Iowa Women in the
"American Woman and the World War"
America was the first country in the world to
give formal official recognition to women in the construction of its
war machine, and to recognize immediately, upon a declaration of war,
its woman power as one of its most valuable assets.
On April 21, 1917, fifteen days after Congress formally
declared that a state of war existed between this country and Germany,
the Council of National Defense gave out this statement: "Realizing the
inestimable value of woman's contribution to national effort under
modern war conditions, the Council of National Defense has appointed a
committee of women of national prominence to consider and advise how
the assistance of the women of America may be made available in the
prosecution of the war. These women are appointed as individuals
regardless of any organizations with which they may be associated. The
body will be known as the Committee on Women's Defense Work."
By October 1,1917, the Committee had so far perfected
its organization that the work was divided into twelve divisions as
follows: Food Conservation; Food Production and Home Economics;
Education; Woman in Industry; Social and Welfare Work; Liberty Loan;
Health and Recreation; Child Welfare; Organization; Registration;
Maintenance of Existing Social Agencies; Home and Foreign Relief.
The work of these divisions, under their respective chairmen,
will be described in subsequent chapters. An account will also be given
of how the plan formulated and promulgated by the Woman's Committee has
been worked out and developed in the various states.
|-source: "American Woman and the World
-transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall for Iowa in the Great War