Women in the Workforce
Since the beginning, women have had to fight hard for the rights they have now got. Women fought for their change to vote, for fair equal workplace, equal pay, and abortion among just a few. Abortion used to be at the top of the list, but has now been replaced by fighting for money. Equal amounts for men and women (Tarr-Whelan, 1993). For what women believed they deserved an equal fair in they fought for. From the time this started to the present time, has much changed? Many gains have been made in achieving legal rights and political clout in the last quarter of a century by women. Have pay wages improved. Is discrimination in the workplace the same, or has it improved with time? The pay gap causes are embedded deeply in our society’s institutions and are quite complex. The major factor is occupational segregation. Lower-paying jobs are still a problem in with two-thirds employed in jobs that are traditional to women. These roles are such as caring, cashiering, catering, cleaning and clerical jobs to name a few (. An understanding of the history of the women’s movements and what it has meant for women in the workforce today (Fredman, 2008).
If it was not for the women’s movements, the rights that women have today might not be so. It has taken 162 years from the present time, 2010, to when the fight for women rights began in 1848 (Imbornoni, Time Line 1, 2009). Much has happened in this long time frame and changes are still occurring today. To show how women have worked for the rights they have now, in all aspects, the workforce still needs much revision to make it equal for both men and women. This all began in 1848 at the first women’s convention was held (Imbornoni, Time Line 1, 2009).
The first women’s convention was held in New York in a town called Seneca Falls. Two days of discussions and debates took place. There were 32 men and 68 women who filled this first women’s rights convention in which the Declaration of Sentiments was signed (Imbornoni, Time Line 1, 2009). The Declaration of Sentiments was drafted by a woman named Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The Sentiments asked for equality with men before law. This included areas of education and employment. This was not only the beginning of the fight for equality, but for the women’s right to vote as well (U.S. Dept. of State, 2007). The next breakthrough in history came in 1903.
1903 was a big year for women. The National Woman’s Trade Union League (WTUL) was established. This league worked to advocate for improved wages. It does not stop there. This league was also fighting for improved working conditions for women (Imbornoni, Time Line 1, 2009). This came about because women were excluded constantly from other labor organizations. The organizations thought that women did not have a place in the workforce. One other thing bothered men about women working and that is the men thought by allowing the women in the labor cause would cause their wages to decrease along with the woman’s place is in the home. At that same time the women that were in the workplace numbered 6.3 million women (Women’s Trade Union League, 2000). The woman’s movement was quite quiet for a few years if it pertained to employment and wages equality.
One major event that followed was the formation of the Woman’s Bureau of the Department of Labor in 1920 (Imbornoni, Time Line 1, 2009). This bureau was established by Congress to represent the needs of women when it came to wage earnings (United States Department of Labor, 2009).
Just as before, another long major break in attempts to get equal pay and better working standards for women occurs. It is not until the 1930s when a new deal legislation of the 1930s occurred. A federal minimum wage for employees was part of this big new deal. This was done in hopes to repair the havoc the Great Depression. The minimum was not only for men, but women as well (Acker, 2005). It seems as if changes are coming for women, but are...
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