Over the years, the role of women in the workforce has evolved significantly, particularly when it comes to working mothers.
In the United States, the history of working moms has been a complex and multifaceted one, with various challenges and triumphs along the way. From the early 20th century to present day, working mothers have faced a range of societal expectations, workplace policies, and economic realities.
In this context, it is important to understand the historical context of working mothers in the United States and the various factors that have shaped their experiences.Top of Form
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- In 1860, only 7.5% of mothers with children under 15 were in the labor force, compared to 65% in 20101.
- In 1943, during World War II, about 6.5 million women entered the workforce for the first time, many of them mothers2.
- In 1963, the Equal Pay Act was passed, prohibiting wage discrimination based on sex2.
- In 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments was enacted, banning sex discrimination in education programs that receive federal funding2.
- In 1978, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed, making it illegal to discriminate against pregnant women in employment2.
- In 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act was signed into law, granting eligible workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family or medical reasons2.
- In 2009, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law, extending the time period for filing pay discrimination claims2.
- In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, around 3.5 million mothers living with school-age children left active work between March and April.
Bureau, U. C. (2021, March 3). Moms, Work and the Pandemic. Retrieved from The United States Census Bureau website: https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2021/03/moms-work-and-the-pandemic.html
Fast Facts: Mothers in the Workforce. (n.d.). Retrieved from AAUW : Empowering Women Since 1881 website: https://www.aauw.org/resources/article/fast-facts-working-moms/
Livingston, Gretchen. “The American Family Today.” Pew Research Center, 17 Dec. 2015, https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2015/12/17/1-the-american-family-today/.
“Women’s History Milestones: A Timeline.” History.com, 27 Feb. 2020, https://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/womens-history-us-timeline.
Long, Heather. “3.5 Million Parents of School-Age Children Have Lost Jobs or Left Workforce Since February.” The Washington Post, 4 Dec. 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/12/04/parents-jobs-covid/.