Recruiting Women into the World War II Military: The Office of War Information and Gender

Zayna N. Bizri

Advisor: Christopher H. Hamner, PhD, Department of History and Art History

Committee Members: Jennifer Ritterhouse, Meredith Lair

Johnson Center, #239A
November 14, 2017, 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM


This dissertation describes the process of recruiting women into the United States Armed Forces in World War II. The Office of War Information created and managed recruiting campaigns for all labor and military needs, including those for women. The advertisements produced at the beginning of the war were markedly different than those produced at war’s end. The changes in advertising reflected the changes in perceptions of women and gender, and transmitted those changes to the public. This dissertation uses internal Office of War Information Records as well as the public result of the conversation – the advertisements themselves – as primary sources. This dissertation argues that the change in advertisements reflected that content producers at the Office of War Information moved from viewing women only in the context of their relationships to men to viewing women as consumers and audiences in their own right.