Women in the Workforce

Topics: Women's rights, Women's suffrage, World War II Pages: 3 (1187 words) Published: April 21, 2009
Women in the Workforce
A woman in today’s society has many roles. She is a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a cook, a caretaker, and much more. Within the past century, however, her role has been altered and added to. She is now, also, a worker. Some women are even the main source of income in their households. To those of us who have been raised in late 20th century, this occurrence doesn’t seem unusual. Most of our mothers have had jobs. We have seen or heard of many successful businesswomen, but women have not always been treated as equals in the workforce. In the early 1900s, women were mainly responsible for maintaining their household. If they worked, it was normally on their own farm or in factories at a lower wage than men, but not in a formal career. When World War II began, more women were allowed into the workforce, but were fired when it ended. The 1970s brought another wave of women workers when laws were passed to give women equal rights to work. Women have been a growing part of the workforce since. It had many immediate effects, such as a small economic boom because of more people working. Also, it inspired many feminist movements. Today, there are nearly as many women in the workforce as men, and there are no signs of regression. Although women still face sexism and discrimination, the woman’s role is changing from the weaker sex to the equal partner.

At the end of the 19th century, the general consensus of a woman’s role was being a caretaker and a child bearer. She was expected to stay at home and keep her residence and children in order. She was educated to grade school, but not encouraged, and in some cases not allowed, to further their education. A woman did not even have the right to vote. It was nearly impossible for a woman to establish her own career. Most women criticized capitalism as a major source of women’s oppression. Men were thought to be the only gender capable of handling most jobs that kept the society running by the...

Cited: DuBois, Ellen Carol. Woman Suffrage and Women’s Rights. New York, New York: University Press, 1998
Nichols, Nancy A. Women and the Changing Facts of Work Life. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 1996
Smith, Barbara E. Neither Separate nor Equal: Women, Race, and Class in the South. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999.
U.S. Census Bureau. “Women’s History Month: March 2009.” U.S. Census Press Release. Jan. 5, 2009 March 20, 2006 .
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