When you see the word gender discrimination, what is the first thought that comes to mind? The framework of American society has changed dramatically over the last centuries, with increased advancements in the field of science, technology, and education, Which have led to opportunities within the workforce for both men and women. However, studies show that there are still existence incidences of gender disparities in various occupations and industries. While it is true that women have made gains, the struggle for achieving full equality within the workforce still remains questionable.
Although it is undeniable that there are biological and physical differences between men and women, often time these differences are used to justify the unequal treatment of women not only in the workplace but in society as a whole. Throughout history, women have often been viewed as the weaker gender, and their place was thought to be within the home as family caretakers. Unfortunately, these views continue to define the different social roles of men and women today.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which women have really advanced in society and the workplace. First, the paper will briefly discuss the history of women; then the paper will present a more in-depth discussion of the most prevalent issues working women are facing today.
This form of inequality dates back centuries. "Equality sought by women was something that started in the 1800's" (Parcheta et. al 240). During the 20th century, in order to sustain family structure and traditions of placing the father as the authority of the household, it was necessary to have a separation between labor in the household and the workplace. Women were identified as being the weaker sex, more vulnerable than men, not only in physical terms but mentally, and were thought to be extra sensitive, less competent, and too reliant on men in general. "They were also considered to be the property of their husband or father"(Parcheta et al. 240). Women, therefore, maintained roles as householders and consumers while the men provided for the home.
Though this perspective had been the platform for woman for a significant amount of time, if we look back at history, we will notice that women have always had financial roles as cultivators, fabricators, and service suppliers. In essence, they have added to both home and market. During periods of war and economic instability, the model for family life had to adapt in order to meet the immediate needs of the time. For example, according to the History website, during World War II, women worked in factories manufacturing the products needed both for domestic survival and maintaining the war effort. Women rose to meet the need by stepping into male-defined jobs which, in times of peace, had been considered beyond their capabilities and physical strength( History).
One of the significant parts of the problem with workplace inequality is that women, through...