I always assumed they were full on dirty hoes, based on how it ended.
They were whores, darlin'.
They were ho's, although it's much more explicit in the original film (pre-Code). It was cleaned up for the Vivien Leigh remake, since Viv was a "lady".
A very young, platinum blonde Bette Davis plays one of the working girls in the 1931 original.
They were prostitutes in the play and the 1931 film version. By 1940, this was not allowed - it was the age of censorship and the Hayes Office - and the remake was highly sanitized. In the 1956 Leslie Caron version, "Gaby," the heroine's becoming a "fallen woman" was clearer, but the movie was, pathetically, given an Eisenhower era happy ending.
Nitpicking, since anyone familiar with the 1931 version gets points in my book. However, Bette didn't play one of the tarts but the good-hearted virginal sister of the hero, played by hunky Douglass Montgomery.
Of course they were hos...not everything had to be spelled out in letters THIS BIG back then.
One of the soldiers in the station calls Myra "ducky", and she looks taken aback. Is that slang for ho? British euphemisms always amuse me.
R4, Davis plays the sister of the love interest, not one of the 'girls'.
I love this film, one of my favorite pre-codes.