A Woman at Forty’s Nation

Maria Shriver I took a little creative license with the title, but Maria Shriver in conjunction with the California Women’s Conference has launched a project in partnership with the Center for American Progress and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. The project, A Woman’s Nation, plans to take a comprehensive look at American women who for the first time in our history make up half of all workers, and are becoming the primary breadwinners in more families.

The media is all abuzz with these new statistics, but since I come from a family where at least as far back as two generations ago the women have been going to work everyday, it just didn’t seem all that surprising to me. But, bringing these statistics to light will definitely generate discussions surrounding traditional male/female roles, how we define family in the future, how social class and economics impact these statistics, and even how men and women define themselves.

The Women at Forty Project focuses on a snapshot of women from all over the world, taken in the fortieth year of their lives, and it will be interesting to hear how women in their forties receive this news compared to women in their twenties, thirties and sixties.

What are your thoughts on the newly released findings? Does it matter that women now make up half of the workforce and are surpassing men as primary breadwinners? Should it matter? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on our Facebook Fan page, or tweet your comments to @womenatforty.

PHOTO SOURCE: The Women’s Conference

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  • racheldachel

    I am not at all surprised that women make up half of the American work force. I'm actually surprised that we don't make up more of it. I think it is almost criminal that we still earn only 73 cents to a man's dollar, especially because more often than not, women are supporting children. Sadly, too many of us are doing it without the help of a man, so that 73 cents has to stretch even further.
    Another big issue I see regarding women in the workforce is childcare. School hours and vacations were not a problem when mothers stayed at home baking cookies and cleaning ovens all day. Things are different now and since many women are heads of single-parent households, school hours can and do place a burden on working women. Again, that 73 cents is being stretched, this time to cover daycare and after school programs.
    The last one I'll mention here is the epidemic of single mothers trying to raise boys on their own. By and large, it isn't working out too well (in my humble opinion). We're seeing more and more women being all things to all people and more men shirking responsibilities, both financial and moral. I look at the opportunity we now have as women, but I ask myself, “At what cost?”

  • womenatforty

    Hey Rache,

    You make a lot of great points. For the life of me, I still don't get why people don't get the simple concept of equal work for equal pay?!? It makes me want to cuss! And as for single moms raising boys and girls on their own, although it's unpopular to say, I think everyone ends up hurting in the long run. It's not the ideal situation for anyone, regardless of age or economic class. Also, it's one thing when the husband/boyfriend you were in a committed relationship with turns tail, becomes someone you don't recognize and goes ghost on you, but when we, as women, walk into situations with men with our eyes wide shut and are left literally holding the bag, we've got to take responsibility for those decisions as well. I've always said, a man can be a bad boyfriend and/or husband and still be a good father, but a man who's a bad father can never be a good man (in my humble opinion.)

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  • racheldachel

    I am not at all surprised that women make up half of the American work force. I'm actually surprised that we don't make up more of it. I think it is almost criminal that we still earn only 73 cents to a man's dollar, especially because more often than not, women are supporting children. Sadly, too many of us are doing it without the help of a man, so that 73 cents has to stretch even further.
    Another big issue I see regarding women in the workforce is childcare. School hours and vacations were not a problem when mothers stayed at home baking cookies and cleaning ovens all day. Things are different now and since many women are heads of single-parent households, school hours can and do place a burden on working women. Again, that 73 cents is being stretched, this time to cover daycare and after school programs.
    The last one I'll mention here is the epidemic of single mothers trying to raise boys on their own. By and large, it isn't working out too well (in my humble opinion). We're seeing more and more women being all things to all people and more men shirking responsibilities, both financial and moral. I look at the opportunity we now have as women, but I ask myself, “At what cost?”

  • womenatforty

    Hey Rache,

    You make a lot of great points. For the life of me, I still don't get why people don't get the simple concept of equal work for equal pay?!? It makes me want to cuss! And as for single moms raising boys and girls on their own, although it's unpopular to say, I think everyone ends up hurting in the long run. It's not the ideal situation for anyone, regardless of age or economic class. Also, it's one thing when the husband/boyfriend you were in a committed relationship with turns tail, becomes someone you don't recognize and goes ghost on you, but when we, as women, walk into situations with men with our eyes wide shut and are left literally holding the bag, we've got to take responsibility for those decisions as well. I've always said, a man can be a bad boyfriend and/or husband and still be a good father, but a man who's a bad father can never be a good man (in my humble opinion.)

  • genesis0218

    You can't tell what kind of apple tree will sprout until the seed has been planted.