Are Married Women Working Too Hard?

Essay by VanitaHigh School, 12th gradeA+, December 2005

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A Dual career family is simply a family where both partners are working and bringing in separate incomes. Most of you might be thinking that in a sense more money is good, but is it really?

Women for the last century have been fighting for equal rights with men in every way especially in the work place. So has it got so far that women don't see the rational side to work or are brainwashed into believing that they should work because they have been given the right to independence and equal opportunities. Are women consumed in proving themselves as equals to the patriarchal society that they forget about the reasons why they are doing this and also what is it doing to them, basically are they doing it for the right reasons?

Woman today who combine a career and a family are soon reminded that they're flaunting the socially accepted norms.

They find themselves in a seemingly no-win situation the qualities associated with the role of wife/mother are seen incompatible with those qualities associated with success in the occupational sphere.

Some feminist's sociologists have concluded that women's participation in the labour market is clearly limited by their domestic responsibilities. Because of these responsibilities very few women have continuous full time careers. Mother then; tend to have 'jobs' while their husbands have 'careers'. Due to this women are seen 'unreliable' because of family commitments therefore don't have the same access to promotions and training opportunities as men.

Other changes in the labour force over the last two decades include a marked increase in the number of employee jobs performed by women. In 1983 men filled 2.5 million more jobs than women. In June 2003 the numbers were almost equal although almost half of the female jobs were part time.

60% of all marriages are dual-earner marriages; members of dual-earner families make up 45% of the workforce

69.9% of women and 61.8% of men in dual-career couples, say that a wage-earning spouse gives them more freedom to leave their company if not satisfied

56% of men in two-career marriages report that having a working wife has a positive impact on their careers. 65% of women indicate the same.

But men and women still follow very different career paths. About a quarter of female employees do administrative or secretarial work. Men are twice as likely as women to be managers and senior officials, and far more likely to be in skilled trades.

Sociologists Marsden and Duncombe in 1990's describe women as performing a 'triple shift' having completed their paid employment, they return home to do most of the housework as well as most of the emotional support, this idea can be supported in present society. In Ann Oakley's study the Sociology of Housework in 1970's only 15% of marriages did men have a high level of participation in housework and in childcare 25% suggesting that socially constructed masculine and feminine roles are still evident in Britain today.

Are women forced to take on these extra responsibilities because of their higher expectations or is it that a family in this present day and age can't survive with only one constant income. Is it because of this extra idea of stress and pressure the divorce rates are increasing and marriage rates are decreasing? Are women realising that to function well they are better of with fewer responsibilities and on their own?