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Report Number WE-8
Component ID: #ti290646956

Introduction

We, the American Women, have experienced dramatic changes over the last three decades. We are increasingly delaying marriage and childbirth to attend college and establish careers. College enrollment of women is now near that of men, but we still choose subjects of study that are different from those of men and less likely to lead to higher-paying jobs.

More of us are in the labor force than ever before and we are more likely to have continuous lifetime work experience. There has been a remarkable increase in the proportion of mothers who work. This is partly a result of noneconomic factors such as changes in the attitudes of society toward working mothers and the desires of women themselves, as well as economic factors such as inflation, recession, and unemployment of husbands.

Most of us meet the usual demands of housework and family care in addition to our work in the labor force. The responsibilities of work and home life have changed little for most married men, while for most wives, home responsibilities follow traditional patterns despite the profound change in their lives outside their families.

We remain in a secondary economic status despite unprecedented change. Over the past few years, we have been spending more years prior to marriage supporting ourselves; in marriage, we have been contributing more to the household income, and a greater number of us have been rearing children alone, often with little or more financial help.

The future course of women is uncertain and remains a challenge to the American economic, political, and social system, and to the American women themselves.

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