Women And Work
At the outbreak of the war the activity of numerous female societies, committees and associations was aimed primarily at medical and humanitarian assistance to the army. Local women promoted the establishment of the Samaritan’s course, they also arranged the work of the local Red Cross. The central office of this society was headed by Wanda Korytowska, wife of Galician Governor, but branches operated in private apartments of Pelagia Skarbek, Olga Zakreisowa and Jadwiga Langierowa. Regardless of their nationality, religion and income level, Lviv women joined charity work: they took care of local soup kitchens, helped orphans, and looked after injured soldiers.
Once men began to get mobilized to the front, a huge burden of housekeeping and looking after children lay on the shoulders of women. To provide for the family, women spend hours lining up for food, went into the forest to chop firewood, and even went out in the streets to protest. In the autumn of 1915, when there was a lack of men of working age, women took up positions formerly occupied men. They worked as waitresses, conductors and street cleaners. Before the war, these occupations had been considered purely male, which attracted public attention to working women. In September 1915, the first eight women started to work as tram conductors. They were dressed in the usual form and wore hats. According to newspapers, at the sight of conductors, the passengers tried to be the first to show their tickets as everyone wanted to see how well women coped with the new task.