Women's Changing Role In Family And The Workplace

2454 words - 10 pages

Women's Changing Role in Family and The Workplace

One of the main institutions in society is found within the household and is popularly known as “The Family”. It is here, in the family, where the commencement of society takes place. It is amongst this unit that the origin of women’s oppression began with the constant power struggle between man and woman. With the “nuclear family” slowly being thrown out the window and the new “dual-earner” family creeping in to takes it’s place, it’s no wonder that women’s positions have changed radically over the past one hundred years. The key work here to this being position, because although women’s position has changed, their workload has not.
With this radical change many issues can be addressed, particularly, to the women’s role and how it has remained fairly constant over the years. A closer examination will look at the development of gender inequality within the family as a result of the ever-changing issue. A second issue that needs to be inspected is that the family roles have changed in regards to family make-up as women have moved into the work force. This growing capital effort to increase standards of living by pushing every family member into the paid labour force has taken a toll on the family unit. The final issue that will be investigated in this report is how the traditional sex roles have remained constant, even with women’s ever-changing family position over the years.
For decades, commencing back to the time when patriarchy was the “norm” and women were their husband’s property, men have oppressed women. This ideology of patriarchy existed way before it was ever examined by sociologists and it was accepted as a natural or biological way of living. It wasn’t until the 1960's when feminist groups began to explore patriarchy and at the same time began to exploit it, that patriarchy was established. Feminists at that time, and even still today, believe that patriarchy operates to achieve and maintain gender inequality and is the essential key to women’s present subordination. Not only does patriarchy exist in the pubic domain of the paid labour force, but also in the private domain of the household, or better yet, the family.
With patriarchy by its side, gender inequality has developed into one of the biggest controversies amongst sociologists, feminist groups, and women. In modern day society women are working their way into the labour force, and “expanding their roles to include working outside the home as well as being wives and mothers” (Kaufman, 1999, 440). As women are moving into the paid labour force, they “continue to work longer hours than do their husbands on household tasks, and there is little evidence that men’s proportionate share of the family work has changed much during the past decade or so” (Blair, 1991, 91). Although women are moving into the paid labour force at a fairly fast pace, according to Kaufman, “men’s involvement in domestic roles has...

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