% of the weaponry and ammunition used by the British army during World War I was being made by munitionettes.

These women often worked with hazardous chemicals on a daily basis without adequate protection. Many women worked with trinitrotoluene (TNT), and prolonged exposure to the sulfuric acid that turned the women’s skin a yellow colour, that’s the reason why they were popularly called canary girls. Another ever-present hazard of the munitionettes’ work was the risk of explosion.

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