LatinaLista — It’s funny how things we know to be true don’t become official until somebody puts it in writing. Take for instance the latest report on the status of women in the workforce.
The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything by California’s First Lady Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress examines what we already know to be true: “women are half of all U.S. workers and mothers are the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of American families.”
The real emphasis of the study is that because women are such a dominant part of the workforce, the old gender power struggles are fading away — with one exception:
This is a report about how women becoming half of workers changes everything for men, women, and their families. The Rockefeller/TIME nationwide poll, conducted in early September as the chapters of the report were being finalized, finds that the battle of the sexes is over and is replaced by negotiations between the sexes about work, family, household responsibilities, child care, and elder care.
Yet, while men generally accept women working and making more money, men and women both express concern about kids left behind. Whose job is it? Men and women agree that government and business are out of touch with the realties of how most families live and work today.
Families need more flexible work schedules, comprehensive child care policies, redesigned family and medical leave, and equal pay.
The report, broken down by chapters featuring a mix of statistical information with essays written by various women attempt to examine questions about this new gender shift in the labor force. For example, with chapters titled: “Has a Man’s World Become a Woman’s Nation?”, “Sharing the Load” and “Battle of the Sexes Gives Way to Negotiations,” the report’s authors want to elevate the public conversation of what is being discussed privately in households across the country.
One interesting essay, written by Maria Echaveste, details the impact of the labor done by immigrant women.
Our 21st-century economy is increasingly based on a growing service sector economy, which is why we need to challenge ourselves to value the work of women, and especially the work of immigrant women. Such work will still be necessary regardless of how high tech our economy becomes. It must not remain invisible.
The premise of the report is that because women are changing the face of the workforce, women are also changing the way business, politics, and every other aspect of how daily life is done.
It’s not a bad thing, only frustrating because women are still not empowered equally as men. When a woman who is a victim of domestic violence is denied health insurance coverage because her situation deems her as having a “pre-existing condition” then it’s easy to see there are still hard challenges to overcome.