Women in the Workforce

Powerful Essays
The sight of a working woman today is not something that causes one to look twice. However, this was not always the case. It was a long struggle for women to get to where they are today, and there is still a long way to go. There were a few momentous occasions throughout history that caused a shift in the way women were viewed as workers, such as the need for workers during World War II, the Equal Pay Act, and the appointment of Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court. Women have made great strides in integrating themselves into the workforce alongside men and continue to do so today.

Throughout much of history, women have been viewed as inferior to men. In the 1800s and early 1900s, women were not allowed to hold the same jobs or positions as men. In 1890, women made up only 5% of all doctors in the United States (“Women’s History in America”). The reason that women were not accepted into many professions was that traditionally they were supposed to marry young and start bearing children. This expectation kept them from going to school and studying to become doctors or lawyers. It also kept women at home doing domestic work and caring for children rather than working outside the home. There was a large increase of working women in 1917 when the U.S. entered World War I (“Women of the Century”). Unfortunately, once the war ended in 1918 many women left their jobs and returned to domestic work, where they stayed for years after.

The jobs that women did occupy at this time were often in terrible factory conditions with meager wages. This reflects the image of women as inferior and undeserving of the same rights and status as men. Eventually women began to tire of being subservient to men and started to yearn for their rights....

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