Excerpt from Medical Research Committee: A Report on the Causes of Wastage of Labour in Munitions Factories Employing Women
The proper mobilisation of women for national tasks, like that Of men, is fundamentally a medical problem, and the measure of the success achieved in it... , expressed in terms of the rate of disappearance of recruits unsuitably enlisted, seemed likely to yield information of a new and valuable kind. But the results have shown that the rates of loss by the falling out of women from the employed ranks at given tasks were too high to be accounted for in terms of physical unfitness alone. As Captain Greenwood points out in his report, it must be taken as being definitely established that the existing rates of loss in manufactories are unnecessarily high, and that so long as they continue the effective mobilisation of labour for national service has not even been approximately realised. When expressed in terms of the whole munition making female population, the avoidable losses must amount to many thousands. Avoidable loss means here in the main a loss not due to physical incapacity or ill-health. The causes at work in producing it must receive their explanation elsewhere, and must indeed remain unexplained until they can be expressed by further analysis in terms of social and economic factors through the organised studies of welfare workers and the systematic following up of absentees. This side of the problem, however, lies outside the sphere of medical research.
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