Evolution of women at the workplace.

Over the years, women have been fighting for their rights as far as the workplace is concerned. Many human rights champions have come out strongly to condemn the unfair and unjust treatment of women at the workplace. This has not only led to the rise of famous feminist have led revolutions all in a bid to have women recognized as an integral part of the labour force community. This can be dated back to the 19th century whereby women were not generally expected to work but rather just stay back at home and take care of the kids as they perform some domestic chores in the house as the man out there breaking a sweat in some formal job. I will place focus on specifically the American woman and the struggle experienced as she tries to fight for her position within the labour force. Women generally have been discriminated in all spheres of society to the extent that even in regions there was legislation that prohibited them from holding any position of power let alone even vote during an election.

Before the civil war, all seemed calm and normal as women had taken their domestic role and owned it but it was during the World War 1 where men had to go to the battlefield for the sake of Americans. It was at this point that women took up the role of men at different workstations and the narrative changed from then as they tried to position themselves as active members who could equally compete with men and play a key role in development. During the Progressive era which dates between 1890 to 1920 and the main agenda of citizens taking the government to task in regards to government playing a more inclusive role in the development agenda especially on social reforms and key among them was on the suffrage of women. Most women took up this opportunity to address their challenges and even went on ahead to form labour unions and governments went on to set up labour courts to address such matters. Thus discrimination against women started to be more outspoken and women became more vocal about raising awareness on the issue till to date. Such historical occurrences are what we are still witnessing to date as more and more women are still fighting for their place in society in regards to the leadership of states and communities as well attaining top-level management positions in workplaces.

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After the civil war which was the period that marked a move towards industrialization, the role of women gradually started changing as they now started becoming actively involved in the labour force a move that men started considering as a threat to their position. This led to segmentation in terms of the formation of labour unions as the initial reason for incorporating women into the labour force was for companies to get cheap labour from them something that was highly opposed by women with time. Thus labour unions help them in having a common voice in which their grievances would be addressed on a rather common platform and justice would be accorded to them fairly as they raised issues concerning working hours as well as equal pay for all genders. Key figures that led the fight for women at the workplace would be Mary Harris Jones who led one the biggest labour federation called Knights of Labour which addressed the grievances of American women and their treatment at work. However, this did not last for long a major setback occurred and the union fell out towards the end of the 19h century which was replaced by the American Federation of Labour headed by a man. This obviously meant that issues o with women would be neglected and the leader of the union was strongly opposing the idea of women working stating that it would lead to lack of respect to the men. These meant ha women had to join forces are strategize by forming a more powerful union that would cater for their needs in the workplace and this led to the formation of the Women’s Trade Unions League which marshalled forces from majorly women belong to the middle and upper classes of society. This would however also not last long as the Great depression occurred around 1930 threatened the survival of such unions as this period was characterized with massive unemployment.

Moving on it was now time for World War II and this marked the drastic change within the American labour force that was ever witnessed as the highest number of women joined formal employment. This meant a high number of women would enter into male-dominated fields in a bid to fill in the gaps created meaning women were now able to prove their capabilities and manpower as they represented various positions, especially in the industrial sector. Regardless of the war coming to an end around 1945 as you would have it most men would come back and reclaim their positions back but I was until the 1970s when American came to the full realization that women played a huge role in economic development thus they too needed to be accorded an equal chance. Thus legislation that would put an end such kind of discrimination against women in the workplace needed to be formed and implemented and perhaps the biggest deal breaker was the Civil Rights Act. Most notably the Act now outlawed against various forms of discrimination of person ranging from discrimination based on race, religion or even sex.

Moving on forward to the future, America has witnessed a steady rise in women taking up positions in the formal sector which has now resulted in taking the conversation to another level in regards to wages. Now women are championing for equal pay as their male counterparts as well as rising to manoeuvre through the top positions in various fortune companies around the globe. Due to segmentation in terms of job allocation where we have witnessed some careers being rather male-dominated, we have witnessed in recent times an increasing interest by women to venture into these jobs and prove that they are equally capable of outdoing themselves. Thus critically analyzing this transformation of women in the labour force starting from the progressive era onto industrialization and how women have struggled to position themselves within the system is a clear indication of how history has shaped the current trends. History tends to keep on repeating itself in this situation and in the foreseeable future, we might also witness the vice versa as men might also feel threatened and legally fight back for their position within the labour force.

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