Female Discrimination in the Labor Force

Topics: Male, Female, Gender Pages: 4 (1323 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Female Discrimination in the Labor Force

In the past decades there has been a dramatic increase in the number of women participating in the labor force. This expansion has unfortunately shown how women are still being treated as inferior citizens when comparing their wages and the jobs they are hired for to that of men. Many women in similar occupations as men, and having the same qualifications are only paid a fraction of what their male counterparts are paid. The only reasonable explanation that can be found for this income gap is discrimination. This unfair treatment shown throughout the handouts illustrate how far people still have to go before equal treatment becomes standard.

The increase in female participation started occurring during the 1970's. The number of women in the civilian labor force jumped from 23 million in the 1960's to 31 million in the 1970's. This leap would continue and increase in the 1980's and on into the 1990's. The result, in 1995, is a female labor force that numbers over 60 million. This comprised 46 percent of the civilian work force (10).

A reason for the rise in participation by women may be in the way women saw marriage and children. Fewer women saw marriage as a settling down. Women who had children began to return to their jobs. The number of working women that were either married or had children or both increased dramatically. In 1965, women with children under 18 years of age numbered 35.0 percent of the labor force. This number increased to 47.4 percent in 1975. In ten years it was 62.1 percent and finally in 1995 it had grown to 69.7 percent (7). This showed that the female attitude towards having children and marriage has changed.

According to the handouts, in 1970 women were paid poorly when compared to their male counterparts. The female worker had a median yearly earning of 19, 101 dollars. This was only 59.4 percent of what the males made. This does start to change in the 1980's as...
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