The Second World War and Irish Women is a collection of twenty-three oral history interviews with Irish women in which they recount their experience of living though the Second World War/The Emergency between 1939 to 1945. Some of these testimonies are from women who worked in Belfast (a city at war); others are from women who worked in Dublin (a neutral city); while others are from women who chose to take up war work in Britain. Testimonies were collected by Dr Mary Muldowney between 1995 and 2006 and resulted in the book publication 'The Second World War and Irish Women: An Oral History' (Irish Academic Press, 2007) along with a number of academic articles - see Related Materials. The collection contains the twenty-three oral history interviews and a user guide containing background information on the original study.
Issues raised in the interviews include the link between family income, education and access to employment opportunities; pay and conditions for women in a variety of workplaces, including the war industry in Britain; an examination of the impact that wartime conditions had on women's domestic responsibilities and women's health, with particular reference to maternity and childbirth. As a result of this research, Muldowney has concluded that even though there were few legislative or social changes to Irish women's status during the Second World War years in either state, the women who participated in this research grasped whatever opportunities came their way, including those created by the war, and in doing this they helped to erode the legal and social barriers that had been erected around them. Transcripts from the Second World War and Irish Women collection are publicly available for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence (see licence statement).