1) Changing work roles and the family
The times are changing that results that the work roles and the family change as well.
According to the Families and Work Institute’s National Study of the Changing Workforce, in 1992, there were far more men (under 29) who wanted jobs with greater responsibility (80%) than women of the same age (72%). However, now, there is no difference between young women and men in wanting jobs with greater responsibility. In addition, the proportions of employed men and women are becoming parity, and women might represent a larger proportion of the wage and salaried labor force than men by now.
Besides, the labor force participation by mothers has increased a lot within the recent years.
It should be also mentioned that the level of education of women has also increased while comparing to men’s. The U.S. Department of Education reports that since 1982 women have been earning more bachelor’s degrees than men and also since 1981 women have been getting more master’s degrees than men.
Furthermore, the gender gap concerning earnings is also narrowing. For example, in 1979, the average woman that worked full time earned 62% of what men earned on a weekly basis. Some time later, in the early 1990s, the wage gap narrowed and by 2007 the average woman that worked full time earned 80% of what men earned on a weekly basis.
I would also mention that women are more likely than men to have part-time jobs as they want to manage their family and work responsibilities.
Finally, over the past decade and a half the annual earnings of women in dual-earner couples have also increased when comparing with the earnings of the men.
2) Policies affecting paid work and the Family
CBS News reports that the US has some gaps concerning the paid policies. First of all, it is the lack of a nationwide policy of paid maternity leave.
Of course, the social and economic benefits of paid family leave seem important to the rest of the world. However, today America is one of few nations, together with Swaziland and Papua New Guinea, that don’t ensure the paid leave for new moms.
In addition, it is very important to increase the employment rates of mothers. In addition, a lot of countries have been trying to increase the involvement of fathers in child-care and other household tasks.
I should also stress that nowadays the standards are changing. Sometimes when a woman earns more that a man or when she doesn’t want to loose her job, it’s the father who sits with the child while woman is working.
In addition, a number of countries moved towards the systems of separate taxation of earnings of couples because the countries are trying to reduce disincentives to work for partners in the couple families.