Women in Defense

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Women in Defense
Directed byJohn Ford
Produced byJohn Ford
Written byEleanor Roosevelt
Narrated byKatharine Hepburn
Distributed byWar Activities Committee
Release date
  • December 24, 1941 (1941-12-24)
Running time
18 minutes
CountryUnited States

Women in Defense is a 1941 short film produced by the Office of Emergency Management shortly before the United States entered the Second World War. It was directed by John Ford.


Opening with a shot of a statue of "the pioneer woman who helped win a continent", the film briefly outlines the way in which women could help prepare the country for the possibility of war. Among the various way women could help were:

  • working in a war materials manufacturing plant
  • sewing parachutes for US servicemen
  • attending free lectures on how to prepare nutritious meals on presumably rationed food
  • Joining the WAC or the Red Cross
  • donating blood

There is also a segment on the types of costumes women would wear while engaged in war work. At the end of the film, the narrator explains women are vital to securing a healthy American home life and raising children "which has always been the first line of defense".

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